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Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:33 am, Thu May 29, 2014.

Cuomo strong but could lose edge if liberal runs — poll

Gov. Cuomo has a 57 to 28 percent lead over his Republican challenger, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, but that lead drops to 37 to 24 percent if a more liberal or progressive candidate runs on the Working Families Party line, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. The unnamed progressive candidate gets 22 percent, the survey found. 

Cuomo’s support among Democrats drops from 87 percent in the two-way matchup to 55 percent in the hypothetical three-way race, with 27 percent of Democrats going for the unnamed Working Families Party candidate and 15 percent undecided. 

Cuomo’s lead in a two-way race with Astorino compares to his 58 to 24 percent lead in a Feb. 13 survey by Quinnipiac. 

Voters approve of the job Cuomo is doing by 59 to 32 percent, compared to 63 to 28 percent in February. Fifty-five percent say he deserves re-election. Cuomo is “too liberal,” 27 percent say, while 14 percent say he is “too conservative” and 49 percent say he is “about right.” 

“A Working Families Party liberal would cut heavily into New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s support, especially among younger voters, but he’d still be an easy winner over his Republican challenger, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino,” said Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. Further details are posted at quinnipiac.edu.

Medical marijuana bill moves in state Senate

A bill that would legalize the use of marijuana to alleviate the suffering of people with debilitating diseases such as cancer was narrowly voted out of a state Senate committee this week.

The measure, authored by Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island, Brooklyn), passed the Senate Health Committee 9-8, according to multiple media reports. It next goes to the Finance Committee. Whether it will make it to the floor for a full Senate vote is unknown. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Nassau) has the power to keep it from the floor and reportedly has not said definitively what his position on it is.

“Anybody who ever had a family member suffer from a debilitating disease learns very quickly the limitations of modern medicine at treating pain,” Savino said in a previous prepared statement on the bill. “Doctors and patients have documented that marijuana can offer very effective pain treatment where other medications have failed for many patients who suffer from other life-threatening or debilitating conditions.”

A companion bill is sponsored by Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan). Gov. Cuomo has also offered a more limited plan to allow the use of medical marijuana.

Prostitution suspects to get condoms back

In a move designed to protect public health by reducing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, the Police Department announced last week that it will no longer hold on to condoms taken from suspected prostitutes to use as evidence of the crime, with some exceptions.

When a prostitution suspect is found to have a number of condoms on his or her person, police traditionally have kept them as evidence. Now, except in cases such as sex trafficking and the promotion of prostitution, they will be returned to defendants along with their other possessions when they are released.


Queens 3rd in diversity?

Queens is often touted as the most diverse county in the country, or even the world, but a recent analysis puts it third — though the other two areas are quite different from the borough.

According to a study by analyst and blogger Randy Olson, two areas in Alaska’s Aleutian Island chain are more ethnically diverse than Queens. A mix of people reportedly go to the two counties for the commercial fishing trade and, more recently, for oil exploration. The study is posted at randalolson.com

— compiled by Peter C. Mastrosimone

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