March 5, 2010 - Big 48-Hour Drop In Paterson Support, Quinnipiac University New York State Poll Finds; Slim Plurality Want Governor To Finish Term

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In a significant 48-hour drop in support, New York State voters say 46 - 42 percent that Gov. David Paterson should finish his term rather than resign, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Another 12 percent are undecided.

Today's finding is a substantial drop from the 61 - 31 percent support for Gov. Paterson serving out the year in a March 3 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In this latest survey of 1,325 voters conducted March 3 and 4, 45 percent of women say Paterson should stay and 40 percent say he should resign. Men say 47 - 44 percent that he should stay. Black voters want the Governor to stay 55 - 36 percent, while white voters are split 44 - 44 percent.

Voters disapprove 61 - 21 percent of the job Gov. Paterson is doing. This is the lowest approval rating ever recorded for an elected official in 18 years of Quinnipiac University polling except for former President George W. Bush and former Sen. Robert Torricelli of New Jersey, who had approval ratings of 18 and 19 percent just before they left office.

"Support for Gov. David Paterson erodes with every new headline. New York State voters started the week giving the Governor the benefit of the doubt 2-1. Now, there is more doubt and less benefit as he clings to a bare plurality of support," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Voters surveyed Monday and Tuesday were in favor of keeping Paterson by a net 30 points. On Wednesday and Thursday, voter support was a net four points. That's a 26-point drop in two days."

"President George W. Bush and Sen. Robert Torricelli may have lower grades than Paterson, but both of them were on their way out the door," Carroll added.

New York State voters say 37 - 32 percent that Paterson would do a better job than Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch for the rest of the year, with 31 percent undecided. This compares to a 47 - 29 percent vote for Paterson March 3.

Paterson and the State Legislature will not be able to work together on a state budget, voters say 64 - 26 percent.

"By more than a 2-1 margin, voters have a bad feeling about the outcome of Albany's historically tortuous budget negotiations," Carroll said. "We didn't even bother to ask about the prospects of getting a budget by the April 1 deadline."

New York State voters say 47 - 43 percent that the State Constitution should be amended so the Governor can name a Lt. Governor when that position becomes vacant.

From March 3 - 4, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,325 New York State registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 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              21%    20%    21%    24%    22%    20%    20%    32%
Disapprove           61     67     60     61     64     59     65     43
DK/NA                18     13     19     15     14     21     15     25
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Approve              20%    20%    20%    21%    23%
Disapprove           74     61     63     58     63
DK/NA                 6     19     17     21     15
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way David Paterson is handling his job as Governor?
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Mar 5   Mar 3   Feb 3   Dec 15  Aug 6   Mar 5   Mar 3
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2008    2010    2010
Approve              21      24      37      40      64      21      24
Disapprove           61      62      54      49      14      61      62
DK/NA                18      15       8      11      22      18      15
 
 
2. 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      46%    46%    47%    48%    47%    45%    44%    55%
Resign               42     43     44     41     44     40     44     36
DK/NA                12     11      9     10      9     15     11      9
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Serve full term      56%    44%    46%    49%    41%
Resign               38     41     41     38     51
DK/NA                 6     14     13     13      9
 
TREND: Do you think Governor Paterson should serve his full term until December 31 or should he resign?
                     Mar 5   Mar 3
                     2010    2010
Serve full term      46      61
Resign               42      31
DK/NA                12       9
 
 
3. 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             37%    33%    36%    41%    39%    35%    35%    51%
Ravitch              32     33     33     29     35     29     32     26
DK/NA                31     34     30     30     26     37     33     23
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Paterson             42%    36%    37%    39%    33%
Ravitch              21     27     26     32     41
DK/NA                36     37     37     29     26
 
TREND: Who do you think would more effectively govern New York state until December 31 - David Paterson or Richard Ravitch?
                     Mar 5   Mar 3
                     2010    2010
Paterson             37      47
Ravitch              32      29
DK/NA                31      23
 
 
4. Do you think that Governor Paterson and the state legislature will be able to effectively work together on the New York state budget or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Yes                  26%    25%    28%    24%    24%    28%    22%    47%
No                   64     65     58     72     70     59     69     40
DK/NA                10     10     13      4      6     12      9     12
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Yes                  20%    19%    19%    36%    24%
No                   68     72     72     54     67
DK/NA                12      9      9     11      8
 
 
5. Do you think the state constitution should be amended so the governor can name a lieutenant governor when that position is vacant?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
Yes                  47%    41%    49%    52%    48%    45%    43%    57%
No                   43     50     41     37     45     41     46     32
DK/NA                10      9     10     10      6     14     11     11
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Yes                  42%    43%    43%    53%    44%
No                   49     48     48     34     46
DK/NA                10      8      9     13     10
 
TREND: Do you think the state constitution should be amended so the governor can name a lieutenant governor when that position is vacant?
                     Mar 5   Aug 18
                     2010    2009
Yes                  47      54
No                   43      37
DK/NA                10       9