- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A plurality of voters in New York say Gov. Andrew Cuomo is part of the problem when it comes to state government corruption, but recent developments over his office’s involvement in a now-shuttered ethics commission isn’t hurting his re-election chances at this point.

Eighty-three percent of voters say government corruption in New York is at least a somewhat serious problem, with 48 percent saying Mr. Cuomo is part of the problem and 41 percent saying he’s part of the solution, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday.

But Mr. Cuomo leads Republican Rob Astorino 56 percent to 28 percent in his bid for re-election — virtually identical to numbers in April. Sizable majorities approve of the job Mr. Cuomo is doing and say he deserves re-election.

Many voters still don’t know about Mr. Cuomo’s opponents. Fifty-one percent don’t know enough about Mr. Astorino to form an opinion, and about nine in 10 voters haven’t heard of either Zephyr Teachout — who is challenging Mr. Cuomo in the Democratic primary — or Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins.

Prosecutors are looking into whether Mr. Cuomo’s staff improperly interfered with the Moreland Commission, a task force launched by Mr. Cuomo himself under the auspices of weeding out government corruption. Mr. Cuomo has denied any impropriety and has said that aides never exerted undue influence on the panel.

“Voters who know about it say overwhelmingly it was a political deal, not good government, when Cuomo killed the Moreland investigating commission. More than one-third of voters also think that the governor’s office interfered with the commission,” said Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll. “But unlike politicians and pundits, voters aren’t giving it a lot of thought.”

The survey of 1,034 New York state voters taken from August 14-17 has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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