ALBANY - To hear Gov. Andrew Cuomo tell it, his popularity took a hit when he led New York to pass a law legalizing same-sex marriage in 2011.
The polls tell a different story.
Speaking to reporters Monday in New York City, Cuomo pointed to his successful same-sex marriage push as an example of expending political capital to benefit the greater good, claiming he "went down in the polls" after he signed it into law.
He also said a "majority of the people in this state" — perhaps as much as 70 percent — was opposed to same-sex marriage "when we started with marriage equality."
But what do the numbers show? Follow along.
What Cuomo said
“When I passed marriage equality, I went down in the polls. It’s one of the greatest things I ever did. History vindicated me. Supreme Court decided it, right?
"But I was before all that. And when we started with marriage equality, the majority of the people in this state were against it. It wasn’t even close. I'll bet you it was 70 percent opposition, because the case of first impression always gets the most opposition.”
'I went down in the polls'
Cuomo said his support in public-opinion polls declined after same-sex marriage was approved in New York.
That's not true.
Cuomo signed same-sex marriage into law in New York on June 24, 2011.
A Quinnipiac University poll released June 29 of that year showed 64 percent of New York voters approved of the way Cuomo was doing his job — which matched his highest approval rating at the time and was three percentage points higher than a June 1 poll.
Quinnipiac's poll was conducted from June 20-26, 2011, the days leading up to and after the same-sex marriage vote.
Siena College showed a similar result.
In Siena's July 2011 poll, Cuomo's personal favorability rating was 71 percent. That was up from 68 percent in mid-June, just before same-sex marriage became law.
'The majority of the people of the state were against it'
Cuomo said: "And when we started with marriage equality, the majority of the people in this state were against it."
A Democrat, Cuomo stepped in to the governor's office in January 2011.
At the time, most New York voters were not against same-sex marriage, polls show.
In fact, a slim majority was in favor of it.
Quinnipiac asked New York voters in mid-January 2011: Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?
Fifty-six percent said they would support it, according to the poll. Just 37 percent said they were opposed, with the rest unsure.
In his remarks Monday, Cuomo took a guess that 70 percent of New Yorkers were opposed at the time.
That number wasn't correct -- even long before Cuomo took office.
When Quinnipiac polled New York voters in April 2004, opposition to same-sex marriage was at 55 percent.