Paterson Drops More in Poll -- But Gay Ploy Popular

The latest Siena Poll reports Governor Paterson down a couple more popularity points to 27 percent. But it might have been worse: the Governor's gay marriage stand may have prevented an even worse slide, as 53 percent of poll-takers support the Senate gay marriage law. Still, they would prefer the anti-gay-marriage Giuliani to Paterson as governor -- but they also would prefer every other candidate or former governor the Siena proposed to them (Andrew Cuomo, Mario Cuomo, Eliot Spitzer, George Pataki) which means it may be time for Siena to get creative and start asking if voters would prefer Dracula, Hitler, etc. just to keep it interesting.

Money management is most of it: 88 percent think Paterson's staff pay raises contributed to the governor's declining popularity; 87 percent think Paterson's "negotiating the recently enacted state budget in secrecy" did, and 86 percent think his handling on state finances did. By a smaller margin, they even think his appointment of Kirsten Gillibrand was more of a minus than a plus.

Speaking of Gillibrand, 47 percent said they would prefer to see someone else elected Senator in 2010. That's up from 29 percent at the time of her appointment, but Siena respondents have never given her a clear thumbs-up, and "don't know/no opinion" remains high at 33 percent.

Spitzer, BTW, gained in favorability rating over his last assessment a year ago, at the time of his scandal, but that still brings him only to 25 percent. His comeback has a ways to go.

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Andrew Cuomo also had his highest-to-date Siena showing against Giuliani in a speculative governor's race, 53-39. (Both have solid favorable ratings: 66 and 55, respectively.)

66 percent of respondents think the state is in poor shape. ("Poor" has been the majority position since November of last year; zero percent think it's in excellent shape, and only four percent think it's in good shape.) 57 percent think the state is going in the wrong direction (an all-time high and 61 percent think the country's going in the wrong direction (tied with January).

The most popular person in the poll is Barack Obama, with a favorable rating of 75 percent.


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