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Poll: Cuomo favorability low, but he remains strong vs. Nixon

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo delivers his State of

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo delivers his State of the State address at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany on Jan. 3. Credit: AP / Hans Pennink

ALBANY — A poll released Tuesday has Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo matching his lowest favorability among voters since taking office in 2011, but because of strong Democratic and New York City support, he remains well positioned to fend off a primary challenge from Cynthia Nixon.

The Siena Research Institute poll said Cuomo was seen favorably by 49 percent of all voters polled, compared with 44 percent who view him unfavorably. Within the Democratic Party, however, Cuomo was seen favorably by 62 percent, compared with 32 percent who saw him unfavorably.

If the fall Democratic primary were held now, Cuomo would beat Nixon, an activist on education and other issues as well as a star of the “Sex and the City” TV series, by 58 percent to 27 percent.

The poll found Cuomo was favored by 63 percent of New York City voters, compared with 21 percent for Nixon. Among liberals, who traditionally dominate the Democratic primary vote, Cuomo led 58 percent to 29 percent.

“Early on, Cuomo seems to be in a strong position again to be the Democratic Party’s standard-bearer,” said Steven Greenberg of the Siena College poll.

Nixon, however, has narrowed the race in the month since she officially joined the campaign for the Democratic nomination, he said.

“After only a few weeks in the race, enthusiasm and support for Cynthia’s progressive vision is growing,” said Nixon spokeswoman Sarah Ford. “New Yorkers are looking for new and bold leadership to fix our unequal schools and broken infrastructure; invest in good jobs and health care for all; and address economic and racial inequality. With momentum on our side, we are focused on the work ahead of us and introducing Cynthia’s plan for a better New York all across the state.”

Cuomo’s campaign declined to comment.

Nixon won the endorsement of the liberal Working Families Party on Saturday, an influential minor party that Cuomo had previously fought hard to win.

The poll questioned 692 registered voters from April 8 to Thursday. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.

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