Half of NYers Optimistic, Half Pessimistic About Future of Country Under President Trump; Huge Partisan Divide

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Half of NYers Optimistic, Half Pessimistic About Future of Country Under President Trump; Huge Partisan Divide
Voters Also Closely Divided – with Partisan Split – if Trump Presidency Will Be Good or Bad for New York; Overwhelmingly They Say Congressional Democrats Should Work with Trump
NYers Think It’s Likely Trump Administration Will Protect Country from Terrorism, Create Good Paying Jobs, Improve Infrastructure
Cuomo Ratings Up a Little; Plurality Tell Him Don’t Consider 2020 Run

Loudonville, NY. Less than seven weeks before President-elect Donald Trump takes office, 49 percent of New Yorkers say they are optimistic about the country’s future for the next four years and 48 percent say they are pessimistic. While two-thirds of Democrats are pessimistic, 51 percent of independents and 84 percent of Republicans are optimistic. Similarly, 47 percent of voters, including 83 percent of Republicans, say a Trump presidency will be good for New Yorkers, and 45 percent, including 64 percent of Democrats, say it will be bad for New Yorkers, according to a new Siena College poll of New York State registered voters released today.

By 65-23 percent, voters say congressional Democrats should work collaboratively with President Trump, rather than oppose his agenda. By large margins, they think a Trump Administration will improve infrastructure, protect America from terrorist attacks and create more good paying jobs. They are less convinced on three other issues.

“Republicans are ecstatic. At least 80 percent view Trump favorably, are optimistic about the next four years and think he will be good for New Yorkers. Democrats, not so much. At least 64 percent view Trump unfavorably, are pessimistic about the next four years and think Trump will be bad for the Empire State,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “Small majorities of independents are optimistic and think he’ll be good for the state.

“New York City voters are pessimistic and think Trump will be bad for New Yorkers by small majorities. Slightly larger majorities of upstaters are optimistic and say Trump will be good for New York. Downstate suburbanites split the difference, with small majorities being pessimistic but saying he will be good for New York,” Greenberg said. “Men and white voters are optimistic; women and voters of color are pessimistic. Unsurprisingly, 81 percent of voters who supported Hillary Clinton are pessimistic, while 93 percent of Trump voters are optimistic.”

“In a two-to-one Democratic state, New Yorkers unite on wanting bipartisanship in Washington. Democrats by a 20-point margin, independents by a 46-point margin and Republicans by an 80-point margin say congressional Democrats should, overall, work collaboratively with President Trump on his agenda, rather than opposing his agenda,” Greenberg said. “That view is held, albeit by a very slim two-point margin, by Clinton voters.”

“New Yorkers have great expectations that a Trump Administration will succeed in improving the nation’s infrastructure, protecting America from terrorist attacks and creating good paying jobs. Democrats strongly agree on infrastructure and are more closely divided on terror and jobs,” Greenberg said. “By a smaller margin, voters think Trump will appoint Supreme Court justices that appropriately interpret the Constitution while protecting the rights of all Americans, although nearly two-thirds of Democrats think that’s unlikely. With two-thirds of Democrats thinking it unlikely, voters are divided on whether Trump will succeed in lessening health care costs while enhancing access to quality health care. And despite two-thirds of Republicans thinking it likely, a majority of New Yorkers do not think Trump will be able to establish a spirit of bipartisanship in Washington.”

Trump’s negative 41-53 percent favorability rating is up significantly from negative 34-63 percent right before the election, and is his best rating ever. Vice President-elect Mike Pence has a 41-40 percent favorability rating.

Cuomo Favorability, Job Performance, Re-elect Ratings Up; Plurality Say Don’t Consider 2020 Run
Governor Andrew Cuomo has a 56-36 percent favorability rating, up from 56-41 percent in October. His job performance rating is a negative 44-54 percent, up from negative 41-57 percent in September. Currently, 47 percent are prepared to re-elect Cuomo in 2018, while 44 percent would prefer ‘someone else,’ up from a negative 45-49 percent in September.

“Cuomo’s ratings in the first two years of his second term have stayed in a relatively narrow band. His current 56 percent favorable rating is well within the 49-60 percent range during this term, as his current 44 percent positive job performance rating is in the middle of a 39-47 percent range,” Greenberg said. “Neither good nor bad news for the Governor has moved his numbers up or down more than a few points month-to-month.”

“A strong majority of voters, 53 percent, continues to believe that Cuomo has made New York a better place to live since he’s been governor, while only 16 percent say he’s made it worse and 20 percent say it’s about the same as when he came in to office. This is little changed from a comparable 52-14-26 percent in December 2014,” Greenberg said. “Two-thirds of Democrats think Cuomo’s made New York a better place to live, as do a plurality of independents and Republicans. A majority of downstaters think so, as do a plurality of upstaters.

“By a narrow 47-44 percent margin, voters say they are prepared to re-elect Cuomo if he runs for re-election in 2018, however, by a similar 49-44 percent margin, voters say Cuomo should not consider running for the Democratic nomination for President in 2020,” Greenberg said. “Democrats favor his re-election two-to-one and a majority say he should consider a 2020 run, however, nearly two-thirds of Republicans both want ‘someone else’ as governor and say he should not run in 2020. And 51 percent of independents agree with Republicans on both of those points.

Jobs, Education, Taxes Top Issues for Voters in 2017, Just as They Were in 2016 and 2015
“In 2015, voters said jobs was the top issue for the Governor to focus on, followed by education and taxes. For 2016, voters flipped the top two to make education the top issue, followed by jobs and taxes. As we head into 2017, jobs is back on top with 20 percent saying it’s the most important issue – and 41 percent saying it’s one of the top two issues – they want the Governor working on, followed by education (19 percent top, 36 percent top two) and taxes (16 percent top, 31 percent top two),” Greenberg said. “State government ethics reform is the sixth most important issue, with only 20 percent of voters saying it should be one of the Governor’s top two priorities.”

Plurality Say State is Headed On the Right Track; Majority Say Country Is Headed in Wrong Direction
By a 48-38 percent margin, voters say New York is headed on the right track; from 51-41 percent in October. A 56-34 percent majority say the United States is headed in the wrong direction, up from 54-40 percent in October.

“Downstaters and Democrats say the state is headed on the right track, while upstaters and independents are divided and Republicans say the state is headed in the wrong direction,” Greenberg said. “Between 54 and 57 percent of voters from every region say the country is headed in the wrong direction. But what a difference an election can make. In October, 55 percent of Democrats said the country was on the right track; now 67 percent say it’s headed in the wrong direction. However, pre-election, 80 percent of Republicans had thought the country was headed in the wrong direction, and now 56 percent say it’s on the right track. Independents barely moved; 58 percent said the country was headed in the wrong direction before the election and 56 percent say that now.”
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This Siena College Poll was conducted November 27-December 1, 2016 by telephone calls conducted in English to 807 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 +/- 3.8 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 cross-tabs:www.Siena.edu/SRI/SNY.

SNY Press Release