05/30/2012 05:39 pm ET

Governor Andrew Cuomo's Approval Rating Is 71 Percent; New Yorkers Want A Raise In Minimum Wage

Governor Cuomo is continuing his reign as Mr. Popular, as a new poll reveals 71 percent of New Yorkers approving of his performance as governor.

Quinnipiac University Polling Institute director Maurice Carroll further explained:

Gov. Cuomo might not be the most popular governor in the nation, but he's the most popular - Democrat or Republican - in the seven states surveyed by Quinnipiac University. For example, he's well-ahead of New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie's all-time best 59 - 36 percent. Cuomo tops that score among Republicans in New York State.

A similar poll in 2011 found the governor to have a 77 percent approval rating, despite high unemployment rates and a precarious state budget.

Cuomo's immense popularity is often fodder for rumors regarding a possible presidential run in 2016 and even replacing current Vice President Joe Biden's position as President Obama's number two.

In March, the governor's girlfriend Sandra Lee shot down such rumors and said, "Andrew is focused on being governor. He's not running for president."

Obama recently visited Albany to give a speech at the capital's science center where the president praised Cuomo for his "extraordinary leadership" and said, "Your leadership has brought this nation through the storm, and we thank you."

Wednesday's numbers also show an overwhelming 79 percent of New Yorkers favor a hike in the minimum wage, a raise Cuomo supports but has acknowledged the difficulties in making such a reality in 2012.

Earlier in May, the governor said passing any minimum wage increase would be harder to achieve than gay marriage.