News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics
Cuomo still holds big lead over Astorino, despite Moreland controversy
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo continues to hold a sizable lead over Republican challenger Rob Astorino, despite assigning the governor a good chunk of the blame in the recent controversy about an anti-corruption commission, according to a poll released Wednesday.
The Quinnipiac University poll found that Cuomo, a Democrat, leads Astorino 56 percent to 28 percent among the 1,034 registered New York voters surveyed.
About 51 percent of those surveyed said they didn’t know enough about Astorino, the Westchester County executive, to form an opinion of him. Even more -- 88 percent -- said they didn't know enough about Cuomo's opponent in the Sept. 9 Democrat primary, Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham University professor.
Cuomo has been under fire for alleged interference with a panel he created -- then shuttered -- to look into political corruption. A federal attorney is now looking into the issue and has warned that the Cuomo administration might have improperly interfered with the panel, known as the Moreland Commission.
According to Quinnipiac, of the 51 percent of New York voters who “have read or heard anything about the governor’s decision to end the Moreland Commission,” 77 percent say the shutdown was “a political deal” with legislative leaders while 11 percent say the decision was good government. Even Democrats say 68 -- 15 percent it was a political deal.
Additionally, voters disapprove of the way Cuomo is handing ethics in state government, 50 percent to 39 percent. A May poll by Quinnipiac found the reverse, approving Cuomo's handling of ethics, 48-34. Furthermore, 48 percent said Cuomo was part of the ethics problem in state government, while 41 percent said he was part of the solution.
But voters aren’t giving the issue much thought at this point, said Maurice Carroll, spokesman for the Quinnipiac poll.
Incumbent Democrats enjoy comfortable leads in the other statewide races, too. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli leads Republican Bob Antonacci 54 percent to 22 percent, according to the poll; Attorney General Eric Schneiderman leads Republican John Cahill, 51-29.