20-person poll

What New Yorkers Know About David Paterson

David Paterson

Five New Yorkers in Union Square on Wednesday.Photos: Lucy Tang

As of Monday, David Paterson will be the new governor of New York, not to mention the state’s first black governor. And what do his constituents think of him? Well, they don’t really have an opinion. Because most of them heard his name for the first time this week. We surveyed nineteen New Yorkers (and one visitor from Florida) to see what they knew about Governor-designate Paterson. They know a lot more now, thanks to the magic of a sex scandal in the age of the 24-hour news cycle. And being New Yorkers, they have some choice words for Governor-resigned Eliot Spitzer.

Do you know who David Paterson is?
Yes: 9; no: 11

Did you before this week?
Yes: 5; no: 15

Did you know he is black?
Yes: 12; no: 8

Did you know he is legally blind?
Yes: 10; no: 10

Will Paterson do a good job?
“His reputation for congeniality and experience in the State Legislature indicate he will be an excellent facilitator for moving forward.”

What should Spitzer do now?
“It’s too bad he thought with his penis.” “Get himself a nice golden parachute.” “Everyone should get laid. And if that’s the way he gets it…” “I don’t know what happens to someone like Eliot Spitzer. He has less friends than most people.” “Be really nice to his wife and kids?” “He should’ve stuck it out.” “Resign. And leave the ladies alone.”

Reported by Randi Eichenbaum and Lucy Tang.

What New Yorkers Know About David Paterson