NEW YORK—New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo predicted his record-high popularity would take a hit after he signed a tough new gun control measure into law earlier this month, and according to a new poll, he was right.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found that Cuomo’s 74 percent job approval rating—one of the highest for any governor in the country—fell to 59 percent in the aftermath of the gun bill. According to the poll, 28 percent of New York residents surveyed disapproved of the job he’s doing as governor—an increase of 15 points since December.
According to Quinnipiac, Cuomo’s falling numbers were driven by anxiety over the gun control law among Republicans, and gun owners in general. Among Republicans, Cuomo’s approval dropped to 44 percent—down from 68 percent last month. Among voters who said they own a gun, half said they disapprove of the job Cuomo is doing as governor.
But Cuomo also took a slight hit among Democrats—his approval falling 8 points to 74 percent.
While Cuomo’s approval numbers are still high for a governor, the poll is likely to fuel questions about his political capital—especially in regards to voters outside New York—amid rumors he’s eying a run for the presidency in 2016.
Cuomo pushed for tougher gun control laws in the aftermath of December's deadly shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which a gunman killed 20 children and six adults.
Earlier in January he signed into law a bill that significantly expands New York's ban on assault weapons by broadening the category to include semi-automatic rifles. The legislation also made it illegal to own ammunition magazines of more than seven rounds, and instituted tougher background checks, including a requirement that mental health professionals report those who might be a danger to themselves or society.
According to Quinnipiac, 76 percent of New York voters support the mental health measure, but they were more split on the overall gun law. Thirty-four percent of those polled—including 59 percent of Republicans—think the gun control bill goes too far; 30 percent said it doesn't go far enough; and 30 percent said it was "about right."