ALBANY - They are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the state. They are losing confidence in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
In fact, their view of the capital is so bleak that they would not mind banishing all of the state’s elected officials from Albany and starting anew.
In a year dominated by high-profile corruption cases, many New York state voters have a dismal outlook on their state government, a poll released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University shows.
So far this year, the leaders of both houses of the Legislature have been arrested on federal corruption charges. Both subsequently gave up their leadership posts, and those scandals, building on others in recent years, appear to be taking a toll on voters’ perceptions of their government.
The poll found that 58 percent of voters were somewhat or very dissatisfied with the way things are going in the state.
Only 44 percent of voters approved of the way Cuomo, a Democrat, is handling his job, compared with 42 percent who disapproved, the poll found.
That was his lowest approval rating in a Quinnipiac poll during his 4 1/2 years as governor - down from 50 percent in a poll in March, and a long way from his high point, 74 percent, in December 2012.
Though not part of either legislative corruption case, Cuomo has faced scrutiny himself from federal prosecutors investigating the closing of the Moreland Commission, an anticorruption panel that the governor disbanded last year as part of a budget deal with lawmakers.
In the new poll, only 33 percent of voters approved of the way the governor is handling ethics in government, compared with 53 percent who disapproved. Regarding Albany’s ethical woes, 52 percent said Cuomo was part of the problem; 32 percent deemed him part of the solution.
“There have been no charges of corruption leveled against the governor or anyone in his administration, but when the stench gets this bad, everyone starts to smell,” said Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
The poll, conducted by telephone of 1,229 voters from May 28 to June 1, had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The Legislature, home to this year’s headline-grabbing corruption cases, also did not get high marks in the poll. Only 26 percent approved of the way the Legislature is handling its job; 60 percent disapproved. Voters were, however, more satisfied with the work of their own senator and Assembly member.
A stark depiction of voters’ frustration came when pollsters asked whether voters believed that state elected officials were capable of ending corruption in Albany, or whether all current elected officials should be voted out of office “so new officials can start with a clean slate.”
By a 2-to-1 ratio, voters were eager to clean house: Fifty-five percent picked that option, compared with 28 percent who believed the current elected officials were capable of extinguishing corruption.
One official who fared better was Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose office brought the cases against the two legislative leaders, Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, and Sen. Dean G. Skelos, a Republican.
Silver’s lawyers argued that Bharara had prejudiced their client’s case by orchestrating a “media firestorm,” and a federal judge cautioned Bharara over his public comments.
But only 5 percent of voters said Bharara had gone too far in investigating corruption in state government.