March 10, 2010 - Gov. Paterson's Plunge Bottoms Out, Quinnipiac University New York State Poll Finds; 50 Percent Of Voters Want Governor To Finish Term

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New York State Gov. David Paterson's plunge in approval rating has bottomed out as voters disapprove 61 - 21 percent of the job he is doing, identical to results from March 5, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Another 17 percent are undecided.

Voters say 50 - 39 percent that Gov. Paterson should serve until the end of his term on December 31 rather than resign, with 11 percent undecided, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Support for Paterson dropped dramatically in 48 hours last week: Voters said 61 - 31 percent March 3 that he should complete his term rather than resign. By March 5, support for him to complete the term was 46 - 42 percent.

Paterson's 21 percent approval is one of the lowest ever measured for any elected official in any state surveyed by Quinnipiac University in 18 years.

In this latest survey, black voters disapprove 40 - 35 percent of the job Paterson is doing, but say 70 - 24 percent that he should complete his term. White voters disapprove 67 - 18 percent and say 45 - 41 percent that he should serve until December 31.

"When the headlines die down, Gov. David Paterson's poll numbers level off," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Could the Governor's job approval go any lower, we wondered when it hit bottom five days ago. New Yorkers left it right where it was, at the lowest ever.

"It's hardly a vote of confidence, but the should-he-stay or should-he-go number edged up a trifle in the Governor's favor."

New York State voters say 45 - 27 percent that Paterson would do a better job than Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch governing the state for the rest of the year, with 28 percent undecided. This compares to a 37 - 32 percent vote for Paterson March 5.

Ravitch gets a 12 - 6 percent favorability rating, but 80 percent of voters don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

"Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch's four-year borrow-to-balance plan was panned by top officials, but it's doubtful that the public noticed. He's still all but invisible in the polls," Carroll said. "The fact that they know little or nothing about Ravitch could be why many voters do not want Paterson to resign."

Paterson and the State Legislature will not be able to work together on a state budget, voters say 59 - 30 percent, an improvement on the 64 - 26 percent pessimism March 5.

From March 5 - 8, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,454 New York State registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 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%    19%    24%    21%    22%    21%    18%    35%
Disapprove           61     68     59     60     61     62     67     40
DK/NA                17     13     17     19     17     17     15     25
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Approve              18%    20%    20%    25%    18%
Disapprove           64     67     67     54     64
DK/NA                18     12     13     22     18
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way David Paterson is handling his job as Governor? (*Low also 21% Mar 5 2010)
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Mar 10  Mar 5   Mar 3   Feb 3   Aug 6   Mar 10  Mar 3
                     2010    2010    2010    2010    2008    2010    2010
Approve              21      21      24      37      64      21      24
Disapprove           61      61      62      54      14      61      62
DK/NA                17      18      15       8      22      17      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 term           50%    45%    54%    49%    51%    49%    45%    70%
Resign               39     48     35     38     37     41     41     24
DK/NA                11      8     11     13     12     11     13      6
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Serve term           42%    47%    46%    52%    53%
Resign               50     38     40     39     36
DK/NA                 8     15     14      9     11
 
TREND: Do you think Governor Paterson should serve his full term until December 31 or should he resign?
                     Mar 10  Mar 5   Mar 3
                     2010    2010    2010
Serve full term      50      46      61
Resign               39      42      31
DK/NA                11      12       9
 
 
3. 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%    14%    15%     9%    15%    10%    11%    13%
Unfavorable           6      5      7      6      9      4      6      9
Hvn't hrd enough     80     81     77     83     75     85     83     76
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      1      1      1      2
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Favorable             5%     7%     6%    18%    13%
Unfavorable           6      4      4      9      5
Hvn't hrd enough     88     89     89     71     81
REFUSED               -      1      1      2      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Richard Ravitch favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Mar 10  Mar 3
                     2010    2010
Favorable            12      12
Unfavorable           6       9
Hvn't hrd enough     80      78
REFUSED               1       1
 
 
4. 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             45%    36%    54%    42%    47%    43%    39%    78%
Ravitch              27     37     23     27     24     29     31     12
DK/NA                28     27     24     31     29     27     30     10
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Paterson             32%    41%    39%    50%    47%
Ravitch              36     25     27     28     25
DK/NA                32     34     34     22     28
 
TREND: Who do you think would more effectively govern New York state until December 31, David Paterson or Richard Ravitch?
                     Mar 10  Mar 5   Mar 3
                     2010    2010    2010
Paterson             45      37      47
Ravitch              27      32      29
DK/NA                28      31      23
 
 
5. 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                  30%    23%    41%    26%    29%    32%    23%    56%
No                   59     67     48     65     64     55     67     36
DK/NA                10     10     11     10      8     13     10      8
 
                     UpState.....  UpState
                     Urban  Othr   Total  NYC    Sub
Yes                  24%    22%    22%    38%    33%
No                   72     66     67     49     60
DK/NA                 4     12     11     13      7
 
TREND: 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?
                     Mar 10  Mar 5
                     2010    2010
Yes                  30      26
No                   59      64
DK/NA                10      10