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Cuomo favorability rating slips below 50 percent

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo comes to Buffalo Wednesday afternoon as a new poll is out with New Yorkers indicating their dimmest view of him since before he became governor.

Voters also expressed their lowest opinion of how Cuomo is performing his job.

The Siena College poll said Cuomo’s favorability rating has slipped below 50 percent for the first time since June 2007, when Cuomo was serving as state attorney general.

The governor, in the first year of his second term, also scored low in the view of New Yorkers for his handling of several key issues, including education and economic matters.

Details about Cuomo’s trip were not revealed by the administration, though his schedule places him at 683 Northland Ave. in Buffalo at 1 p.m. That location is part of a corridor the Buffalo Urban Development Corp. is trying to develop into a new, light industrial economic development zone. The state has already pumped some money into the endeavor – about $6.7 million for land acquisition and site work.

The Siena poll found that at least 60 percent or more of respondents rated Cuomo negatively for his handling of four key tasks – improving the economy and education, reducing corruption in state government and balancing the needs of upstate and downstate. His worst showing – with a 74 percent negative rating – came from voters and their views of Cuomo’s role in reducing corruption in Albany. That was a signature issue for Cuomo when he became governor in 2011.

The best rating on one of six specific performance areas: 52 percent gave him a positive rating for overseeing the recent response to the Dannemora prison escape by two convicted murderers.

Rating his overall job performance, 60 percent of New Yorkers – and 72 percent of upstaters – gave him a negative grade.

Only 40 percent of New Yorkers say the state is heading in the right direction, while 54 percent of upstaters say the state is going in the wrong direction.

Despite Cuomo’s best efforts to convince New Yorkers about his handling of state fiscal affairs, the Siena poll said the state’s fiscal condition is rated negatively by 68 percent of New Yorkers.

The governor’s favorability rating is highest, at 68 percent, among African-American respondents, the poll found.