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New Yorkers to Paladino in New Poll: Take a Hike

October 29, 2010


GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Bad news for Carl Paladino in downstate New York.

The Wall Street Journal just came out with the results of its latest poll indicating New York City voters are none too pleased with the controversial “mad-as-hell” gubernatorial candidate.

Crazy Carl won’t be happy about this…

Thanks to a friend for bringing this story to our attention. Here is the substance from the Journal:

A poll commissioned by The Wall Street Journal shows registered voters in the city overwhelmingly prefer Democrat Andrew Cuomo to be the state’s next governor, with 53% saying they have a negative impression of his opponent, the Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino.

By a margin of 73% to 12%, city voters said they would back Mr. Cuomo, the state’s attorney general. The poll showed 52% of city voters have a positive impression of Mr. Cuomo, compared with 12% who have a positive impression of his Republican opponent.

While Democrats outnumber Republicans by 6-to-1 in New York City, GOP candidates have at times fared well—most notably, candidates running on the Republican line have won the past five mayoral elections.

On the national level, the poll showed New York City remains a bastion of strong Democratic support.

City voters approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance by a margin of 63% to 27%. Mr. Obama’s support nationwide is much weaker, with 47% approving and 49% disapproving of his job performance in a poll this month conducted for NBC and the Journal.

By a margin of 68% to 22%, city voters said they hope Democrats remain in control of Congress following Tuesday’s election. Nationwide, only 46% of voters prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress.

In the city, 15% of voters identified themselves as tea-party supporters, compared with 30% of voters nationwide.

City voters’ strong negative feelings for Mr. Paladino—at a time when the GOP is surging in a large swath of the country—underscores the weakness of the Republican bench in New York, political observers say.

“In New York State, the Republican Party is seen as a bad joke, totally leaderless and without candidates who can win,” former Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat who endorses candidates on both sides of the aisle, wrote in his weekly commentary.

Mr. Paladino “has disgraced the Republicans with his antics and ridiculous statements,” he wrote.

Michael Caputo, Mr. Paladino’s campaign manager, questioned the Journal’s poll results, saying polling throughout the campaign has been off.

“Cuomo would have to far outperform expectations in New York City to offset an inevitable record-breaking midyear turnout in Western New York,” he said.

Mr. Caputo predicted Mr. Paladino would “do well” in Queens and Staten Island. Manhattan “won’t be unanimous for Cuomo by any means,” he said.

“This is still a race—even in New York City,” Mr. Caputo said.

But the poll shows anemic support for Mr. Paladino in the five boroughs, which account for 37.7% of the state’s registered voters. “In New York City, clearly, Paladino has created a special group of people who hate him,” said Peter D. Hart, a Democratic pollster who worked on the Journal’s survey.

The poll shows Mr. Cuomo thumping Mr. Paladino in the city regardless of the gender, race, age or income of the voter. Mr. Cuomo picked up 30% of registered city Republicans and 51% of voters who consider themselves conservative, the poll showed.

According to the poll, 82% of Manhattan voters back Mr. Cuomo, compared with 4% for Mr. Paladino. Mr. Paladino performed best in Queens, where he picked up 20% of the vote. (The sample size was too small in Staten Island for it to be statistically significant.)

One participant in the poll, Neil Rossman, a 73-year-old retired philosophy instructor who lives in Queens, called Mr. Paladino a “disgrace.”

“He sent pornographic material. He’s got a hair-string temper,” Mr. Rossman said. “There’s an aggressiveness about him that is just not appropriate for the political realm.”

Mr. Paladino has apologized for forwarding pornographic emails, and in the candidates’ only debate, he said his critics have mistakenly pigeonholed him as angry. “I am passionate about saving New York,” he said during the debate.

Last month, Mr. Paladino may have fatally damaged his reputation with New Yorkers when he cavalierly dismissed three-fifths of the boroughs during a stump speech in Steuben County.

Queens and Staten Island are “just like us,” said Mr. Paladino, referring to Republicans.

“That leaves Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn—and they can have them,” Mr. Paladino said. “First, you can’t get around down there, and secondly, there aren’t many Republicans.”

The governor’s seat is open this year because Gov. David Paterson, a Democrat, opted not to run for election amid a swirl of ethical allegations. Mr. Paterson succeeded Democrat Eliot Spitzer, who resigned in March 2008 following revelations he patronized prostitutes.

The Journal’s poll shows 55% of city voters disapprove of Mr. Paterson’s job performance, compared with 26% who approve. Mr. Paterson, who lives in the city, is supporting Mr. Cuomo.

According to the poll, Democratic candidates’ dominance in New York City extends beyond the high-profile gubernatorial race.

Among city voters, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is leading his GOP challenger Jay Townsend, 71% to 14%. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed by Mr. Paterson and was seen as vulnerable this year, leads Republican former U.S. Rep. Joe DioGuardi by 55% to 18%.

As you know, we’ve been following Mr. Paladino for some time now.

We were one of the only local blogs to discuss Mr. Paladino’s condemnation of Brooklyn, which many fellow Republicans and GOP leaners found offensive.

Otherwise, there isn’t very much positive in this poll for Crazy Carl. There is a great deal of work to do to make this city confident in Republican candidacies. The respective chairs of the GOP in the Five Boroughs should take notice.

Meanwhile, we haven’t heard of the Brooklyn GOP leadership doing much of anything significant for Mr. Paladino. Moreover, besides a photo op, they have not genuinely supported Joe DioGuardi from what we’ve heard–and he isn’t shouting their endorsement from the rooftops anyway. Then again, besides a few establishment candidates, the Brooklyn GOP has been pretty bad at pushing anything at all for the past few years. No surprise there.

We shall see how the election results impact that perception. I doubt much will change. In fact, I expect things to get worse.

Some races are already looking Grimm–I mean, grim. 😉

Sorry, Mike–I couldn’t help myself. Don’t worry! I hear you’re doing well

As for the other races in Brooklyn, let’s say I have my reservations. I’ll have more on those later this weekend.

One Comment
  1. Young Republican permalink
    October 29, 2010 1:36 pm

    Check out this morning’s show on MSNBC “Morning Joe” Chuck Todd explains what is wrong with many state polling organizations in how they conduct polls the same way they have been doing it for decades without changing it to meet new changes within society (example many pollsters only call landlines when more and more New Yorkers are using only cell phones), and in some cases they can be up to 20% off target. Take the primary election for example, Paladino was behind in most polls, one poll had him neck and neck with Lazio, he ended up crushing Lazio by 26%, what does that tell you?

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