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Poll: LIers favor Cuomo, Mangano, Bellone

Carin Ceballos, 38, a Medford housewife, was among

Carin Ceballos, 38, a Medford housewife, was among the 72 percent of female respondents who rated the governor favorably. (Oct. 27, 2012) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

While 53 percent of Long Islanders believe New York State is on the right track, the outlook about home is not so positive. An equal percentage believes the Island is going in the "wrong direction."

That was the result of a Siena Research Institute/Newsday poll conducted on Long Island, said Don Levy, director of the polling institute.

The survey revealed a telling mix of attitudes. "We . . . say, 'What about here on Long Island?' and all of a sudden we see a flip," Levy said, adding that the difference in attitudes could be because of support for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's leadership, but concern about the state of Long Island's economy.

In questions about the presidential race, 71 percent of likely voters said the economy was the most important issue and 46 percent rated President Barack Obama's handling of the economy as poor. Fifty percent were more inclined to support GOP candidate Mitt Romney's approach to the economy and 45 percent supported Obama's.

In contrast, respondents were very favorable to Cuomo, who has earned high marks around the state for soothing partisan tensions in the State Legislature and working to curb the state deficit. Seventy-one percent of registered voters rated Cuomo as "favorable," while 22 percent had an "unfavorable" view of the first-term governor.

Cuomo scored well with Democrats and Republicans, whites and nonwhites, union households and nonunion households, and residents at differing income levels.

Liberal voters were strongest in favor of the governor, with a rating of 82 percent favorable and 12 percent unfavorable. Conservative voters gave Cuomo a 56 percent favorable rating and a 35 percent unfavorable rating.

Carin Ceballos, 38, a Medford housewife, was among the 72 percent of female respondents who rated the governor favorably. Males came in at 69 percent.

"He's doing a decent job," Ceballos said. "So far he is trying to help the people."

The institute posed questions about state and regional affairs and politicians to 1,008 registered voters and 958 likely voters in Nassau and Suffolk counties between Oct. 17 and 22. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.

Long Island's two county executives also scored favorably.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano was viewed as favorable by 45 percent of registered Nassau voters, with 32 percent holding an unfavorable view and 22 percent saying they didn't know or had no opinion. Suffolk's Steve Bellone drew a favorable response from 44 percent of registered Suffolk voters, with 23 percent describing him unfavorably and 34 percent offering no opinion.

Jeanne Guinan, 66, of Port Jefferson, said she supports Bellone. "I like what he stands for, and I like the way he runs his government," she said. "He's my kind of person."

For state leaders, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) scored favorably with 30 percent of registered voters, but 50 percent offered no opinion. The rest viewed Skelos unfavorably.

Assemb. Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) scored 18 percent favorable, 42 percent unfavorable and 40 percent offered no opinion.

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who is running for re-election against Manhattan Republican Wendy Long, was viewed favorably by 56 percent of registered voters. An overwhelming percentage of voters -- 75 percent -- said they did not know about or had no opinion about Long.

To a question about their level of satisfaction with the Long Island Power Authority, 64 percent of residents said they were "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the utility.

But another question asked residents if they supported Cuomo's idea to lessen LIPA's role and give more responsibility to other state agencies as well as to a new manager of the electrical grid. Fifty-two percent supported the idea.

The results suggest the public's view of the utility is mixed, Levy said.

"They might be happy that the power in their house works, but given the chance to get the state involved . . . they are for it," he said.

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