NEW YORK CITY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo's controversial handling of ethics scandals in Albany earned him low marks from voters and dropped his approval rating to its lowest ever, according to the results of a new poll from Quinnipiac University.
Fourty-four percent of voters surveyed approve of the overall job Cuomo is doing — down from the 50 percent who approved of him in March, the poll found. And 53 percent of voters surveyed disapprove of the way Cuomo is handling ethics versus 33 percent who approve.
Cuomo has a lower than normal approval rating of 55 percent even among Democrats.
The poll comes in the wake of a stretch of high-profile corruption charges — including those facing Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos — 55 percent of voters say all state elected officials should be voted out of office so new representatives can start with a clean slate.
"Can Albany fix itself? A lot of New Yorkers don't think so. And most of them think Gov. Andrew Cuomo is part of the problem, not the solution," Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll said in a statement.
Fifty-two percent of voters also believe Cuomo is part of the problem with ethics in state government and not part of the solution, versus 32 percent who disagree. The figure represents Cuomo's lowest rating ever on the question.
"There have been no charges of corruption leveled against the governor or anyone in his administration, but when the stench gets this bad, everyone starts to smell," Carroll said.
While Cuomo has no direct connection to the recent Skelos and Silver indictments, Glenwood Management, a luxury real estate firm that has been tied to both corruption cases, has also been the governor's largest donor.
Cuomo along with Skelos and Silver once made up the members of the "three men in a room" who decided the state budget.
That system is part of the problem, according to 67 percent of voters polled. Another 12 percent of voters say the "three men in a room" system is the main problem.
Voters also believe by a margin of 66 to 27 percent that corruption would be lessened if more legislators were involved in making important decisions.
"Why, when there are 213 state legislators, do three men in a room make the big Albany decisions New York state voters wonder," said Carroll.
The poll also found that only 5 percent of voters felt U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had gone to far in pursuing corruption cases with 36 percent saying he hasn't gone far enough.
Cuomo has strongly defended his records on ethics.
Several of his ethics reform proposals were approved in the most recent state budget, including forcing legislators to reveal all outside sources of income over $1,000 and the loss of pension benefits for elected officials convicted of corruption.
Critics have said more needs to be done, including closing the LLC loophole which allows a company's subsidiaries to each donate the maximum amount to candidates. It's how Glenwood Management became the largest political donor in the state.
Speaking on the radio show "Capitol Pressroom" Monday, Cuomo said he would have liked to close the LLC loophole but the Legislature did not approve.
Still, Cuomo called the reforms approved in the state budget "the most dramatic ethics reform that has existed in the state of New York."