Thirty-seven percent of respondents to a Quinnipiac College poll said Pataki was most to blame. Second most culpable, respondents said, was state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver at 11 percent, followed by state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno at 10 percent.
Seventeen percent of respondents said all three legislators -- Pataki, Silver and Bruno -- were equally to blame.
The poll also found respondents thought the courts should handle the problem, not the state legislature, 47 percent to 43 percent.
The findings were based on a survey of 1,466 registered New York voters. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.