Governor Andrew Cuomo’s championing of strict new gun control laws in New York has taken a toll on his popularity. A new poll finds that for the first time since taking office, Cuomo’s approval rating has dropped significantly.
The Quinnipiac University poll finds the governor’s approval rating plunged from an all time high of 74% in in December to 59% now. Cuomo lost the most among Republicans, though he also dropped 10 points with Democrats, says pollster Mickey Carroll.
“His numbers overall are way, way down,” said Carroll.
The governor says he’s not surprised by the drop and attributes it to his aggressive support for New York’s toughest in the nation gun control laws, approved on January 15. But says he believes once opponents understand the full implications of the new gun laws, they will be more supportive.
“Because it has nothing to do with the legitimate ownership of a gun,” said Cuomo.
"When you make tough decisions and take tough positions on topics where there's going to be controversy, you can expect that you're going to make some people happy and some people unhappy. The governor firmly stands by his position on this and feels very strongly that a majority of New Yorkers support him as well," said Lt. Governor Robert Duffy, in Buffalo Wednesday.
The new gun law closes loopholes in the state’s assault weapons ban and limits magazines to seven bullets or less. It also increases reporting of mentally ill people who might be a danger to themselves or others and limits their access to firearms.
A plurality of voters, 34%, think the gun control law went too far, while 30% think they do not go far enough.
According to the poll, the National Rifle Association is far less popular than Cuomo, with 46% taking a negative view of the gun rights organization, and only 22% supporting them.