Governor Andrew Cuomo's frequent visits to Western New York this summer appear to be paying dividends when it comes to his poll numbers.
A new Siena Research Institute poll released Monday shows the governor's favorability rating at its highest level since February. Sixty-five percent of voters view Cuomo favorably, up from 58 percent in June. Thirty percent view him unfavorably, down from 35 percent in June.
Siena pollster Steve Greenberg says the improvement is largely due to a spike in his numbers among upstate voters.
"He improved with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, but he picked up geographically most with upstate voters. Two months ago, he was virtually break even: 46% of upstate voters viewed him favorably, 48% unfavorably. Now, 55% favorable for Andrew Cuomo upstate compared to 41% unfavorble, so a major pickup," Greenberg told WBFO Albany correspondent Karen Dewitt Monday.
Cuomo has made nine visits to Western New York since mid-June. He hasn't held a single event in New York City since July 1.
Statewide, 55 percent of registered voters polled by Siena say they are prepared to re-elect Cuomo in 2014, compared to 35 percent who say they'd prefer someone else. That's up from 52-41 two months ago.
In Siena's June poll, 40% of upstate New Yorkers said they were prepared to re-elect Cuomo compared to 54% who prefer 'someone else.' Now, that number is dead even: 46-46.
Siena's Greenberg says this is a strategic time of year for the Democratic governor, with the Legislature out of Albany for nearly the last two months.
"It's the governor's bully pulpit. It's the governor's agenda to set. The governor has made numerous trips to every part of upstate and when the governor travels to Rochester or Buffalo or Plattsburg or Binghampton or anywhere else, he controls the media for that day. He leads the 6 o'clock news and the 11 o'clock news. He's on the front page of the newspaper the next morning," Greenberg says.