Majority of New Yorkers say corruption is a serious problem in state: Poll

Chart shown by U.S. Attorney for the Southern

Chart shown by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY. (Craig Ruttle) (Credit: Chart shown by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY. (Craig Ruttle))

New Yorkers say the recent political scandals have turned the Big Apple rotten to the core.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found that 82% of residents think government corruption is a serious problem.

Maurice Carroll, the director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said the high number was no surprise, given the extensive and ongoing media coverage of city and state leaders being busted on federal charges.

"Those news pictures of politicians in handcuffs clearly struck a nerve," he said in a statement.

Last week, federal prosecutors indicted Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith, Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran and other political players on charges that they created a bribery conspiracy to put Smith on the GOP ballot for the mayoral race.

Bronx state Assemb. Eric Stevenson was also arrested in a separate bribery sting.

Despite the frequency of the arrests of local officials, the poll found that 56% of New Yorkers said such alleged misdeeds are the same in other big cities.

"We're pretty much like everybody else when it comes to crooked politics, voters say," Carroll said.

Looking forward to the November election, the poll said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former MTA Chief Joseph Lhota lead in their Democratic and Republican primary races respectively.

Quinn had a 32% backing among registered Democrats, down 5% from February, while 23% of registered GOP voters, the same figure from a January poll, back Lhota.

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