Q Poll: Cuomo holds strong lead against Nixon, Molinaro

Photo by Mike Groll, courtesy of the Governor’s Office

A new poll shows that Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds a strong lead in both the primary and general elections as he seeks a third term as governor this fall.

A Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday finds that Cuomo would beat Democratic challenger Cynthia Nixon in a primary by 50-to-28 percent.

However, it’s important to note that 22 percent of registered Democrats either don’t know or don’t have an opinion about whether they would vote for Nixon or Cuomo in the primary.

In a general election, matched up only against presumptive Republican challenger Marc Molinaro, Cuomo would beat the Dutchess County executive 57-to-26 percent.

In a hypothetical matchup between Molinaro and Cuomo, and if the election were held today, Cuomo leads with 44 percent upstate, 70 percent in New York City, and 56 percent in the suburbs.

Cuomo also leads Molinaro in almost every demographic, including women, men, young and old voters, and party affiliation, except among Republicans who support Molinaro 72-to-17 percent.

Things get more interesting when pollsters asked registered voters about a three-way race in November, should Nixon win the Working Families Party endorsement and remain on the ballot following the September primaries.

Cuomo still leads under that scenario, but his support drops to 40 percent, with 23 percent for Molinaro and 20 percent for Nixon.

“Actress Cynthia Nixon is a nuisance to Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he seeks a third term,
but at this stage she is not running strong enough to make either the Democratic Primary or
General Election challenge successful,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac
University Poll. “Only half the electorate knows her. And in a three-way race that includes
Republican Marc Molinaro, Gov. Cuomo does about as well as his two challengers combined.”

The poll of 1,076 registered voters was conducted between April 26 and May 1 and it has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points. For the breakout poll of registered Democrats, 473 Democrats were polled and that has a margin of error of 5.7 percent.

The poll found that, among registered Democrats, 59 percent of those with a “moderate” political ideology would vote for Cuomo and 49 percent of those in the “liberal” wing would vote for Nixon.

The governor also leads among young voters 43-to-34 percent.

The poll found Cuomo beating Nixon 50-to-28 percent statewide with 50 percent of the upstate vote, 53 percent in New York City and 42 percent in suburban counties — Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester.

In a three-way election Cuomo would drop to 40 percent, with 23 percent for Molinaro and 20 percent for Nixon. Cuomo would also win among independent voters with 31 percent for Cuomo, 22 percent for Molinaro and 26 percent for Nixon.

Breaking down the numbers by region, Cuomo would lose to Molinaro 35-to-33 percent upstate, but would win with 50 percent of the vote in New York City, compared to Molinaro at 12 percent and Nixon at 36 percent.

The poll found Cuomo’s current job approval rating to be 54-to-39 percent, his highest approval rating since 58-to-32 percent in 2014. Voters also give Cuomo a favorability rating of 49-to-41 percent.