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Poll shows support for Child Victims Act, early voting, recreational marijuana; Cuomo's ratings fall

A new poll finds Governor Andrew Cuomo's favorability and re-election ratings falling just a month after a survey of registered New York state voters gave the Democrat some of the highest ratings during his two terms. 

The Siena College poll finds 53 percent of voters view Cuomo favorably, while 40 percent said they don't. That compares to 62-30 percent in last month's Siena poll. 

Pollster Steve Greenberg said 50 percent of those who took part in the survey said they'd re-elect Cuomo, compared to 55 percent last month.

"We are nine months away from an election and there is a long way to go; there will probably be a lot of ups and downs between now and then."

The two candidates seeking the Republican nomination for governor, Senator John DeFrancisco and former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra, are both unknown to more than three-quarters of voters, according to the Siena poll.

State issues

Those who took part in the Siena survey were also asked about a number of state initiatives, including early voting, and the Child Victims Act. 67 percent were in favor of instituting early voting in New York State, with 27 percent opposed. 

There was overwhelming support for a measure that would eliminate the statute of limitations for criminal child sexual abuse cases in New York. The Child Victims Act would also extend the statute of limitations for civil litigation against child abuse perpetrators.

Greenberg says New Yorkers of every political stripe are behind the legislation.

"And that includes 83 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of Republicans, 85 percent of Independent voters. Upstate, downstate, men, women...New Yorkers overwhelmingly support that."

The Child Victims Act has also bipartisan support in the state legislature. It passed 139 to 7 in the Assembly in 2017, but it has not been brought to the floor of the Senate for a full vote. Opponents of the measure include the Catholic Church.

Other findings from the Siena poll:  56 percent are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, and 61 percent of New Yorkers are in favor of the Dream Act, which would allow children of undocumented immigrants to receive college financial aid.

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.
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