Cuomo's bipartisan appeal drops, polls show
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Two recent polls show Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's broad political appeal dipping, especially upstate.
A Siena College survey found that just 42 percent of upstate residents said they would vote for Cuomo in 2014, compared with 52 percent who preferred "someone else."
A few days later, Marist College reported that 39 percent upstate said they would back Cuomo; 33 percent said they wouldn't and 15 percent said it depends who is running. Statewide, just 30 percent of Republicans said they'd vote for the Democrat, the Marist poll found.
The numbers are notable because Cuomo had been faring well in every region of New York and across party lines for most of his first two years in office.
"Now, it's more of a traditional upstate-downstate, Republican-Democrat split," said Marist pollster Lee Miringoff. He cited the governor's leftward shift in enacting same-sex marriage legislation and new gun control laws, and his advocacy of an abortion-rights bill.
"That didn't go unnoticed," Miringoff said. "It solidified his [Democratic] base, but cost him some upstate and Republican support."
Because New York State is so heavily Democratic, Cuomo is still in good shape overall. About 47 percent in the Marist poll statewide said they would vote for him compared with 25 percent who wouldn't. Miringoff said that "47 is a good re-election number" with the election 18 months away.
'EDUCATING' THE PUBLIC
A key to the governor's successful push to legalize same-sex marriage was his ability to organize numerous advocacy groups and forge a unified public-relations campaign. And he's often talked about the need to "educate" the public to build momentum for an issue.
Records released last week show Cuomo earlier this year met with two groups of advocates who are pushing high-profile issues this year: campaign-finance and the governor's "women's agenda."
For those keeping score, the competing election-law proposals include using taxpayer money to publicly fund campaigns to limit the influence of big donors, holding "open" primaries to end party-boss control of ballot access, eliminating party "housekeeping" accounts that have few restrictions on their use, and giving either the attorney general or an attorney appointed by the governor power to investigate election-law violations.