Andrew Cuomo's had a pretty steep drop in his personal popularity with New York voters over the course of this election cycle but with a very weak opponent it doesn't much matter- he leads Carl Paladino 53-38.
Just under half of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of Cuomo, with 49% viewing him positively to 39% unfavorably. That +10 spread represents a 27 point drop from January of 2009 when it was +37 with 57% of voters in the state holding a favorable opinion of him and just 20% a negative one. He's maintained his popularity with Democrats since then but has seen significant erosion with Republicans and independents.
Where GOP voters gave him a positive 49/28 score early last year his crossover popularity has now almost completely disintegrated with only 18% liking him now and 71% expressing displeasure toward him. And independents have turned from a +6 favorability spread toward Cuomo to a -11 one.
If Cuomo had a strong opponent that big decline in his popularity might be a real source of concern for him. But he doesn't have a strong opponent. 51% of voters in the state have an unfavorable opinion of Paladino while only 34% see him positively. Perhaps most discouraging for Paladino's prospects is that only 14% of Democrats see him in a favorable light- you need a whole lot more crossover popularity than that to get elected as a Republican in New York.
If you have your party base locked up as a Democrat in New York you're going to win and Cuomo pretty much does, leading 81-13 with voters in his party. Cuomo is also winning over 19% of Republicans, which is unusually high in a year when GOP voters are extremely unified around their party's nominees in most races. And although Paladino does lead 46-40 with independents that's a much smaller margin than the double digit leads most Republican candidates across the country are posting and that Paladino would need to have a chance in this race.
Will this contest end up a lot closer than it looked six months ago? Sure. But barring a huge misstep in the final four weeks Cuomo is still positioned to win comfortably.
Full results here