New poll: Catholics like Cuomo — UPDATED

Considering the governor’s record on abortion and same sex marriage — not to mention his “concubinage” — that can’t be the kind of news New York’s bishops like to hear.


Voters approved of Cuomo’s first six months in office 64 percent to 19 percent, matching his previous best in April, according to a survey that Quinnipiac University released today. The positive feedback is the highest for an Empire State governor since July 2002, when George Pataki’s snagged a 66-18 percent positive report card from voters.

One of the more interesting findings of the poll is that white Catholic voters approve of the 53-year-old Cuomo by almost 3-to-1, or 62 percent to 22 percent, despite the Catholic Church’s staunch opposition to the gay marriage bill, which the Senate passed Friday and Cuomo signed shortly thereafter.

“It’s up, up and away for super-Andrew after the close of the legislative session,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Governor Cuomo’s job approval is high, even among Republicans, and almost 3-1 among Catholics.

“Cuomo has the same economic problems as governors in other states polled by Quinnipiac University, but somehow he outscores them all,” Carroll said.

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan led the state’s eight Catholic bishops in fighting the gay marriage law in the contentious negotiations in the run-up to its passage. After the law was passed, the bishops issued a statement saying they feared it will open the door to legislation against churches, although the law itself exempts churches from being forced to perform the marriages.

The telephone poll of 1,317 voters, conducted June 20 to June 26, spanned the period in which the Democratic governor built a coalition of state senators that included four Republicans and all but one member of his party to get the 33-29 Senate passage of the law.

Read more.

UPDATE: Cuomo gets the The Full MoDo in today’s New York Times, and the Catholic Church is (of course) a prime topic.

UPDATE II: MoDo, meantime, gets Skinned by Scalia. Nobody does it better.  Memo to self: never piss off Elizabeth.

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32 responses to “New poll: Catholics like Cuomo — UPDATED”

  1. As we get back into Faithful Citizenship season, it seems timely to reflect on how we present the responsibilities of citizenship to young Catholics. We seem to have communicated our conviction that politics must seek “social justice,” but we have clearly failed to get across the relationship between real justice and the objective moral law, the very basis of the common good. Instead, today’s Catholics tend to see popular causes of all sorts–even those which are objectively harmful–as advances for human dignity. This was very evident in the recent NCR column celebrating gay marriage:

    If we let this sort of thinking go unchallenged for another political season, we might as well cede the term “social justice” entirely to the secular left, as I think some of our more conservative commentators would be very glad to do anyway.

  2. Cuomo should be excommunicated. Obviously the so called Catholics who “like” him are of the cafeteria variety. I wish the Catholic church would clean house. I’m waiting on my husband’s annulment before I can make a profession of the faith so I can take communion after a year of RCIA and being a former Greek Orthodox. It kills me that the cafeterias go and take communion and don’t follow the faith and here I am dying for my husband’s case be heard. I go to mass every Saturday vigil and just get a blessing. I would hope that Cuomo isn’t offered the host if he has the balls to try and take communion.

  3. Thomas More, eh? Unbelievable. But I suspect the archbishop will again be “reasonable” and avoid a public response even to this.

  4. I wonder how the poll was conducted. I would imagine that Rudy Giuliani would’ve scored high among conservatives, despite his support for abortion and gay marriage, because of his performance in other areas. If the questions were broad/general enough I wouldn’t be that surprised to see the results they got if he has done ok in other areas.

  5. Thomas More. I echo Ron’s comment. Unbelievable.

    Apart from being decapitated for refusing to compromise his Catholic conscience and resigning his office rather than do that, what More said was: “Well your Grace, I think when a statesman forsakes his conscience for the sake of his public duties, he leads his country by a short route to chaos.”

    Keep looking at that portrait Andrew. Maybe you’ll get a clue about who More was eventually.

  6. I find the mention of his portrait of St. Thomas More rather ironic. It is ironic that he has it, and more ironic that Dowd brings it up as a positive thing. St. Thomas, a man who was beheaded for putting fidelity to God and Church above fidelity to the world and the state.

