6:32 pm Jan. 17, 2012
Governor Andrew Cuomo's campaign spent $45,410 on three polls in the last six months, including two that came while he was grappling with Occupy Wall Street protesters targeting him in Albany, and another around the time he pushed through a massive re-writing of the state's tax code, according to a filing with the state Board of Elections.
In the first poll, the campaign paid $18,910 to Thoroughbred Research Group Inc. on Aug. 18, 2011. At the time, Cuomo was basking in nationwide praise for passing same-sex marriage in the state, cutting spending and getting a budget passed on time.
(Two days before the first of Cuomo's three polls, a New York Times / CBS poll came out showing Mayor Michael Bloomberg's popularity at a six-year low.)
Then, on Nov. 17, 2011, Cuomo's campaign paid Thoroughbred another $18,300 for a poll. That was right when Occupy Albany protesters were targeting Cuomo daily. They had set up camps across the street from the capital and referring to him as "Governor 1 Percent".
The day before the poll was paid for, the New York Times wrote about how the protesters were openly violating Cuomo's demand that they leave the park at night, and that the Albany district attorney was refusing to heed Cuomo's call to press charges against them.
The day the poll was paid for, Cuomo spoke to the New York State Democratic Party, where he ducked reporters. At the convention, he refused publicly to indicate he was considering dropping his opposition to raising taxes on the rich or to rule out the controversial hydro-fracking practice, saying officials still needed to research it. A Times headline from the event read "Hints of Tension Chip at a Hero’s Welcome for Cuomo."
The last poll was paid for on Dec. 21, 2011. It was conducted by Central Marketing Inc. in Manhattan and cost $8,200. The payment was made on the same day a Quinnipiac poll came out gauging Cuomo's standing after he quickly rewrote the state tax codes, lowering them for everyone except top income-earners.