Cuomo has a 32 percent lead over the Republican candidate, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, according to the Siena College Poll released Monday. That's down 5 points after three weeks of massive news coverage of federal allegations that Cuomo interfered with the work of the Moreland Commission, a panel he set up to investigate public corruption. Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, has launched an investigation.
"Albany insiders and political junkies are certainly talking lots about Moreland, Bharara, investigations, and the like, but most New York voters are spending their summer not following any of that news," said Steven Greenberg, an analyst with the poll. "Voters see corruption as a serious problem but not one they pay a lot of attention to."
Respondents ranked public corruption fourth in problems facing the state after jobs, taxes and education. Republicans put taxes and corruption at the top.
More than two-thirds, 67 percent, said they did not know much about the Moreland Commission, and 64 percent said they did not know much about the investigation. Asked if Cuomo or his aides might face criminal charges, 13 percent said yes, 16 percent that their actions were inappropriate but not criminal, and 63 percent that they did not know enough about the investigation to have an opinion.
The poll found Cuomo's favorability rating has dipped to 57-36 from 61-35 last month. His job performance rating is 44-55, down from 50-49.
With Astorino, the largest group, 57 percent, said they do not know enough about him to have an opinion.
"Democrat Cuomo continues to have a commanding lead over Republican Astorino, although it is down slightly from last month," Greenberg said. "Cuomo has the support of more than three-quarters of Democrats, more than half of independents and one-third of Republicans."
Siena interviewed 863 registered voters between Aug. 4 and Aug. 7 by telephone. The margin of error is 3.3 points.