New York voters are profoundly pessimistic about the state economy, worried that they or someone in their household will be laid off in the coming year, and convinced that Albany is rife with corruption.
But in the race for governor, they are rallying not around the gruff outsider who has promised to take a baseball bat to Albany, but around an insider who has spent much of his adult life working in government: Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo.
A New York Times poll found that Mr. Cuomo had opened a big lead over Carl P. Paladino, drawing 59 percent of likely voters, to his Republican rival’s 24 percent.
New Yorkers’ embrace of Mr. Cuomo stands in vivid contrast to many races around the country, where establishment candidates face steep climbs to re-election, and insurgents backed by Tea Party activists appear poised to win a significant number of seats in Congress.
Mr. Cuomo’s popularity appears to be fueled in part by widespread doubts about Mr. Paladino’s temperament and qualifications.
Some 59 percent of voters in the poll said that Mr. Paladino did not have the right temperament and personality to be a good governor, while 55 percent said that Mr. Paladino, a novice candidate who made millions as a real estate developer, did not have the right kind of experience.
Only 11 percent of voters in the poll had a favorable view of Mr. Paladino.
And when asked what comes to mind when they hear his name, voters who were surveyed offered a collection of negative personality traits, like “angry,” “bigoted” or “obnoxious.”
“I’ve been reading about a lot of things he said and watching his ads, and he seems very angry,” Michelle Sullivan, 52, a homemaker from Auburn who described herself as an independent, said in a follow-up interview. “We’re all upset in New York State with the way it’s been run, but I don’t think it’s a good thing for a candidate to be that angry. He’s scary-angry, actually.”
Mr. Paladino’s standing in the poll may have been affected by its timing; it surveyed 1,139 adults from Oct. 10 through Oct. 15, as Mr. Paladino was being widely criticized for expressing disgust with gay pride parades and commenting that children should not be taught that homosexuality was acceptable. Earlier public polls showed Mr. Cuomo leading by smaller margins.
Of the Times poll’s respondents, 943 said they were registered to vote.
The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points, both for all respondents and for voters.
(Read More: NY Times)