04 May, 2006

Pataki Takes Big Drop; Senate, Governor Races Remain Little Changed In Latest Siena Poll

I guess it must have been all of those vetoes. Something's changed in the relationship between New Yorkers and their governor, George Pataki, in the past couple of months.

Siena College released its latest political-trends poll for New York and Pataki went from a 53% to 40% "favorable" rating in March to 38%-55% rating this month.

The poll itself didn't really get into the "why" behind the drop, but the Director of Polling for the Siena Research Institute, Joe Caruso, offered some observations in the preamble to the poll results.

"Whether it's the result of his position on the budget, the constant drumbeat of negative commercials, or his increased visibility on the presidential campaign circuit, New Yorkers are liking George Pataki less and less. Even among Republicans, the governor has only a 49-45 percent favorability rating," Caruso said.


Sen. Hillary Clinton still holds leads of 20-plus points against her two Republican challengers, according to the Siena poll.

In one-on-one pairings, Clinton is ahead of former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer 58% to 33%. Two months ago she led Spencer 57% to 32%. Clinton leads former Reagan Administration official KT McFarland 59% to 31%. McFarland's race was just getting off the ground in March.

In the governor's race, Democratic front-runner Eliot Spitzer has widened his already-healthy lead over his two Republican opponents. He leads Bill Weld, the former Massachusetts governor, by 51 points and John Faso, the former state Assembly minority leader, by 47. In March, Spitzer led Weld by 43 points and Faso by 42. The poll shows Spitzer even leads the two among Republican voters.

The biggest problem for the Republicans in both races? Name recognition. About three-fourths of those questioned held no opinion of any of the four GOP candidates in the two races.

For whatever reason the folks at Sienna have ignored Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, the Democratic challenger to Spitzer. Suozzi is not mentioned in this poll.


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