More than ¾ of NY Voters View Congress Unfavorably

NY state building

More than ¾ of NY Voters View Congress Unfavorably

Nearly ¾ Think Country is Headed in the Wrong Direction

Government Shutdown Blamed on GOP 2-to-1, in 2-to-1 Dem. State

Plurality Want to Move Forward with Obamacare; 22% Want It Repealed

Loudonville, NY. By a better than four-to-one margin, New Yorkers have an unfavorable view of Congress and by a 74-19 percent margin, voters think that the country is headed in the wrong direction, according to a new Siena College Poll of New York voters released today. As the most recent round of fighting in Washington was concluding, voters blamed Republicans in Congress by a two-to-one margin rather than blame President Obama.

On the Affordable Care Act, 43 percent what to see it move forward as is, 32 percent want to put it on hold until necessary changes can be made and 22 percent want to see it repealed. Obama is viewed favorably by 55 percent of voters and unfavorably by 42 percent (down slightly from 57-40 percent last month).

“Albany, it appears, has found a way to deflect the ‘dysfunction’ card. It flipped it over to Washington. Only 18 percent of New Yorkers have a favorable view of Congress, while 78 percent view Congress unfavorably. Apparently Congress has gotten New York’s Democrats, Republicans and independent voters to agree, with at least 74 percent of each party viewing Congress unfavorably, as do at least three-quarters of voters from every region,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

“Congress came within one point of tying the Siena College Poll record high unfavorable rating, recorded by Eliot Spitzer, the week he resigned as Governor,” Greenberg said. “In July 2012, Congress had a particularly bad 27-67 percent unfavorable rating. It’s gone from bad to worse. Another thing Washington has united New York Democrats and Republicans on is the direction of the country.

“While 84 percent of Republicans think the country is headed in the wrong direction – up from 79 percent last month – 66 percent of Democrats now agree, a dramatic change from last month when a plurality of Democrats, by a margin of 48-41 percent, felt the country was on the right track,” Greenberg said. “Despite the voters’ views on the direction of the country and Congress, voters remain favorable to the President.”

“Obama does not appear to have been hurt politically in the latest skirmish with Congress, well, at least not in solid blue New York,” Greenberg said. “But the partisan divide returns when it comes to measuring how New Yorkers feel about the President. Obama remains little liked by Republicans (73 percent unfavorable), even as he continues to be beloved by Democrats (77 percent favorable). And he’s now viewed unfavorably by a majority of independent voters.

New Yorkers Blame Republicans in Congress for Government Shutdown
“While 30 percent of voters say the President is most responsible for the recent Federal government shutdown, nearly twice that number, 59 percent, hold Congressional Republicans responsible,” Greenberg said. “Democrats blame the GOP by eight-to-one, while Republicans blame Obama two-to-one and by a 50-37 percent margin, independents put more blame on the Republicans.

“Not surprising results in a state where there are twice as many Democrats as Republicans. However, other than Republicans and conservatives, a majority of voters from every region and demographic group place greater blame for the shutdown on the Republicans in Congress,” Greenberg said.

Plurality of Voters Support Obamacare Moving Forward; Half as Many Want it Repealed
“Sixty percent of Democrats want to see Obamacare move forward as is, while 43 percent of Republicans, a plurality, want to see it repealed. Independents are very divided with 36 percent supporting moving forward, 33 percent preferring to see it put on hold until necessary changes are made, and 28 percent wanting it repealed,” Greenberg said. “A majority of New York City voters and a plurality of suburbanites favor moving forward, while a plurality of upstaters wants to see changes made before it moves forward.

“Depending how you look at the proverbial glass, it’s hard to say if it’s half full or half empty. Three-quarters of voters do not want Obamacare repealed. But a majority does not want to see it move forward as is. Certainly Congress will be able to figure out that message. Or not,” Greenberg said

Hillary Clinton is Popular; Donald Trump is Not
“Two-thirds of voters view Hillary Clinton favorably, with 30 percent viewing her unfavorably. She is adored by Democrats and liked by independents, although a majority of Republicans view her unfavorably,” Greenberg said. “The Donald is viewed unfavorably by twice as many voters as view him favorably. He is viewed unfavorably by three-quarters of Democrats and a majority of independents, while 51 percent of Republicans view him favorably.”

# # #

This Siena College Poll was conducted October 14-16, 2013 by telephone calls to 822 New York State registered voters. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points. Data was statistically adjusted by age, party, region and gender to ensure representativeness. Sampling was conducted via random digit dialing to landline and cell phones weighted to reflect known population patterns. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social and cultural research primarily in New York State. SRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. For more information, call Steve Greenberg at (518) 469-9858. For survey cross-tabs and frequencies:


Press Release