April 4, 2012 - Cuomo Is A Beauty, Despite 'Big Ugly' Beast, New York State Voters Tell Quinnipiac University Poll; Voters Back Minimum Wage Hike Almost 4-1

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Despite serious concerns about the so-called "Big Ugly" agreement last month in Albany, New York State voters approve 68 - 19 percent of the job Gov. Andrew Cuomo is doing, continuing his year-long string of +60 approval ratings and brushing up against his all-time high 69 - 19 percent job score in February, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Gov. Cuomo wins approval ratings of 67 - 24 percent among Republicans, 67 - 20 percent among Democrats and 73 - 14 percent among independent voters, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Black voters, who approve 58 - 24 percent, are the only group below 62 percent.

Even voters in union households approve 62 - 25 percent.

But New York State voters say 55 - 30 percent that "closed-door negotiations" were not needed to achieve the major policy Cuomo and legislative leaders negotiated last month. No group believes the secrecy was necessary.

A total of 76 percent of voters say "the lack of transparency surrounding these major policy deals is a very serious or somewhat serious problem."

"Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and New York voters say Gov. Andrew Cuomo has done a beautiful job so far," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "But if voters liked the result, they weren't happy with the process, the so-called 'Big Ugly' deal where Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders worked out an agreement on pensions, legislative redistricting, casino gambling, DNA and whatever else they needed to resolve.

"Was the time honored - or dishonored - Albany practice of three-men-in-a-room the only practical way to get a deal? Most voters don't think so. How about the lack of transparency - a big problem, three-fourth of voters think."

"OK, Governor, enough for the bad news. Cuomo continues to chalk up awesome job- approval numbers," Carroll added.

A total of 68 percent of New York State voters also say its' a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" problem that new legislative district lines were not created by an independent commission. There are similar results from every group in the survey.

"Those district lines the State Legislature drew for itself? A big NO from the voters," Carroll said.

Looking at Cuomo's claim that he is so flexible he should be called "Gumby," 42 percent of New York State voters agree, while 35 percent say he is "rigid and uncompromising."

Voting for "Gov. Gumby" are Democrats 45 - 31 percent and independent voters 46 - 33 percent, while Republicans say rigid 45 - 37 percent. Men say flexible 48 - 34 percent while women are divided 37 - 36 percent. Voters in union households say rigid 45 - 37 percent.

Minimum Wage

New York State voters support 78 - 20 percent raising the $7.25 per hour minimum wage, with no specific target offered in the question. Support is 53 - 43 percent among Republicans, 91 - 7 percent among Democrats and 76 - 21 percent among independent voters.

Among those who support raising the minimum wage, 37 percent of voters support raising it to $8.50 per hour, with 52 percent who support an even higher minimum wage and 8 percent who want less than $8.50 per hour.

Combined results for the two questions among all New York State voters show:
  • 29 percent of voters support an $8.50 per hour minimum wage;
  • 6 percent support a raise, but not as high as $8.50;
  • 41 percent support a raise higher than $8.50;
  • 20 percent oppose any increase.
Small businesses will not reduce the number of people they hire if the minimum wage is increased, voters say 51 - 41 percent.

From March 28 - April 2, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,597 New York State voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia and the nation 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.

8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Andrew Cuomo is handling his job as Governor?
                                                                           Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk  HsHld
 
Approve              68%    67%    67%    73%    71%    65%    72%    58%    62%
Disapprove           19     24     20     14     18     21     17     24     25
DK/NA                13      9     13     14     12     14     11     18     13
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              75%    64%    66%    66%    67%    75%    59%    68%    73%
Disapprove           15     22     20     22     22     17     23     22     16
DK/NA                10     15     14     12     11      9     18     10     12
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Approve              65%    72%    67%
Disapprove           22     17     18
DK/NA                14     10     15
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Andrew Cuomo is handling his job as Governor?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Apr 04  Feb 15  Dec 20  Oct 26  Sep 20  Feb 15  Feb 23
                     2012    2012    2011    2011    2011    2012    2011
                             
Approve              68      69      68      65      66      69      56
Disapprove           19      19      17      19      17      19      15
DK/NA                13      12      15      15      17      12      29 
 
 
12. Governor Andrew Cuomo and the leaders of the Senate Republican and Assembly Democratic majorities are being criticized for secrecy in negotiating major policy deals, then quickly voting at night on the measures. Do you think these closed-door negotiations were necessary to achieve major policy deals or not?
                                                                           Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk  HsHld
 
Yes                  30%    27%    32%    30%    33%    26%    30%    29%    30%
No                   55     61     49     58     56     54     56     53     59
DK/NA                15     12     19     12     11     19     14     18     11
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes                  36%    26%    23%    24%    33%    39%    34%    32%    26%
No                   47     60     62     61     54     48     51     54     58
DK/NA                17     14     15     15     13     13     16     14     16
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Yes                  25%    33%    32%
No                   63     48     53
DK/NA                12     19     15
 
 
13. Do you think the lack of transparency surrounding these major policy deals is a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, a not too serious problem, or not a problem at all?
                                                                           Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk  HsHld
 
Very serious         40%    45%    35%    43%    42%    39%    41%    35%    44%
Somewhat serious     36     35     37     34     34     37     37     35     36
Not too serious      12      8     13     15     12     13     12     12     11
Not a problem         6      8      7      6      9      4      6      7      5
DK/NA                 6      5      8      2      4      7      5     10      4
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Very serious         35%    43%    39%    48%    43%    37%    37%    40%    43%
Somewhat serious     37     35     37     34     35     36     45     33     33
Not too serious      16     10      8     12     14     14     11     13     12
Not a problem         5      7      8      3      5      9      3     10      6
DK/NA                 6      5      8      4      2      5      4      4      6
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Very serious         44%    37%    40%
Somewhat serious     35     35     37
Not too serious      11     14     12
Not a problem         6      7      6
DK/NA                 4      7      5
 
