A Siena College poll released Monday found that by 53% to 39% margin, those surveyed say the state Senate should pass legislation to legalize same-sex marriage, virtually ensuring it would become law.
The poll is believed to be the first showing a majority of New Yorkers supporting gay marriage.
Democrats strongly support it by a 59% to 35% margin while Republicans oppose it by virtually the same tally, 59% to 31%.
Support for gay marriage is strongest in the city. It’s virtually evenly split in the suburbs and upstate.
Unlike other recent polls, Siena did not throw the possibility of civil unions into the mix. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 41% support gay marriage, one-third support civil unions and 19% said there should be no legal recognition.
The Assembly ago passed legislation to legalize same-sex marriages two years ago.
Paterson last week introduced a new gay marriage bill and urged the Democrat-controlled Senate to vote on “up or down.” Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith said he won’t put it to a vote until it has enough support to pass.
Meanwhile, the Siena poll showed Gov. Paterson has a real Cuomo problem.
Not only does Paterson continue to greatly trail Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in a potential 2010 Democratic primary matchup, but voters would prefer his father to still be governor.
Paterson’s job approval rating fell slightly from an already record dismal 19% to 18%. His unfavorable rating is 63%.
More than seven in 10 say they would prefer someone else as governor, compared to just 12% who said they are ready to vote to reelect Paterson.
Voters cited Paterson’s handling of the state’s financial crisis, his approval of pay raises for his staff and secret budget talks as major reasons for his unpopularity.
Spitzer, Paterson’s predecessor, who resigned amid a prostitution scandal, is still viewed unfavorably by 72% of New Yorkers despite his recent public reemergence. Just 25% view Spitzer favorably.
Pataki, who has been mentioned as a possible U.S. Senate candidate next year, is still viewed favorably by 60% of Republicans, but just 49% of overall voters.
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