Cuomo Leads Paladino in New York Governor Race by 33 Points, Siena Says

New York’s Democratic candidate for governor, Andrew Cuomo, leads Republican Carl Paladino by 33 percentage points, according to a Siena Research Institute poll.

The lead for Cuomo, 52, contrasts with a Quinnipiac University survey published yesterday which showed him leading by 6 percentage points. The Siena survey covered registered voters while Quinnipiac polled registered voters who said they’re likely to cast a ballot.

Cuomo was backed by 57 percent of those surveyed, with 24 percent favoring Paladino and 8 percent for Rick Lazio, the Conservative Party candidate. Lazio said yesterday he hasn’t decided how vigorously he will campaign for governor. Republican gubernatorial candidates usually have Conservative Party backing.

“Voters see Cuomo as much stronger on issues, including the three issues voters most want the next governor to address - - jobs, state budget deficits and education,” Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement.

Paladino’s campaign manager, Michael Caputo, said this month that polls of likely voters were more accurate because they account for the enthusiasm of his supporters. Republican turnout in this year’s primaries exceeded Democrats’, indicating that “Democrats will suffer major losses” in the Nov. 2 election, according to an American University report.

‘Mad as Hell’

Paladino, 64, is a Buffalo real estate developer and Tea Party supporter. He won an upset victory in the Republican primary, beating Lazio, the candidate selected by party leaders. With an “I’m Mad as Hell” campaign slogan, he has promised to clean up Albany with “a baseball bat” and cut taxes by 10 percent and spending by 20 percent in his first year as governor.

The Tea Party movement, which opposes taxes and government spending, is viewed unfavorably by 49 percent of New Yorkers, and favorably by 34 percent, the poll said. Tea Party supporters favored Paladino over Cuomo by 53 percent to 23 percent with 14 percent for Lazio. Those with an unfavorable view of the Tea Party favored Cuomo over Paladino by 82 percent to 6 percent, the poll showed.

Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in New York by 5.79 million to 2.91 million, according to the Board of Elections.

In an August Siena poll, before the publicity surrounding Paladino’s win in the primary, Cuomo led Paladino by 56 percent to 14 percent, with 16 percent supporting Lazio as the Conservative Party candidate.

Campaign Promises

Cuomo, son and adviser to a former governor, has been attorney general since 2007, and is campaigning with promises to cut state spending. New York, the third-most populous state, faces an $8.2 billion budget gap next year, and the Legislature wasn’t able to agree on a plan to close this year’s $9.2 billion gap until four months after the fiscal year began April 1.

“Voters don’t think that Cuomo is too much of an Albany insider to effectively reform state government,” Greenberg said. “They also don’t believe that Paladino, coming from outside Albany, will be able to whip the Legislature into shape.”

Paladino says he represents a change from the “status Cuomo” in New York government and has called his rival “Prince Andrew” for his lineage.

The telephone survey of 801 registered voters on Sept. 16- 17 and 19-21 has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Quint in Albany, New York, at mquint@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net

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