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Nearly 60 percent of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll would vote for Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino over incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo if the election for governor were held today.
Eighty-two percent of Republicans said they would vote for Astorino. He also was more popular than the governor among poll participants who are unaffiliated or members of third parties.
Cuomo scored big among Democrats, however. Eighty percent said they would choose him.
At the state Democratic convention last Thursday, Cuomo formally accepted his party’s nomination for re-election as governor. A week earlier, Astorino had accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for the state’s top elective post.
A former U.S. secretary of housing and urban development and state attorney general, Cuomo defeated Republican Carl Paladino in the 2010 gubernatorial election. His running mate, former Rochester mayor Robert Duffy, recently said he would not seek re-election as lieutenant governor, and Cuomo chose Kathy Hochul of Amherst—a former Erie County clerk and congresswoman—to replace Duffy.
Astorino is in his second term as Westchester County executive. Before entering politics, he had a long career in the radio industry as station manager, program director and producer. Astorino chose Sheriff Christopher Moss of Chemung County as his running mate.
In his acceptance speech, Cuomo said he represents the party that “creates jobs and advances justice.” Astorino told the GOP convention that what has happened under Cuomo “is nothing less than a disgrace, a crime—of historic magnitude.”
Roughly 680 readers participated in this week’s poll, conducted May 27.
If the election for governor between Andrew Cuomo and Rob Astorino were held today, for whom would you vote?
Rob Astorino: 59%
Andrew Cuomo: 41%
Rob Astorino: 82%
Andrew Cuomo: 18%
Rob Astorino: 20%
Andrew Cuomo: 80%
Rob Astorino: 61%
Andrew Cuomo: 39%
What is your political affiliation?
Gov. Cuomo’s “Start-Up New York” campaign is something that upsets me so much that as a company I have decided to remain a Florida corporation in order to avoid doing business in New York. Recently I was told by our bank that I had to register the corporation in New York as a foreign entity. Because I reside in New York, the cost was $225 for the filing so that I could keep the checking account here. As a small businessman, I see Florida as a better choice to avoid high taxes and the nonsense that the Cuomo political machine creates. Sorry, Andrew, but your father Mario was the better governor.
—David J. Weaver, president and CEO, Aphex BioCleanse Systems Inc.
It is as simple as ABC. Anybody but Cuomo.
—Jim Weisbeck, Bloomfield
Cuomo is the best Republican the Democrats ever elected. Why bother with Astorino?
—Ingo H. Leubner, Crystallization Consulting
I think Gov. Cuomo is doing a great job. On-time budgets, real estate property tax caps, union agreements, etc. We don’t need someone coming in and voting no on everything in sight. I say let’s give Andrew Cuomo four more years.
What’s called for is a complete regulatory overhaul of state government. I am not sure if Astorino is the right person for the job. However, we’ve seen enough of Gov. Cuomo to know that he is not.
—John Calia, Vistage International
Who could vote for the chief criminal of the SAFE Act?
—Daniel Mossien, architect
I think the governor has done a standup job for New York and should be allowed to continue. Having a female lieutenant governor would also be a plus for New York government.
—Hutch Hutchison, In T’Hutch Ltd.
How could I possibly think of voting for Cuomo, who has publicly stated that my pro-gun, pro-life, pro-heterosexual values are not welcome in New York State?
—Tom Shea, Thomas P. Shea Agency Inc.
There has been progress under Cuomo. There needs to be a lot more to support a robust economy, particularly in upstate. Hochul is a plus as a running mate.
—Carolyn Phinney Rankin, president, Phinney Rankin Inc.
There are more than two choices, you know! Howie Hawkins is running for the Green Party again, and the Working Families Party might also run a candidate. Why not include other choices rather than your simple binary poll?
—Matthew D. Wilson
Too bad the governor is so tightly wound up with the previous regimes. He really has not been transparent. We need a new, fresh start!
—J.A. DePaolis, Penfield
Anybody but Cuomo. He has hurt this state, and there is little job creation. Our economy is not growing.
I’m a conservative who most often votes Republican. I am for lower taxes, a smaller government, local control of schools and peace through strength. To get New York State going, we need lower taxes across the board so that businesses have an even playing field. We need fewer regulations. We need to catch up with Pennsylvania with fracking. We need to fix the minimum wage until the economy rebounds. The candidate most likely to deliver on these needs is Rob Astorino.
—Clifford Jacobson M.D.
Rob Astorino offers New York residents a change—change not based upon hope, but change based upon facts. He will return us to what we were once: the Empire State. Andrew Cuomo was the icing on the leftist cake. He knows that most of the programs instituted by Mr. Cuomo are but smoke and mirrors. Don’t bother to look at the polls either; they were bought and paid for by Democrat interests and targeted not (at) upstate and Western New York residents, but instead downstaters. Up here in Western New York, we are all too familiar with downstate interests; they love the state’s handouts. Living in their concrete canyons they want Mr. Cuomo and his Democrat friends to pass environmental laws and regulations that will hurt them little but harm us much. Remember, it was primarily downstate assemblymen and senators who rammed the SAFE Act down our throats. Rob Astorino wants to work with all parts of New York. He wants to rid us of ridiculous regulations, exorbitant fees and unrealistic taxes that benefit downstaters as the basis for their handouts and penalize productive and thrifty upstate and Western New York residents. We need Rob Astorino; we can no longer afford liberal, leftist ideologues.
—Michael F. Kloppel, chairman, Ontario County Conservative Party, Canandaigua
Anybody but Cuomo!
—George Thomas, Ogden
Cuomo does not represent Upstate New York. His interests are set squarely on his own political aspirations, and that comes from the power wielded by the downstate population and politicians. Until we annex New York City, we are going to be stuck with liberal politicians whose culture does not exemplify many of us upstate.
5/30/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email email@example.com.