A majority of New Yorkers continues to believe Gov. David Paterson should serve out the remainder of his term rather than resign, according to a new Siena College poll.
The poll, conducted on Sunday and released Monday, indicated that 55 percent of voters feel the embattled governor should remain in office despite the latest ethics allegations, while 37 percent feel he should resign.
Fewer voters approve of his performance, though, than at any time since he became governor two years ago.
“There appears to be a sense that more disruption in Albany is not the answer at this point in time,” said Steve Greenberg, polling director of the Siena Research Institute at Siena College in Loudonville.
Greenberg said the poll found quite consistent numbers, whether voters lived upstate or downstate, and without regard to party affiliation.
The poll results may indicate people are just tired of the unsettledness in Albany, two years after Gov. Eliot Spitzer was also forced out by scandal, said Ron Seyb, a professor of government at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs.
“There may be a feeling of we’ve gone through this once, we don’t want to go through it again,” Seyb said.
Paterson has repeatedly vowed to remain in office, despite a series of scandals including alleged contact with a woman who accused a key aide of domestic violence, and Paterson’s acceptance of free World Series tickets. He has, however, given up plans to seek election this fall.
The poll found voters don’t want the Legislature to consider impeaching Paterson, even though Paterson is unpopular with the Legislature and under pressure to resign, which would elevate Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch.
Only 21 percent of voters said they supported the idea of impeachment, according to the Siena poll.
The poll also found that voters generally believe Attorney General Andrew Cuomo can conduct a fair and impartial investigation of the allegations, despite the expectation Cuomo will be running for governor this year.
“By a 57-38 percent margin, voters believe the attorney general’s investigation will be fair and impartial, as opposed to being unduly influenced by politics,” Greenberg said.
On the other hand, he said, at least two-thirds of voters of every party and region believe an independent, outside prosecutor conducting the investigation would be preferable.
The poll also found that by a 2-1 ratio, the largest ever, voters want to see Cuomo run for governor rather than for re-election as attorney general.
Disgust with the Albany political culture in general remains high, the poll found.
Some 75 percent of voters polled said they agree with the statement: “I’m ready to vote for anyone that will clean up the mess in Albany once and for all.”
This Siena survey was conducted March 7 by telephone calls to 712 New York state registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
Categories: Schenectady County