New York Gov. David Paterson's poll numbers have hit the toilet as he grapples with a $15.8 billion deficit and reaction to his handling of the Caroline Kennedy Senate decision, reports the New York Daily News. The numbers have so spooked Paterson that he's decided to ditch his trip to the glitzy Davos summit and work at home on the budget. Paterson now leads his likely 2010 election rival, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, by a mere 35% to 33%.
Just last month, the governor led Cuomo 49% to 26%.The latest polls don't even reflect some of the most recent tension between Paterson and Kennedy over Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. Critics have blamed a pit-bull public relations firm for steering Paterson into an ugly, no-win confrontation with Kennedy. "Gov. Paterson has taken a significant hit with voters in the last month, and the question is whether this is a blip or the start of a trend," said a pollster.