 
14. Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders are being criticized for agreeing to new legislative district lines that weren't created by an independent commission. How serious a problem do you think it is that these new district lines weren't created by an independent commission; a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, a not too serious problem, or not a problem at all?
                                                                           Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk  HsHld
 
Very serious         29%    35%    30%    26%    29%    30%    29%    37%    35%
Somewhat serious     39     40     39     39     39     39     42     30     37
Not too serious      16     10     18     17     17     16     14     19     13
Not a problem         7      7      6      8     10      4      8      5      8
DK/NA                 9      8      8      9      5     12      7      9      7
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Very serious         32%    28%    28%    35%    31%    30%    19%    29%    36%
Somewhat serious     39     39     36     35     40     42     47     39     36
Not too serious      16     16     16     18     16     18     22     16     14
Not a problem         6      7      6      4      7      7      5      7      7
DK/NA                 7     10     15      8      6      3      6      9      7
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Very serious         27%    29%    33%
Somewhat serious     43     36     37
Not too serious      15     18     15
Not a problem         7      8      5
DK/NA                 8      8     10
 
 
15. Governor Cuomo said he is so flexible he should be called 'Gumby.' Do you believe Cuomo is a compromiser who is flexible like Gumby, or is he rigid and uncompromising?
                                                                           Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk  HsHld
 
Flexible/Gumby       42%    37%    45%    46%    48%    37%    43%    40%    37%
Rigid/Uncompromising 35     45     31     33     34     36     36     35     45
DK/NA                23     18     24     21     18     27     21     25     18
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Flexible/Gumby       44%    41%    36%    40%    42%    51%    47%    41%    41%
Rigid/Uncompromising 32     37     34     42     38     33     31     40     35
DK/NA                24     22     31     18     20     16     21     19     25
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Flexible/Gumby       39%    46%    42%
Rigid/Uncompromising 40     30     36
DK/NA                22     24     22
 
 
16. Would you support or oppose raising the minimum wage in New York State, which is now $7.25 an hour?
                                                                           Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk  HsHld
 
Support              78%    53%    91%    76%    72%    83%    73%    91%    81%
Oppose               20     43      7     21     25     14     24      8     16
DK/NA                 3      4      2      3      2      3      3      1      2
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              76%    79%    84%    79%    77%    74%    78%    79%    77%
Oppose               21     19     14     19     21     24     22     19     19
DK/NA                 3      2      3      2      2      2      -      2      4
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Support              75%    82%    76%
Oppose               23     16     21
DK/NA                 2      2      3
 
 
17. (If support q16) Do you think that the minimum wage should be $8.50 an hour, should be less than $8.50 an hour, or should be more than $8.50 an hour?
                     SUPPORT INCREASE Q16.......................................
                                                                           Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk  HsHld
 
Exactly $8.50        37%    54%    33%    38%    36%    38%    44%    19%    38%
Less than $8.50       8     12      4      9      8      8     10      2      6
More than $8.50      52     33     61     48     52     52     42     79     55
DK/NA                 3      1      1      4      4      2      4      -      1
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Exactly $8.50        38%    37%    35%    32%    35%    44%    37%    37%    39%
Less than $8.50       8      8     10     10      6      7      8      5     10
More than $8.50      49     54     54     57     57     46     53     56     48
DK/NA                 4      2      2      1      2      3      2      2      3
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Exactly $8.50        44%    27%    44%
Less than $8.50      12      5      7
More than $8.50      42     65     48
DK/NA                 3      3      1
 
 
17a. (COMBINED Q16 & Q17)Would you support or oppose raising the minimum wage in New York State, which is now $7.25 an hour? IF SUPPORT: Do you think that the minimum wage should be $8.50 an hour, should be less than $8.50 an hour, or should be more than $8.50 an hour?
                                                                           Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk  HsHld
 
Increase to $8.50    29%    29%    30%    29%    26%    31%    32%    17%    31%
Increase < $8.50      6      6      4      7      6      7      7      2      4
Increase > $8.50     41     18     56     37     38     43     30     72     45
Oppose increase      20     43      7     21     25     14     24      8     16
DK/NA                 5      4      3      6      5      5      6      1      4
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Increase to $8.50    29%    29%    29%    25%    27%    32%    29%    29%    30%
Increase < $8.50      6      6      8      8      4      5      6      4      8
Increase > $8.50     38     42     45     45     44     34     41     44     37
Oppose increase      21     19     14     19     21     24     22     19     19
DK/NA                 6      4      4      2      4      5      1      4      6
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Increase to $8.50    33%    22%    33%
Increase < $8.50      9      4      5
Increase > $8.50     31     53     37
Oppose increase      23     16     21
DK/NA                 5      5      4
 
 
18. Do you think small businesses will reduce the number of people they hire if the minimum wage is raised, or don't you think so?
                                                                           Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk  HsHld
 
Yes                  41%    59%    30%    44%    42%    40%    42%    47%    35%
No                   51     34     63     47     53     49     50     48     57
DK/NA                 8      7      7      9      5     11      8      5      8
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes                  35%    46%    50%    39%    42%    36%    49%    40%    40%
No                   58     46     44     52     52     58     46     53     52
DK/NA                 7      8      7      8      6      6      5      7      8
 
                     UpStat NYC    Sub
 
Yes                  45%    39%    39%
No                   47     54     53
DK/NA                 8      7      9
 
 

Demographic Summary