New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s approval rating has dropped to its lowest in his eight years in office, according to the New York Times. Despite his overwhelming victory in the 2018 midterm elections, and a string of popular laws passed in recent weeks, Cuomo’s drop in approval rating is quite surprising.
As reported by the New York Times, 778 registered voters were polled. Siena College Research Institute found that Cuomo had an eight-point drop in his favorability rating, reaching down to 43 percent from 51 percent last month. Siena reports that 50 percent of those who were polled looked at Cuomo unfavorably.
Siena also reported that Cuomo’s job approval rating is even lower than the favorability rating. Only 35 percent of registered voters surveyed said that Cuomo was doing an “excellent” or “good” job. 64 percent said that Cuomo was doing a “fair” or “poor” job.
The poll, conducted from February 4 to February 7, came in the middle of a wave of legislation passed by Cuomo as he seeks to make New York “the most progressive state in the nation,” according to the New York Times. Expecting a honeymoon phase with New York voters, the polls have shown that the string of progressive legislation passed was not enough to grant Cuomo favorability.
The results of Cuomo’s favorability rating remain surprising, though, as polls have shown that voters have displayed more support than disapproval of the recent laws passed. It can be speculated that the drop in approval ratings come from voters who oppose Cuomo’s recent abortion rights bill. It is likely that Catholics now disapprove of Cuomo after passing the controversial bill, along with other groups who vehemently oppose late-term abortions.
“Self-proclaimed liberals,” as reported by the New York Times, still remain loyal to Cuomo (63 percent). 71 percent of African-American voters are also in support of Cuomo, as well as 63 percent of Latino voters. Cuomo’s ratings fell primarily with Democrats, Republicans and independents, according to Siena.
Cuomo recently passed the Child Victims Act, which allows childhood sexual abuse survivors to sue their abusers. One of the nation’s tightest statutes of limitations on molestation resided in New York, so this bill is noteworthy and important for sex abuse survivors. Cuomo also recently passed tighter gun control laws in New York and passed legislation prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or expression. This, along with his recently-passed late-term abortion law compose a favorable base for liberal proponents.
New Yorkers have also expressed support for legalization of recreational marijuana, of which Cuomo has promised to make possible this year. If done, Cuomo will continue his liberal bill-passing trend, and possibly gain favorability in response to his dramatic drop in the polls. For now, the recent bills passed have not been enough to save Cuomo’s approval ratings, but perhaps over time when New York has a chance to feel the differences made by the laws passed, their view towards the governor will shift. Only time would be able to tell, but in the meantime, New York and the rest of the United States will have to wait and see what kinds of bills Cuomo will pass next.