  7. Not surprising at all, the average Catholic is painfully ignorant of most of his Church’s doctrine. Ask the average Catholic if he is required to go to mass every Sunday and Holidays of Obligation and he will say “no, not anymore” or something like that. Therefore it is not a surprise that they like the kind of fare that a nominal “Catholic” like Cuomo offers. Most Catholics have a sentimental link to the Church, devoid of content or meaning and objective belief. Being Catholic in the U.S. today is for the most part indistinguishable from the rest of the culture; same rates of divorce, same rates of abortion, cohabitation, etc.

  8. For better or worse, the world has changed since St. Thomas More – and I think perhaps those who claim he put faith ahead of politics may be stretching things a bit. Please remember, he was standing up for who should be the head of the church, not for a particular politcal position, and that is very different than the way he is being presented in these comments. From what I remember of my history classes, St. Thomas did not lose his life because he objected to the king’s social policies but because he objected to the king setting up his own faith.

    Perhaps the Catholics of New York realize that in America, all faith traditions need to be given respect and are rewarding the governor for recognizing that. It is inappropriate to enshine religious laws as part of a secular code of law. As a Catholic, I am much more concerned about true social justice – as enumerated in the corporatal and spiritual works of mercy – than I am in what my neighbors are doing behind the doors of their bedroom. My concern about the decision is more esoteric – we are taught as Catholics that sexual relations are only allowed within the confines of legal marriage so, do we end up condoning this behavior, in a certain way, if homosexuals are allowed to marry?

    As much as we might want to ignore it, what the gays are asking for is the same LEGAL rights as others – not to have their marriages recognized as ordained and blessed by God. Personally, I think this whole issue would be solved by returning to the original dynamic of two separate events – one legal and one spiritual – so that we can clearly delineate the rights and obligations attendant upon each set of commitments.

  9. Thomas More did put his faith ahead of his political interests, Katie, that is why Robert Bolt called him “A Man of All Seasons.” The situations, also, are not that different at all really.

    More could have taken the same position Cuomo has, i.e., I can’t impose my faith on the state, but he didn’t. He resigned his very high public office, Lord Chancellor, and lost all of his worldly goods and family eventually, because he would not act against his conscience which told him, obviously correctly, that Henry could not dictate to the pope whether his marriage should be annulled (after getting a papal dispensation to get married) and, when the pope refused, setting himself up as the head of the Catholic Church in England. JFK in his speech in Houston also said that if his public duties ever came into conflict with his conscience (and at that time legalized abortion and homosexual marriage were inconceivable) he would also resign his office.

    What Andrew Cuomo is doing is holding on to his office and enforcing a law that is contrary to both natural law, the good of society as a whole, and the Catholic faith. The last picture he should have on his wall is that of Thomas More. Maybe Maureen Dowd instead.

  10. The goal of the “gay” lobby is complete acceptance and recognition in all venues, social and religious. They will not stop at civil law recognition of “gay marriage”, once this is accomplished in all states (soon I think), they will keep storming the gates of the Church and use all of their means to do it. Thinking they will stop now is delusion.

  11. “As a Catholic, I am much more concerned about true social justice – as enumerated in the corporatal and spiritual works of mercy – than I am in what my neighbors are doing behind the doors of their bedroom.” WOW!

    I think Rudy is wrong; I suspect the Catholic-in-the-pew (at least occasionally there) does not hold a faith without content but instead generally shares Katie’s sense of what our faith teaches us, at least where social issues are concerned. Of course, the Church says that Katie is quite wrong: “true social justice” is necessarily grounded in the primary school of justice, the two-married-man/woman-parent family, for reasons the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church clearly explains. The Church also teaches that is the role of the state to safeguard this most important of social institutions, which has priority over it and whose health ensures its own well-being. In general, in fact, Catholics are expected to believe that positive law should be conformed to natural law and can never justly undermine it. Thomas More died defending that principle. What a shame a self-proclaimed social-justice Catholic would denigrate his sacrifice.

