According to a recent Siena College Research Institute poll, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is leading his Republican challenger Paul Rodriguez by 24 points, among likely state voters.
The October 18 poll shows DiNapoli leading with 54 percent of the vote to Rodriguez’s 30 percent. Siena found that 21 percent of likely voters have a favorable view of Comptroller DiNapoli, while 8 percent of likely voters have a favorable view of Rodriguez. Fifteen percent of likely voters said they did not know who they would vote for in the state comptroller race.
DiNapoli has served as New York state comptroller since 2007 and as a Long Island assemblyman for 20 years before that.
Sixty-six percent of voters do not know who DiNapoli is, while 86 percent of voters do not know who Rodriguez is.
Independent voters say they would vote for DiNapoli by a margin of 44-32 percent, while those with a moderate political view support DiNapoli over Rodriguez 62-18 percent.
Rodriguez has the support of 67 percent of Republican voters as well as 67 percent of voters who identify as conservative.
The poll of 707 likely voters was conducted October 12 -14 and has an overall margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.
Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said Rodriguez — along with the Republican candidates for state attorney general, Michael Henry, and U.S. Senate, Joe Pinion — have been struggling with name recognition in this midterm election cycle, where resources are being steered toward tight congressional and state legislative contests.
“Pinion, Henry and Rodriguez all face similar challenges: they remain unknown to the vast majority of voters, they are underfunded and they are running against incumbents who have won a combined eight statewide races,” Greenberg said.
DiNapoli has received several major endorsements from notable labor unions such as the New York State AFL-CIO; CSEA; 1199SEIU; and The Public Employees Federation – some of the largest public employee unions in New York state.
DiNapoli has fought to protect the public from abuse by holding elected officials and taxing entities accountable for years, helping to introduce legislation such as the Local Government Ethics Bill — A.7477 sponsored by Assemblyman Fred Thiele — which would prohibit elected officials from acting in ways that reflect personal interest, such as nepotism. More legislation introduced by, and endorsed by DiNapoli from previous legislative session can be found here.
Rodriguez vows to combat the “culture of corruption” in New York state government, a problem he says can arise from one-party rule. The Republican challenger has criticized DiNapoli’s willingness to divest part of the state retirement fund — which the comptroller manages — from fossil fuel companies and other controversial investments “as a political tool to … promote social agendas.” Rodriguez also said he would take a more proactive role in the often-secretive budget process to expose “harmful policies and wasteful spending” before any budget is passed by the Legislature and governor.
A full list of Rodriguez’s priorities can be found on his website.
DiNapoli and Rodriguez debated on Wednesday, October 19. A recording of the debate can be seen here, courtesy of Spectrum News.