Nearly 90% of NYers Concerned (60% Very) That Another Terrorist Attack Will Happen in New York in Near Future
Majority Oppose Allowing Syrian Refugees into Country at This Time
Overwhelming Majorities Agree with Silver Verdict and Believe Silver Conviction Important Step to Clean Up Albany; Nearly Two-Thirds Say New Ethics Laws Are Needed
By Two-to-One, Voters Agree with Attorney General Schneiderman that Daily Fantasy Sports Games Are Gambling & Illegal in New York
Loudonville, NY. While nearly 90 percent of New Yorkers say they are at least somewhat concerned – 60 percent say they are very concerned – that another terrorist attack will happen in New York in the near future, 63 percent say they have not changed their lifestyle at all out of fear of a terrorist attack. By a 52-39 percent margin, voters oppose allowing Syrian refugees to come to the United States at this time, according to a new Siena College poll of New York State registered voters released today.
Nine in ten New Yorkers continues to say that corruption in Albany is a serious problem, and by huge margins, voters agree with the guilty verdict in the Sheldon Silver case (83-10 percent) and agree that the Silver conviction is an important step in cleaning up Albany (83-13 percent). By a three-to-one margin, voters say new laws are needed to prevent further corruption, rather than that legislators will finally act ethically going forward, given the Silver conviction and those of other politicians. Two-thirds of voters agree with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that daily fantasy sports games are gambling and illegal in New York.
“The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers, not surprisingly, have been closely following the recent terror attacks around the world. And an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers – at least 86 percent from every region and party – are also concerned about another terrorist attack in New York in the near future. At least 56 percent from every region and party are very concerned,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.
“Sixty-three percent haven’t changed their lifestyle at all out of fear of terrorism and another 16 percent have not changed it very much, while 20 percent say they’ve changed their lifestyle a great deal or some,” Greenberg said.
“While New Yorkers are concerned about another terrorist attack in New York, four out of five have not altered their lifestyle very much or at all because of fear of a terrorist attack, and those numbers are consistent across the board irrespective of region, party, race, religion, or gender,” Greenberg said.
“A clear majority of New Yorkers – led by an overwhelming majority of Republicans – opposes allowing Syrian refugees into the country at this time,” Greenberg said. “By 50-41 percent, Democrats support allowing Syrian refugees into America, while more than three-quarters of Republicans oppose it and independents are opposed 50-42 percent. A majority of voters from upstate and the downstate suburbs are opposed, as are a plurality of New York City voters.
“New Yorkers are evenly divided on how President Obama is confronting the terrorism threat, with 46 percent supporting his efforts and 47 percent opposing. Nearly two-thirds of Democrats support the President’s efforts, while a majority of independents and more than three-quarters of Republicans are opposed,” Greenberg said.
Support for Silver Guilty Verdict; Important Step in Cleaning Up Albany; Need New Laws
“Although 89 percent of New Yorkers say that corruption in Albany is a serious problem, more than half have not followed the recent trials of two former legislative leaders very closely or at all, and nearly three-quarters have not heard of United States Attorney Preet Bharara, who’s viewed favorably by 18 percent,” Greenberg said.
“At least 79 percent of voters from every region and party agree that Silver illegally took money and agree with his guilty verdict,” Greenberg said. “While at least 79 percent of voters from every region and party agree that Silver’s conviction is an important step in cleaning up Albany, 61 percent – including at least 57 percent from every region and party – agree that ‘the next guy will do the same’ as Silver, ‘just more carefully.’
“New Yorkers continue to be very concerned by corruption in state government, and while a huge majority think the Silver conviction is an important step in cleaning up Albany, a strong majority believe that the corruption will continue, thinking that future corrupt pols will just try and do it more carefully,” Greenberg said.
“Will the recent convictions of Silver and other politicians finally convince state legislators to act ethically and honestly? Only 22 percent of New Yorkers think so. But nearly three times as many, 64 percent, think we need new laws to prevent pols from doing what Silver and other convicted legislators have done,” Greenberg said.
Voters Side with Schneiderman Over Daily Fantasy Sports Companies
Only three percent of voters say they have participated in online daily fantasy sports competition. When asked who is right in the ongoing legal battle, 66 percent say that Attorney General Schneiderman is right that these activities are gambling and illegal in New York, compared to only 34 percent who say the daily fantasy sports companies are right that these games are games of skill and are not gambling and not illegal in New York.
“More than two-thirds of Democrats and independents side with Schneiderman over the daily fantasy sports companies, as do a small majority of Republicans,” Greenberg said. “Voters from every region think the Attorney General is right in calling these games gambling. Voters under 35 are evenly divided with 49 percent agreeing with Schneiderman and 51 percent agreeing with the companies, however those 55 and older support Schneiderman’s position 75-25 percent.”
Cuomo Standing with Voters Little Changed in Last Two Months, Last Six Months
Governor Andrew Cuomo has a 51-38 percent favorability rating, up a little from 50-42 percent in October, and his job performance rating is a negative 39-59 percent, down slightly from 41-58 percent in October.
“Voters’ view of Cuomo have not changed very much in the second half of the first year of his second term. Since July, his favorability rating has been between 49 and 51 percent and his positive job performance rating has been between 39 and 41 percent,” Greenberg said. “Democrats continue by a large margin to view Cuomo favorably and be evenly divided on his job performance rating. Independents now view him favorably, up significantly from October, while they continue to give him a two-to-one negative job performance rating. Republicans continue to view Cuomo unfavorably and more than two-thirds give him a negative job performance rating.”
Voters’ View of Legislature Gets Worse
The State Assembly is viewed favorably by 33 percent and unfavorably by 49 percent of voters (down from 36-44 percent in October). The Senate has a slightly better 38-47 percent favorability rating (down from 42-42 percent in October).
“Whether it’s the recent trials and convictions of former legislative leaders or some other reason, New Yorkers have an unfavorable view of both legislative house,” Greenberg said. “Both current legislative leaders continue to be unknown to three-quarters of voters, and the recently convicted former leaders are both viewed strongly unfavorably, although 30 percent are still unfamiliar with Silver and 53 percent don’t know Dean Skelos.”
New Yorkers Evenly Divided on Direction of State; Continue Negative on Direction of Country
“Voters are split on the direction of New York State, as 42 percent say the state is on the right track while 43 percent say it’s headed in the wrong direction, down from 46-39 percent in October, with the biggest drop in the downstate suburbs,” Greenberg said. “Voters are unchanged on the direction of the country since September. Both then and now, 32 percent say the US is on the right track, compared to 59 percent who say wrong direction.
This Siena College Poll was conducted December 6-10, 2015 by telephone calls conducted in English to 822 New York State registeredvoters. 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 provided by Survey Sampling International of landline and cell phone telephone numbers 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.