Five-Person Poll: Voters in Union Square on the Midterm Elections

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Photo: All photos by Jamie Miles

Yesterday Intel went to Union Square to ask New Yorkers about the upcoming midterm elections, and how they felt about the candidates they'd be voting for. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that every person we spoke to was registered, and knew where to vote. (Only about half knew what day Election Day was, but they all knew it was coming up.) Only two people could name an attorney general candidate (both were voting for Eric Schneiderman), and no one could name a person running for comptroller. Also, most people didn't know their own U.S. representative. But people had a lot to say about the governor's race. Here are the views of five of those regular New Yorkers.


Peter Madden, retired psychiatrist, Chelsea resident, 83:

When is voting day? November something. I’ll find out weeks before it, won’t I?
Do you know who you’ll vote for in the governor’s race? Cuomo.
Do you know who your U.S. representative is? Will you vote to keep him/her in office? Yes. What’s my alternative? Republican? Impossible. They’ll destroy us.
How about your local State Senate and Assembly races? I’m going to vote the straight party line because I’m not informed. I’m a little more informed about the crooks in Washington.
What is the first word that comes to mind when you hear the name Carl Paladino? Lunatic.
Same question, but for Andrew Cuomo? Son.
What is your No. 1 issue as a voter this year? Banking reform, but I have no hope for that. Can I give you my second closest? Jobs.
Who in politics is to blame for our economy? There’s no one person. It’s the Congress certainly and the Republicans under George Bush. They bankrupt the country and that was a deliberate attempt. We no longer have a working democracy — the Congress is for sale.


Benita Gayle-Almeleh, unemployed, Forest Hills resident, 55:

Do you know who you’ll vote for in the governor’s race? Cuomo.

How about your local State Senate and Assembly races? One of my friends ran for State Assembly and was defeated in my district so I’m really not happy about voting for the incumbent. [Andrew Hevesi's] daddy bought him the seat.

What is the first word that comes to mind when you hear the name Carl Paladino? Lunatic.

Same question, but for Andrew Cuomo? Solid.

Did you know they got rid of the voting booths with the big old levers? Will you miss them? Yes. Yes. I like them. I like the sound that they make. I have fond recollections of going with my mother, having the curtain close and having her tell me it’s the most important thing you’ll ever do.



“Matty,” actor (of course, he wouldn't give his age), West Village resident:

Will you be voting? Yes. Haven’t missed an election since I turned 21.

Do you know who you’ll vote for in the governor’s race? Cuomo.

The comptroller’s race? Yes — Johnson maybe? They’re all a bunch of crooks, you know. [Ed: They may be a bunch of crooks, but none of the candidates are named Johnson.]

How about your local State Senate and Assembly races? Do you know who you'll vote for? Deborah Glick. I always vote for her and Thomas Duane.

Would you vote for a state senator or Assembly member without knowing who they are? No. If I do I may end up with Paladino or someone like him. Is he some kind of joke? He’s got to be. How could anyone vote for this guy?

What is the first word that comes to mind when you hear the name Carl Paladino? Disgrace, idiot, homophobe. He’s a pig … why not pick Hitler? Despicable.

Same question, but for Andrew Cuomo? Alright. Not like his father. I don’t like that he won’t fight for tenants’ rights. He’s a middle-of-the-road, liberal guy, though.

Did you know they got rid of the voting booths with the big old levers? Will you miss them? Yes. I miss pulling the lever, but not really. Do I miss the typewriter? No. Do you miss it? Not if you’re in a hurry.

What is your No. 1 issue as a voter this year? Tenants’ rights in New York City. Everybody surrenders when they get to Albany. They should repeal the Urstadt Law. [New York’s] become a corporate city. It has happened a large degree because of rent.



Dwayne Dinnall, trader, 27, Bronx resident:

Do you know who you’ll vote for in the governor’s race? Cuomo.

Do you know who your U.S. representative is? Will you vote to keep him/her in office? No.

How about your local State Senate and Assembly races? I don’t know because the gentleman who was the Senate president [Ed: Pedro Espada] was shady — he was taking money from hospitals.

What is the first word that comes to mind when you hear the name Carl Paladino? Never heard of him.

What is your No. 1 issue as a voter this year? Economy. When will this thing get better?

Who in politics is to blame for our economy? George Bush. A lot of unnecessary decisions in terms of the war. To go totally into war with the money. I know no one’s making money now. It’s a battle everyday.


Kristal Ruiz, student, 20, Lower East Side resident:

Will you be voting? I hope to be voting. I’m still kind of undecided.

Do you know who you’ll vote for in the governor’s race? No, but I know there’s a debate tonight and hopefully after that I’ll have a better idea.

What is the first word that comes to mind when you hear the name Carl Paladino? Oh, so many bad words. I’m not sure he understands the concentration of people in this city. That’s the politically correct answer.

And the uncensored answer? I just think he’s a prick. I really do. I don’t think he has any reason to be running at all. I feel he should give up now.

Same question, but for Andrew Cuomo? Education reform.

Who in politics is to blame for our economy? I don’t know that any one person is to blame. I think we all contribute in one way or another.