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Voters say corruption is serious problem but are paying little attention to Moreland or federal investigation

LOUDONVILLE - The last three weeks have produced extensive media coverage about United States Attorney Preet Bharara’s investigation into Governor Andrew Cuomo’s now defunct Moreland Commission. Voters say corruption in state government is a serious problem, yet, two-thirds are unfamiliar with the Moreland Commission or its work and nearly two-thirds say they’ve heard little or nothing about Bharara’s investigation. Despite the political swirl, Cuomo continues to lead Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino by 32 points, down a little from 37-points three weeks ago, according to today’s Siena College Poll of likely New York gubernatorial voters.

While 13 percent of likely voters say the actions of the Governor and his staff regarding Moreland are potentially criminal, 16 percent say they are inappropriate but not a crime and four percent say they are perfectly appropriate, 63 percent say they don’t have enough information to make a decision. Nearly half of voters say they believe the recent newspaper report concluding that the Governor’s office interfered with the Moreland Commission, while only one-quarter say they believe the Governor’s explanation that his office was simply providing information.

“Albany insiders and political junkies are certainly talking lots about Moreland, Bharara, investigations, and the like, but most New York voters are spending their summer not following any of that news,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “Voters see corruption as a serious problem but not one they pay a lot of attention to.”

“While 32 percent say they’re familiar with Moreland or its work, 67 percent are not. Sixty-four percent say they’ve heard nothing or not very much about the federal investigation of the Moreland Commission. And a similar 63 percent say they don’t have enough information to judge whether actions by the Governor and his staff should be characterized as potentially criminal, simply inappropriate, or perfectly appropriate,” Greenberg said.

Cuomo has the support of more than three-quarters of Democrats, more than half of independents and one-third of Republicans. Astorino has made up little ground, trailing Cuomo by 60 points in New York City, 25 points in the downstate suburbs and 14 points among upstate voters. Among the 67 percent of likely voters unfamiliar with Moreland, Cuomo leads 62-19 percent, however, among the 32 percent familiar with Moreland, Cuomo only leads 49-41 percent.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli leads Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci by 34 points, up from 31 points, while Attorney General Eric Schneiderman extended his lead to 27 points over John Cahill, from 22 points.