MTA crisis weighs on governor’s approval rating, Q-poll shows

Legislative Gazette photo by Katelyn Cordero
A recent poll shows that delays, derailments and other public transportation problems involving the MTA are weighing on the governor’s popularity among voters.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing near record low approval ratings, according to a new poll by Quinnipiac University.

The poll finds that that 46 percent of New Yorkers currently approve of the way Cuomo is handling his job as governor while 38 percent disapprove. This is Cuomo’s lowest rating since September 2015 when Quinnipiac reported his all-time lowest score: a 43-to-43 percent split.

The low score comes in the midst of the so-called “summer of hell.” Transit issues have plagued the Metropolitan Transportation Authority this summer. There have been constant subway delays and trains have been repeatedly delayed by emergency work at Penn Station.

The transit problems are certainly impacting Cuomo’s approval ratings. Quinnipiac found that 26 percent of voters gave Cuomo a “C” for his handling of the Metropolitan Transit Authority while 15 percent gave him a “D” and 17 percent gave him an “F”. Just 4 percent polled gave Cuomo an “A” for handling the transit issues.

“One ticking time bomb for Gov. Cuomo is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority,” said Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “Voters don’t give the governor good marks on handling that. A couple more derailments or just overall weariness with traveling on the trains- could derail his political prospects.”

The poll also found that 54 percent of New York voters believe that Cuomo should become a national leader and challenge the policies of the Trump Administration but 55 percent of voters believe he should not run for president.

Even Democratic voters are currently split on Cuomo’s 2020 presidential ambitions with 50 percent saying that Cuomo should run and 43 percent saying he shouldn’t.

“Gov. Andrew Cuomo is hurting in Albany and New Yorkers say he should fuhgeddabout Washington,” said Carroll. “This might change – it almost certainly will – when the 2020 presidential year comes along. But for now his New York neighbors don’t think Gov. Cuomo would be a good president and they don’t want him to try for the job. He’s got a couple of years – and more Trumpian tweets – to change their minds.”

Although the majority of New York voters do not believe he should run for president, 51 percent believe that if he did it would be good for New York state.

Quinnipiac University conducted the poll from July 5-10 and surveyed 1,137 New York voters. The margin of error is 3.9 percentage points.