New York Governor David Paterson has, in spite of himself, set a new record: his approval rating is the lowest in New York State gubernatorial history. A Quinnipiac University poll finds that only a rickety 28 percent of New Yorkers (and that may be even lower at this posting) approve of his job performance while a formidable 60 percent disapprove. A (I suspect) fatalistic 22 percent of voters think that he deserves a full four-year term, countered by a more hopeful 63 percent who wish to see the last of him very soon. The survey also finds that a dispirited 53 percent believe that Paterson should announce that he won’t run for the office.
The governor’s compatriots in the Democratic Party aren’t very supportive. Over 49 percent say that he should drop out of the race now, while the dropping out is good, and dispense with the political posturing. His declining popularity is startlingly evidenced by a Democratic primary match-up with another politico prize package: he trails Attorney General Andrew Cuomo 61 to 18 percent.
Governor Paterson offers the following explanation for his predicament: “Right now we have an historically high budget deficit. So it would follow that whoever is supervising it would have historically low poll numbers, because we have been equal opportunity offenders.” Considering the current depressed conditions and voter desperation, Paterson has a point…however pointless the attempt to excuse failure, at this point in our economic bewilderment.
In any event, New Yorkers are again faced with an all too familiar lesser of two evils situation: an Andrew Cuomo or Rudolph Giuliani (the self-styled hero of 9/11) as our next governor. Whoever wins will, of course, give us infuriated pause to consider the lesser of two evils all over again in four years.