The second voter survey in two weeks shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s job approval rating plummeting to a near record low.
According to the Siena College poll, Cuomo’s job performance rating dropped to 43 percent. His overall favorability rating, at 52 percent, is down nine points from just two months ago. Last week, a poll by Quinnipiac University also found the governor’s approval rating at a near-record low.
Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg said the major reason is transit troubles downstate; riders overwhelmingly blame Cuomo for the mess.
“Given this ‘summer of hell,’ as he described it, and what’s going on with MTA service, mass transit, down in the New York City area,” Greenberg said.
Cuomo’s job approval numbers in New York City and Long Island downstate are now at the same levels — the low 40s — as they traditionally have been in upstate New York.
New Yorkers are evenly split, 46 percent to 46 percent, on whether they’d like to re-elect Cuomo or elect someone else in 2018. Greenberg said the biggest decline in those numbers came once again from downstate, where the percentage of people who want Cuomo to serve a third term as governor dropped by 27 points.
Cuomo has made attempts to address the MTA’s problems. He declared a state of emergency and promised an additional $1 billion in infrastructure investments, though not until the new budget next spring.
His only appearance recently in New York City dealt with opposition to attempts by the Republican Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Meanwhile, the governor relentlessly travels upstate, focusing on economic development announcements.
At an announcement Tuesday about the renovation of a historical hotel in downtown Niagara Falls, Cuomo once again touted his efforts to look out for western New York’s interests, including investing $1 billion in Buffalo, known as the Buffalo Billion. Cuomo said state government in the past was “detached” and “didn’t care.”
“Why a billion? Because it’s big, that’s why,” Cuomo said. “Our commitment is proportionate and commensurate with what we’re trying to deal with.”
Cuomo also announced Tuesday that a health care data firm would add jobs in a Rochester suburb, and he announced plans to renovate that city’s downtown train station.
The governor did not take any questions from reporters on the poll results or any other topics.
Greenberg said it’s been a smart strategy, but the governor may now have to spend more time shoring up the support of downstate voters.
But he said it’s a year and a half until Election Day 2018, and Cuomo so far does not have a big-name opponent.
“At this point, he’s running against himself,” Greenberg said.
And right now, Cuomo is still breaking even.