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Poll: Cuomo leads opponents, but job performance rating down

State Sen. John DeFrancisco and Dutchess County Executive

State Sen. John DeFrancisco and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. Photo Credit: Composite; Charles Eckert, left, and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro

ALBANY — The first public poll since opponents to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo started ramping up their campaigns shows the two-term Democrat still well ahead of his rivals.

The poll also gives Cuomo his lowest job approval rating since 2016 after an eight-week trial in which his longtime top aide and confidant was convicted.

The poll also shows strong support by New Yorkers for gun control proposals by the governor and the Assembly’s Democratic majority as well as measures to better protect schools from shooting sponsored by the Senate’s Republican majority.

The poll questioned 772 registered voters March 11 to Friday and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The Siena College Research Institute poll found Cuomo leading his two Republican opponents by about 2-1 while Cuomo he also has a sizable lead over Nixon in a potential Democratic primary..

Cuomo led Nixon 66 percent to 19 percent. Cuomo led state Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) 57-28 percent and Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro 57-29 percent.

Nixon announced her candidacy Monday.

Forty-two percent of voters rated Cuomo’s job performance as good or excellent; with 57 percent rating it poor or fair. That’s his lowest job approval rating since September 2016. But 52 percent of respondents viewed Cuomo himself favorably, statistically unchanged from February.

The poll follows the conviction of Cuomo’s longtime close friend and aide, Joseph Percoco. Percoco was convicted March 13 of three counts of soliciting and taking bribes from developers seeking to get state contracts. Cuomo wasn’t accused of wrongdoing in the case.

On gun limits and school safety, the poll showed voters by a 90 percent to 9 percent margin support measures to extend the waiting period for the purchase of firearms up to 10 days, from the current period of up to three days, to allow for more extensive background checks.

Voters favored by 85-13 percent the governor’s proposal to forcing abusers in domestic violence cases to surrender any firearms. They also supported by a 78-15 percent margin Senate Republicans’ plan for schools to practice “active shooter drills” and to provide police officers at schools.

But by a 69-28 percent New York voters opposed arming teachers, which is proposed by President Donald Trump and some Republican members of Congress.

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