  12. Well, Cuomo’s ratings are based on a mix of issues. Obviously he glows in settling the budget situation, holding down taxes, and passing cooruption laws. It’s an old political trick – a chicken in every pot. He simultaneously provides chickens (the issue you are personally interested in) in your pot so that you ignore the ones that bother you. He appeased all his constituencies.

    In my book Cuomo is mud and will never get my support. Until this marriage issue came along, I was actually thinking of supporting him. And I almost never support Democrats.

    If the Bishops don’t do something forceful to Andrew Cuomo – at least denying him Communion – then i will be greatly disappointed with them as well. Cuomo practically spit in the eye of the church.

  13. Concerning the poll –What it amounts to is that if decadence and immorality are sweeping across a nation, there are few that have the backbone to stand against the hurricane.

  14. Let me tell you something about Cafeteria Catholics

    those who are willing to get the legs off the middle class and the poor are pretty much cafeteria catholics.

    To the self ritchous….it goes both ways

  15. Perhaps Cuomo will come to realize his errors and seek reconcliliation with the Church. Perhaps he will go over to some “religion” that finds what he deems OK to be what it is–sinful. Either way he should make the decision. Can’t have it both ways.

  16. Errors? Nope. Just a recognition that the Catholic Church is wrong on this issue. Keep closing the ranks against real Christians, folks, and soon only the haters so evident here will be left.

  17. It’s not altogether surprising that those who defend traditional marriage are branded haters and enemies of the poor, even on a Catholic blog. That seems to be the party line among Catholics who see social justice in the terms Katie Angel outlined–i.e., as quite unrelated to “what my neighbors are doing behind the doors of their bedroom.”

    But in the real world, the breakdown of family life that followed from the sexual revolution has been devastating for the welfare of both the poor and the lower middle-class. As a result, a whole generation of children have been unable to capitalize on the unprecedented opportunities opened up by the civil rights struggles of earlier times. The NY law lends the authority of the state to the already widely-held notion that no special significance should be attached to intact biological families. This is a truly hateful notion, one that is especially harmful to the poor and detrimental to the genuine good of society.

  18. Where can a frustrated Catholic vent his spleen at another
    “CINO” politician who has abandoned his faith?……..that is if
    he ever was a believer. May God have mercy on all of these so called Catholics.

  19. I may be wrong, but my understanding was that Mr. Cuomo was elected governor of all of the citizens of New York, and not just those who happen to be Catholics; and certainly not just those who happen to be Catholic bishops. The fact that he, himself, is Catholic does not (or should not) require that he attempt to enact the doctrines of the church into law.

    Those of us who are old enough to remember President Kennedy’s campaign may remember that the anti-Catholics were suggesting that, if elected, he would use his office to impose Catholic doctrine on the country, by law. He assured the electorate, and quite rightly in my view, that he had no such obligation. If the position of the Catholic Church is that a Catholic governor must veto any laws that are contrary to the teachings of the Church, then it would seem that Pres. Kennedy was wrong and the anti-Catholics were right.

  20. New poll: Catholics like Cuomo……absolutely not true. I don’t know why, KANDRA, you keep coming up with these false anti-Catholic headlines, unless, of course, you also believe them and sanction them. I suppose there is always that possibility.

    Some poll! 1700 people polled out of, what? Millions of New Yorkers? I would even bet that the people who were polled were probably hand picked to get the results the pollsters wanted.

    KANDRA, why do you even mess with this stuff? This propaganda is nothing more than fodder for tabloids. Can’t you show a little maturity and rise above this grammar school mentality?

  21. Hint to Makarios: The idea that a married couple should consist of ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN is not “Catholic doctrine.” Until a couple years back, it was just plain common sense. Didn’t you have parents?

  22. ron @ 22

    So commenters on the blog, and professors of canon law, are suggesting that Gov. Cuomo be excommunicated for a failure of common sense? I don’t think so. You know as well as I do that the furor against him amongst Catholics is precisely and only because they believe that he has acted in a manner contrary to the teaching of the church.

