March 3, 2010 - Paterson Should Stay, Despite Lowest Approval Ever, New York State Voters Tell Quinnipiac University Poll; Independent Prosecutor Should Probe Gov, Voters Say 2-1

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New York Gov. David Paterson should finish his term, rather than resign, New York State voters say 61 - 31 percent in a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

There was a measurable drop in support for Paterson, especially among women, after media reports that the Governor was more directly involved in contact by his administration with a woman who had made charges of domestic violence against one of Paterson's aides.

Support for Paterson staying in office until December 31 is 64 - 28 percent among Democrats, 57 - 33 percent among Republicans and 58 - 34 percent among independent voters, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Women say 56 - 32 percent that Paterson should finish his term, while men support that 66 - 29 percent.

Black voters want the Governor to stay 70 - 24 percent, compared to 57 - 34 percent among white voters.

Voters disapprove 62 - 24 percent of the job Gov. Paterson is doing, his worst score ever.

By contrast, New York State voters approve 70 - 16 percent of the job Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is doing. Even Republicans approve 62 - 25 percent.

But voters say 61 - 25 percent that an independent prosecutor, not Cuomo, should investigate allegations that the Paterson administration interfered in a case of possible domestic abuse. Support for an independent prosecutor is strong across party lines.

"New York State voters give Gov. David Paterson big negatives, his lowest ever in a year-long crash dive, but they're not ready to pull the trigger," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Whether it's mercy, pity or a fear of stepping into the unknown, it runs across all the demographic categories."

"But there was a noticeable slip in support from the first night to the second night of the survey, after more damaging news came out and the National Organization for Women called for the Governor to step down," Carroll added. "Could this continue getting worse by the day?

"Politicians know that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has a touchy task investigating the stuff about Paterson. Voters give Cuomo stratospheric job-approval numbers, but they'd sooner have an independent prosecutor do the investigating."

New York State voters give Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch a split 24 - 24 percent job approval rating, with 53 percent undecided. Ravitch gets a 12 - 9 percent favorability, but 78 percent of voters don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

Paterson would do a better job than Ravitch governing New York State this year, voters say 47 - 29 percent, with 23 percent undecided. Results are consistent among Democrats, Republicans and independent voters.

"Richard Ravitch? Voters ask: Who is he? More voters think Paterson would do a better job running the state than Ravitch would," Carroll said.

From March 1 - 2, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,237 New York State registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way David Paterson is handling his job as Governor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Approve              24%    20%    27%    21%    21%    26%    19%    38%
Disapprove           62     69     58     62     66     58     68     43
DK/NA                15     11     15     16     12     17     13     19
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Approve              36%    23%    25%    24%    20%
Disapprove           49     67     64     57     63
DK/NA                16     10     11     18     17
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way David Paterson is handling his job as Governor?
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Mar 03  Feb 3   Dec 15  Oct 21  Aug 6   Mar 03  Mar 03
                     2010    2010    2009    2009    2008    2010    2010
Approve              24      37      40      30      64      24      24
Disapprove           62      54      49      57      14      62      62
DK/NA                15       8      11      14      22      15      15
 
 
2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Richard Ravitch is handling his job as Lieutenant Governor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Approve              24%    22%    26%    22%    27%    21%    22%    27%
Disapprove           24     24     21     28     28     20     22     27
DK/NA                53     54     52     50     45     59     57     46
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Approve              14%    19%    18%    30%    22%
Disapprove           24     23     23     27     19
DK/NA                62     58     58     42     59
 
 
3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Andrew Cuomo is handling his job as State Attorney General?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Approve              70%    62%    74%    72%    70%    69%    71%    67%
Disapprove           16     25     12     16     21     13     16     16
DK/NA                14     14     15     12      9     18     13     17
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Approve              70%    70%    70%    70%    68%
Disapprove           14     17     17     14     20
DK/NA                16     13     13     16     12
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Andrew Cuomo is handling his job as State Attorney General?
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Mar 03  Feb 3   Dec 15  Oct 21  Feb 17  Feb 13  Jul 31
                     2010    2010    2009    2009    2009    2007    2007
Approve              70      71      74      71      76      42      68
Disapprove           16      15      12      11      11      16      19
DK/NA                14      15      14      18      13      42      14
 
 
4. Is your opinion of David Paterson favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Favorable            26%    21%    29%    26%    27%    26%    20%    41%
Unfavorable          56     65     51     58     60     54     64     42
Hvn't hrd enough     14     12     15     13     11     16     13     10
REFUSED               3      2      5      2      2      4      3      7
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Favorable            34%    23%    24%    28%    26%
Unfavorable          50     62     61     50     58
Hvn't hrd enough     12     12     12     16     14
REFUSED               4      3      3      6      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of David Paterson favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                             FAVORABLE.....
                                                             High    Low
                     Mar 03  Feb 3   Dec 15  Oct 21  Aug 16  Jan 26  May 13
                     2010    2010    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009
Favorable            26      34      38      28      26      48      24
Unfavorable          56      49      44      52      53      25      55
Hvn't hrd enough     14      15      15      15      18      24      18
REFUSED               3       3       3       5       3       3       3
 
 
5. Do you think Governor Paterson should serve his full term until December 31 or should he resign?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Serve full term      61%    57%    64%    58%    66%    56%    57%    70%
Resign               31     33     28     34     29     32     34     24
DK/NA                 9     10      8      8      5     11      9      7
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Serve full term      71%    58%    59%    61%    63%
Resign               23     34     33     30     29
DK/NA                 6      8      8      9      9
 
 
6. Is your opinion of Richard Ravitch favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Favorable            12%     9%    13%    12%    13%    10%    11%    13%
Unfavorable           9      8      7     13     12      7     10      6
Hvn't hrd enough     78     82     78     74     74     82     79     78
REFUSED               1      -      1      1      1      1      1      2
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Favorable             3%     4%     4%    18%    15%
Unfavorable          12      8      9     11      8
Hvn't hrd enough     84     87     86     70     77
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      -
 
 
7. Who do you think would more effectively govern New York state until December 31 - David Paterson or Richard Ravitch?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Paterson             47%    46%    49%    47%    50%    45%    43%    63%
Ravitch              29     28     30     30     33     26     33     18
DK/NA                23     26     21     23     17     29     24     19
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Paterson             68%    44%    47%    48%    45%
Ravitch              17     30     28     30     32
DK/NA                15     26     25     22     23
 
 
8. Do you think Attorney General Andrew Cuomo should investigate allegations that the Paterson Administration improperly interfered in a case of possible domestic abuse or do you think a special prosecutor independent of Cuomo should be named?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Cuomo                25%    27%    28%    21%    29%    22%    28%     9%
Special prosecutor   61     64     56     66     59     63     62     69
DK/NA                13      9     16     13     12     15     11     22
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Cuomo                22%    26%    25%    25%    26%
Special prosecutor   59     63     62     60     63
DK/NA                20     12     13     15     12