Whilst many others have long turned their backs and had nothing but harsh words, I've stubbornly stuck to my guns on two matters on this blog - Governor Paterson and the New York Rangers. Now, both ships have sunk fast after quick starts, and I'm stuck out on a very lonely limb. The Broadway Blueshirts have lost ten out of 12 and find their playoff position in dire jeopardy. The Governor's poll numbers have plummeted, to the point that some close observers of Albany are not persuaded that he will not even run for
re-election next year.
* Paterson is now viewed favorably by 40 percent of voters and unfavorably by 47 percent, down from last month’s 54-30 percent favorable rating, and his high of 64-19 percent in November.Ugh. As much as I still do like Paterson, despite his occasional stumbles and his, let's say, statements of dubious veracity on Delaware North and other matters, I'd dump him in a second if it meant that the despicable slimeball ex-mayor of NYC becomes governor, perish the thought.
* His job performance rating is 28 percent positive, 69 percent negative down from 51-45 percent positive last month.
* Currently, only 19 percent of voters are prepared to elect Paterson as Governor in 2010, compared to 57 percent who prefer “someone else.” That’s down from 32-36 percent last month, and 42-32 percent in November.
The 2010 matchups are striking. Cuomo now beats Paterson in a Democratic primary nearly 2-1 - Cuomo gained 20 points in just one month. In a general election, Paterson trails Giuliani by 15 points, while Cuomo leads Giuliani by 13 points. [Capitol Confidential]
I continue to insist that Paterson's decline is largely based on the unfair and largely false perception that he botched the Senate selection process. As I've asserted before, any "circus" atmosphere around the process was nearly all created by the press, and by the candidates who went public with their ambitions. Though it did reach a point at which he should have ended it, I have to agree with him here:
Paterson reiterated his initial goal had been to wait for Clinton to be confirmed as secretary of state before announcing his choice in case something happened to derail her nomination.The governor was not going to win here either way.
“I didn’t think that would happened to Senator Clinton, and it didn’t," he said. "But it would have been a very difficult thing because I would have had to stand here for months and you ask me: ‘Well why would you make the pick before the person left office, David, what were you doing?' And you know you would ask me that question.” [Daily Politics]
Still, I will go on record as keeping the faith, on both accounts. In both cases, personnel changes have been made. The Rangers have a new coach in John Tortorella, a man with a personality and coaching philosophy so diametrically opposed to the passive Tom Renney (who did, for the most part, a great job in guiding the team to the playoffs three straight years after they missed them for nine), that it can't help but spark this group. The Blueshirts are still in the hunt, and they showed grit and determination during the early months of the campaign. I still believe they're a team with heart and significantly more offensive talent than they've shown of late.
Paterson has brought back tax-scandalized aide Charles O'Byrne as a political advisor for the 2010 campaign. And it sure sounds from this as if more changes are on the way. While I'm not as confident as I am regarding my hockey heroes, Paterson has plenty of time and material with which to turn things around, should he succeed in guiding the budget process to an acceptable conclusion. Of course, given the inherent unpopularity that goes with closing such a gaping budget gap, and the attacks that come with it, that won't be easy. But I won't abandon this ship either.....yet.