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Voters Believe Cuomo and De Blasio Feud is Real and Bad for City and State

By Jeff Mays | March 19, 2015 1:27pm
 Voter believe there is a feud between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio and that it hurts both the city and the state, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.
Voters Believe Cuomo and De Blasio Feud is Real and Bad for City and State
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NEW YORK CITY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio both swear they've been friends forever even as they've taken a series of veiled and not so veiled shots at one another.

However, 41 percent of voters think there is a feud between the two men and that it's time for the beef to come to an end, according to a poll from Quinnipiac University.

Some 57 percent of voters believe the feud is bad for the city while 46 percent think it's bad for the state.

"Voters think the feud is real and they think it's not doing the state any good and it's not doing the city any good," said Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Qunnipiac University Poll.

Both de Blasio and Cuomo have repeatedly denied there was any animosity despite evidence to the contrary.

The two men have publicly clashed on everything from the minimum wage, to the use of Sunnyside rail yards in Queens for affordable housing and the mayor's plans for universal pre-K.

Cuomo's spokeswoman released a statement calling de Blasio's $15 minimum wage plan a "non-starter" and saying that the rail yards, partially owned by the state-controlled Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was not available for short-term development.

That didn't deter de Blasio. The city's Economic Development Corporation issued a request for proposals to study the feasibility of development at the rail yards in February.

And de Blasio says Cuomo gave him only 15 minutes notice that he was shutting the subways because of a major storm in January.

In spite of these and other spats, Cuomo said last month that he had been friends with de Blasio for 30 years and that their relationship would go down as the best in "modern political history" between any mayor and governor.

De Blasio was less enthusiastic, saying that he and Cuomo were friends for only 20 years.

Neither de Blasio nor Cuomo's office responded to request for comment.

Kenneth Sherrill, professor emeritus of political science at Hunter College, said it's common for New York City mayors and governors to not get along.

He cited the relationship between Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Gov. George Pataki and Michael Bloomberg's "general disdain" for Albany.

"What is a problem is that this is more public than it usually is," said Sherrill. "A lot of people expected a better relationship between the mayor and the governor and that's proven to be an unrealistic expectation."

Even though New York voters feel a feud between Cuomo and de Blasio is not good for the city or state, a big chunk of voters don't feel politically aligned with either man.

According to the poll, 50 percent of voters said that neither man "most closely" represents their political views.

Twenty-six percent of voters said Cuomo was more aligned with their political views versus 22 percent who said the same for de Blasio.

In the end, Sherrill said the city and the state need one another.

"If the city has major failures the governor is in trouble. If the state were to go under the mayor would be in trouble," said Sherrill. "They both know that."