In a Tuesday morning interview with New York Post columnist Fred Dicker, who is openly critical of the administration’s stance on gun control, Dicker predicted that the next statewide poll would hurt the governor’s generally high approval ratings. Cuomo agreed, but just shrugged off the numbers.
“We know what the polls say on this because we’ve done it. We haven’t done it after the fact, but they were clear enough before the fact,” the governor said. “I think your prediction is right.”
Cuomo argued that damage to his approval rating would largely come from a smaller group of gun rights advocates, rather than the general electorate.
“The issue is about a 70-30 issue. Seventy percent of the people of the state saying they wanted gun control, etcetera. Within the 30, there’s a group that feels very strongly about it. You’ve been making their case quite eloquently for a number of days. They tend to be [from] Upstate. They tend to be conservative,” Cuomo elaborated.
He said there was little he could do to sell that portion of the electorate on the measure, saying “that will be that.”
“I know their opposition. I know they’re going to be displeased. I would expect that you’re going to see that in the poll. And that will be that. They will be unhappy.”
Cuomo also explained that some of the opposition to gun control was temporary – the result of “anxiety” that will settle when people realize the effect on their rights is “not going to be as bad as they think.”
He added that the governor’s job is not to worry about the immediate polling backlash resulting from tough choices, but rather to demonstrate leadership and take decisive action.
“That’s the nature of the business. I understand that, I expected it. I’ve gone through it before. We went through it with marriage equality. There are people who feel very strongly about an issue, and, especially in the immediate aftermath, they let you know about it! We are not here as elected officials, to do the easy ones."