About half of New York State voters would prefer that a coalition of Democrats and Republicans share control of the State Senate rather than one party, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
The poll, by Quinnipiac University, was conducted after five dissident Democrats announced last week that they had reached a power-sharing agreement with Republicans to preside over the Senate. Democrats are expected to hold a numerical majority in the chamber, and many have condemned the coalition plan, saying it would rob voters of the Democrat-controlled Senate that they elected.
But the poll suggests that a large number of voters, eager for politicians from both parties to work together, are willing to give the arrangement a chance.
Forty-eight percent of voters said they preferred that a bipartisan coalition run the Senate, according to the poll, compared with 31 percent who said they wanted Democrats to control the chamber and 17 percent who said they supported Republican leadership. A majority of Democratic voters said they preferred that their party preside over the Senate in a traditional manner, but the share of Democrats who preferred a bipartisan coalition – 40 percent – was sizable.
Told by pollsters the specifics of the power-sharing arrangement, 53 percent of voters – the same fraction among Democrats as well as Republicans – said it was “a good way to create effective government.” Thirty percent, on the other hand, said it was an effort to amass power by a small number of lawmakers.
“So far, voters like the coalition,” said Maurice Carroll, the director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Pollsters also asked about Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s suggestion to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton some time ago that she run for mayor next year. Mrs. Clinton was not interested in running, and voters did not seem poised to persuade her otherwise: 51 percent of New York City voters said Mrs. Clinton should not make a bid for City Hall.
The poll, conducted by telephone from last Wednesday to Monday, included 1,302 registered voters and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.