By Two-to-One, Voters Say New Ethics Reform Legislation Will NOT Reduce Corruption in State Government

NY state building

By Two-to-One, Voters Say New Ethics Reform Legislation
Will NOT Reduce Corruption in State Government

Gov Calls 2016 Legislative Session “Probably the Most Successful
in Modern History”; 60% of New Yorkers Do Not Agree with Him; They Give Gov, Legislature Low Marks on Session Performance

Voters Currently Lean Toward Re-Electing Incumbent State Legislators

Clinton Continues Big Lead Over Trump; Schumer Still Has Huge Lead Over Long

Loudonville, NY. By a better than two-to-one margin, 56-27 percent, New Yorkers say the ethics reform legislation passed in the recently completed legislative session will not lead to a reduction in corruption in state government, according to a new Siena College poll of New York State registered voters released today. Although Governor Andrew Cuomo called the recently completed session, “probably the most successful in modern history,” only 23 percent of voters agree with him; 60 percent agree with editorial boards that take issue with the Governor’s description. Voters give the Governor a ‘C’ for the legislative session and each house a grade of ‘C-.’

A plurality of voters says they are prepared to re-elect their State Senator and a smaller plurality says they are prepared to re-elect their Assemblymember. Hillary Clinton bumped her lead over Donald Trump a couple of points, now leading by 23 points. Senator Chuck Schumer maintains a better than 40-point lead over Wendy Long.

“When it comes to ethics reform, the Governor and Legislature did little to win over the hearts and minds of New Yorkers. A strong majority says that legislation passed this session will not reduce state government corruption. That sentiment is shared by half of Democrats, more than 60 percent of Republicans and independents, a plurality of New York City voters and a majority of non-City voters,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “The voters also give Cuomo an overwhelmingly negative job performance rating on the specific issue of reducing corruption, with only 23 percent rating him positively and 71 percent giving him a negative rating.

“Nor did the Governor convince voters that 2016 produced the most successful legislative session. A majority of voters from every party and region disagree with the Cuomo assessment,” Greenberg said. “Not more than one-third of any demographic group agrees with him. Maybe that’s why his session grade has dropped to a new low.”

“Thirty-nine percent of New Yorkers would give Cuomo an ‘A’ or ‘B’ for the 2016 session, while 25 percent would fail him or give him a ‘D.’ His overall GPA is 2.09 – a solid ‘C’ – his lowest post-session grade ever, and down from 2.35 the last time Siena asked in 2013,” Greenberg said. “The good news for the Assembly and Senate is that their grades haven’t fallen as much as the Governor’s; the bad news is that their grades – both have GPAs of 1.88 – are worse than the Governor’s, earning both the Senate and the Assembly grades of ‘C-,’ ”

Voters Give Cuomo Lower Job Performance Ratings on Specific Issues than on His Overall Performance
Cuomo has a 56-38 percent favorability rating, up a little from 54-40 percent four weeks ago, and his job performance rating is a negative 40-59 percent, down a little from negative 42-58 percent in late May. If he runs for re-election in 2018, 46 percent say they’re prepared to re-elect him, compared to 48 percent who would prefer ‘someone else,’ an improvement from 42-49 percent last month.

“Cuomo’s overall job performance rating, significantly under water, is at least better than the 64 percent of voters who give him a negative job performance rating on each of three key issues: ethics, education and the economy,” Greenberg said. “Even his fellow Democrats give Cuomo negative ratings on the three Es: ethics, education and the economy.”

Legislature Favorability – Still Negative – Up in Last Month; Voters Lean Toward Re-electing Them
By a 48-37 percent margin, voters say they are prepared to re-elect their State Senator rather than preferring ‘someone else.’ Voters are less sure about their Assemblymember, who they say they are prepared to re-elect, barely, at 42-38 percent.

“Democrats like their legislators and a majority are prepared to re-elect both their Assemblymember and their State Senator. Republicans are divided on the Assembly and more negative toward their Senator, while independents are negative toward their Senator and even more negative about re-electing their Assemblymember. Voters give legislators bad grades but as yet they’re not preparing to ‘throw the bums out,’ ” Greenberg said.

Clinton’s Large Lead Over Trump Continues; Her Favorability Rebounds Some; His Does Not
Clinton has a positive 50-47 percent favorability rating, up from negative 46-51 percent four weeks ago, while Trump has a negative 28-68 percent favorability rating, virtually unchanged from 27-68 percent. Clinton leads Trump 54-31 percent, up slightly from her 52-31 percent lead in late May.

“Little change in ‘blue New York,’ as adopted New Yorker Hillary Clinton continues to have a strong lead over native New Yorker Donald Trump,” Greenberg said. “Clinton’s lead among Democrats, 64 points, is significantly bigger than Trump’s 47-point lead among Republicans. Independents are more closely divided, giving Clinton a relatively narrow 43-35 percent lead. She has plurality support outside of New York City and carries the Big Apple by an overwhelming 66-19 percent margin.”

With Four Months to Go, Long Gains No Ground on Schumer
Schumer has a 60-28 percent favorability rating, up slightly from 59-30 percent four weeks ago. Long has an 11-11 percent favorability rating, with 78 percent not knowing enough about her to have an opinion, largely unchanged from 12-11 percent in May. In a head-to-head matchup, Schumer leads Long by 66-23 percent – 43 points – little changed from 42 points last month, 64-22 percent.

“Long has what feels like an impossible amount of ground to make up and only four months to make it happen. No Republican has carried New York State since George Pataki in 2002 and none other than Pataki has won since Dennis Vacco in 1994. Since Long can only garner the support of 49 percent of Republicans – while Schumer has 86 percent Democratic support and a two-to-one lead with independents – it’s hard to see how that trend can be changed this year,” Greenberg said.

Most New Yorkers Heard Nothing About a ConCon – But They Support It Overwhelmingly
“Two-thirds of New Yorkers have heard or read nothing about a vote next year on whether New York should hold a Constitutional Convention, with another almost quarter hearing very little,” Greenberg said. “While New Yorkers haven’t heard much about a ConCon, they know they want one – by a margin of 68-19 percent, unchanged since it was 69-19 percent in early May. Support is strongest with independents, 72 percent, nearly as strong with Democrats, 69 percent, and ‘weakest’ with Republicans, who ‘only’ support it 63-20 percent.”

This Siena College Poll was conducted June 22-28, 2016 by telephone calls conducted in English to 803 New York State registered voters. Respondent sampling was initiated by asking for the youngest male in the household. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points including the design effects resulting from weighting. Sampling was conducted via a stratified dual frame probability sample of landline and cell phone telephone numbers (both from Survey Sampling International) from within New York State weighted to reflect known population patterns. Data was statistically adjusted by age, party, region and gender to ensure representativeness. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social and cultural research primarily in NYS. 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