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New York governor Andrew Cuomo (D) has reversed a slide in his approval ratings and is a heavy favorite to win re-election in 2014, according to a new Siena Research Institute poll.

The poll, released Monday, finds that 54 percent of New York voters rate Governor Cuomo’s job performance as “excellent” or “good,” while 46 percent rate it as “fair” or “poor.” That 54 to 46 percent split represents a significant rebound from Siena’s previous poll in November, which found the governor’s approval rating at just 44 percent, with 56 percent disapproving.

Cuomo is now viewed favorably by 66 percent of voters, while just 28 percent view him unfavorably. That represents Cuomo’s highest favorability rating since February of 2013.

Unsurprisingly, given voters’ positive perceptions of him, Cuomo seems to be a lock for re-election in 2014 — 57 percent of voters say they would vote to re-elect him in November, while just 33 percent say they would prefer someone else.

Cuomo fares even better against his hypothetical Republican opponents. Cuomo would lead likely Republican nominee Rob Astorino — the Westchester County Executive, who is unknown to 76 percent of New York voters — by an overwhelming 67 to 19 percent margin.

If reality TV star Donald Trump jumps into the gubernatorial race — which he has threatened to do (although that’s nothing new for Trump, who has floated his name for a half-dozen high-profile campaigns, but has never actually run) — he would fare even worse than Astorino. New York voters strongly dislike Trump — they view him unfavorably, 57 to 38 percent — and Cuomo leads him in a hypothetical matchup by a staggering 70 to 22 percent margin.

While Governor Cuomo’s numbers are rebounding, his Republican counterpart from neighboring New Jersey is going in the other direction. The Siena poll finds that the George Washington Bridge scandal has taken a serious toll on Chris Christie’s numbers in the Empire State. Christie is now viewed favorably by 49 percent of New Yorkers, and unfavorably by 39 percent; although Christie’s numbers are still impressive for a Republican in deep-blue New York, they are significantly down from his 63 to 25 percent favorability rating in November. In a hypothetical 2016 presidential matchup, Cuomo would lead Christie 55 to 35 percent; that 20 point advantage is up from just 5 percent in November.

The Siena Research Institute poll was conducted January 12-16, 2014 by telephone calls to 808 New York State registered voters. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points. Full results can be seen here.

Photo: Pat Arnow via Flickr

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