  23. Mak…

    It so happens that Catholic teaching being discussed here is common sense, in that it involves natural law.

    I think some professors of canon law would argue that Cuomo has, in fact, already excommunicated himself by his very public actions that go contrary to Church teaching, and has thus placed himself outside the Church.

    Dcn. G.

  24. The Unholy Communion between Gov. Cuomo and Catholic Bishop Hubbard: Cuomo’s Right to Holy Communion Is a Private Matter, says Bishop Hubbard. Cuomo’s Bishop Bishop was investigated for sexual misconduct in 2004. Are they God-fearing Christians or religoius hypocrites with twisted unholy logic? The Allegations was that Hubbard had sex…ual relationships with several men. A sin is a sin is a sin, but when you use God as a tool to lure in innocents to fulfill your twisted sexual thirst, that is an abomination. The National Same-Sex Gay Marriage Boycott Pledge) Join the Boycott dedicated to crushing New York State economically ( Read More )

    [Frank: you might want to visit this link for the rest of the story. Hubbard was cleared after an exhaustive investigation that even involved taking and passing a lie detector test. Dcn. G.]

  25. Dear Fr. Deacon Greg (@ 24),

    With greatest respect, I would submit that it is not the task of the Governor of New York to ensure that Catholic teaching based on the concept of “natural law” is enshrined in the laws of the state. Furthermore, had he vetoed, on religious grounds, legislation passed by a bipartisan vote of a democratically elected legislature, he would have confirmed the worst fears of the anti-Catholic nativists. I’m don’t believe that this would have been a positive outcome.

  26. Sorry about the typo above–last sentence should read “I don’t believe that this would have been a positive outcome.”

  27. Makarios,
    Two things:
    1) Cathoilics have a right to vote and voice their opinion about laws they think are harmful and immoral and make every legal attempt to live in a society that is not offensive to them – even when those opinions are formed by religious beliefs. They have a right to vote for politicians that they think will uphold their moral positions – even when they think that because of the politicians similar moral religious background. This is not a violation of Church / state.

    2) Catholics are questioning whether Cuomo should be excommunicated from the Church, not whether he should be recalled or brought up on charges. There is no violation of anyone’s right and no imposition of religious law being attempted.

  28. The Church has no power to force anyone to do anything in society at large. That is demonstrably clear from the examples of the so called “catholic” politicians. I agree with momor and his comment above. It’s easy for Mr. Cuomo to compare himself to Thomas More, since he knows that there is no compulsion, no political price, no king to demand his head. Its easy to do so when he knows that he is working with the system. Thomas More refused to submit to the power of the state to impose an immoral and evil concept, which has the primacy of the King of England over the Church. A true heir to Saint Thomas More would refuse to give in the cultural and political powers that demand the the moral evil of so called “gay marriage” be accepted by society as a “good”.

  29. Mike 16: Errors? Nope. Just a recognition that the Catholic Church is wrong on this issue. Keep closing the ranks against real Christians, folks, and soon only the haters so evident here will be left.

    Mike, Keep telling yourself that the church is “wrong” and believing you are right. I guess you have been around for 2000 years and inspired by the Holy Spirit too. Sorry but I will take the church’s stand on this and it will never change no matter what the agenda is pushed upon us. Ever. Keep up your support of perversion. I hope you don’t think you are included in the “real Christians” category. Seems to me if Jesus gave his OK to same sex marriage he would have said so. When speaking of marriage He only said something about a man leaving his father and mother and clinging to his wife and becoming one flesh. Blessings.

  30. A few years back, I believe it was 2004, people voted down gay marriage proposals in all 11states that had that issue on their ballots, as I recall. That was a true poll; in that it showed people in general didn’t want gay marriage to be legalized. They said so with their vote!

    Now it seems the gay lobby has decided that the only way to get what they want is to approach the state leaders and coerce representatives to vote for it. They seem to be successful so far. It would seem that bribery and extortion—or threats to reveal embarrassing information—works for them and in that way, they can bypass the will of the people.

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