Heading Into Fifth State of the State, Cuomo Ratings Up

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Heading Into Fifth State of the State, Cuomo Ratings Up; Voters Want Him Focused on Jobs & Education for 2015
More Voters Say Common Core Implementation Should Be Stopped;
Trust SED & Regents More than Gov & Leg on Education Policy
Cuomo Administration Fracking Ban Supported More than Two-to-One

Loudonville, NY. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s standing with voters has improved a little since last month and is now at its highest level since July. Jobs and education are the top two issues voters want Cuomo to make his top priorities this year, according to a new Siena College poll of New York State registered voters released today.

When it comes to education, voters give a negative rating to public schools across the state in preparing students to be college or career ready, and they are evenly divided on their local schools. By a 15-point margin, 49-34 percent, voters say implementation of Common Core standards should be stopped. Voters also say they trust the State Education Department (SED) and the Board of Regents to set education policy far more than they trust the Governor or Legislature. The Cuomo Administration’s decision to ban fracking in New York is supported by a 57-23 percent margin. And there is overwhelming support for continuing the property tax cap law.

Cuomo’s favorability rating is 60-35 percent, up a little from 58-37 percent last month, and he has a negative
47-51 percent job performance rating, up from a negative 42-57 percent last month.

“On the eve of his fifth State of the State address, voters statewide give Cuomo the best favorability rating he’s had since July. He’s viewed favorably by more than three-quarters of Democrats and New York City voters and favorably by independents and downstate suburbanites. Upstate voters are evenly divided and Republicans are decidedly unfavorable,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “Cuomo’s job performance rating is also the best it’s been since July and is hovering just below the breakeven point.

“Jobs and education are the two issues that at least 40 percent of voters statewide say should be one of Cuomo’s top two priorities in 2015,” Greenberg said. “Those are by far the most important two issues for Democrats, independents and New York City voters, however, Republicans see taxes and jobs as the two top priorities. Downstate suburbanites and upstaters are closely divided among three top priorities: jobs, education and taxes.”

Continuing to Implement Common Core Not Supported; Trust on Education Rests with SED & Regents
“While Democrats and New York City voters are closely divided on the issue of whether or not to continue implementing Common Core education standards, upstaters and downstate suburbanites want implementation stopped by about two-to-one, as do a majority of independents and a large majority of Republicans,” Greenberg said. “Majorities of downstate suburban and upstate voters say their local public schools are doing an excellent or good job of preparing students to be college or career ready, however, twice as many New York City voters say their local public schools are doing a fair or poor job of preparing students, not a good or excellent job.

“Despite the fact that it was SED and the Regents that implemented the Common Core standards which voters want stopped, voters trust SED and the Regents far more than they trust politicians to set education policy in the state,” Greenberg said. “Thirty-eight percent of voters trust SED the most to set education policy, followed by 23 percent who trust the Regents most, 18 percent who trust Cuomo, and eight percent who trust the Legislature.”

Cuomo’s Fracking Ban Overwhelmingly Supported – Upstate and Downstate
“By a five-to-two margin, New Yorkers support the Cuomo Administration’s ban on fracking. Between 55 and 61 percent of voters from every region of the state support the ban. While about one-third of upstaters oppose the decision to ban fracking, about half that number of downstaters oppose the ban,” Greenberg said. “Two-thirds of Democrats support the ban, as do a strong majority of independents and a plurality of Republicans.”

Lopsided Support for Continuing the Property Tax Cap Freeze Law
“Democrats, Republicans, upstaters, and downstaters all agree: the Governor and Legislature should pass a law continuing the property tax cap, 70-23 percent,” Greenberg said. “While support is weakest in New York City at 63 percent, continuing the law is supported by about three-quarters of upstaters and downstate suburbanites. It is supported by two-thirds of Democrats, nearly three-quarters of independents and 79 percent of Republicans.”

Mario Cuomo Fondly Remembered
“Voters fondly remember Mario Cuomo, who passed away on New Year’s Day. Seventy-six percent of New Yorkers say they have a favorable view of the first Governor Cuomo, compared to only 14 percent who say they view him unfavorably,” Greenberg said. “At least two-thirds of voters from every region have a favorable view of Mario Cuomo, as do 58 percent of Republicans. Even a majority of voters who view the current Governor Cuomo unfavorably have a favorable view of his father.”

This Siena College Poll was conducted January 11-15, 2015 by telephone calls to 802 New York State registered voters. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 3.5 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: www.Siena.edu/SRI/SNY.