While State Budget Gets Mixed Reviews, Strong Support for Big Ticket Items, Including Money for Schools & Water

NY state building

While State Budget Gets Mixed Reviews, Strong Support for Big Ticket Items, Including Money for Schools & Water

Trump Continues to Be Unpopular with New Yorkers, Though Ratings Edge Up a Tad; Voters Give Him a 1.6 GPA on 8 Big Issues

Voters Upbeat About Direction of NYS; Less Downbeat About USA

Loudonville, NY.  While only 22 percent of New Yorkers think the recently enacted state budget is either excellent or good for the people of the state, at least 71 percent agree that creating a $2.5 billion clean water infrastructure fund, increasing aid to local school districts by $1.1 billion, allowing ride sharing services to operate across the state, and making SUNY/CUNY tuition free for families making less than $125,000 will make New York better, according to a new Siena College poll of New York State registered voters released today.

President Donald Trump, with a negative 34-61 percent favorability rating (from negative 33-63 percent last month) and a negative 28-69 percent job performance rating (from negative 26-71 percent last month) gets mostly ‘D’s and ‘F’s from voters on a series of eight issues. By a 52-33 percent margin, voters say the state is headed on the track (up from 49-39 percent last month), and by a 51-36 percent margin, they say the country is headed in the wrong direction (down from 61-31 percent wrong direction last month).

“More than half of New Yorkers say they have read or head a great deal or at least some about the recently enacted state budget, and only 22 percent say it is an excellent or good budget for the people of the state, while 23 percent say it’s a poor budget,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “Still, 42 percent say Governor Andrew Cuomo deserves an ‘A’ or ‘B’ for his budget work, while only 22 percent give him a ‘D’ or ‘F.’  Overall, voters give the Governor a solid ‘C+,’ or 2.2 GPA for effectiveness on this year’s budget.”

“While New Yorkers might not be keen on the total budget package – the first in Governor Cuomo’s tenure to be late by more than a week – they do like many of the headline items included in the budget,” Greenberg said.

“At least two-thirds of voters from every party and region think the $2.5 billion clean water infrastructure fund will make New York better. At least 71 percent of voters from every party and region think the increase in school aid will make New York better. At least 72 percent of voters from every party and region think that allowing ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate across the state will make New York better,” Greenberg said.

“Although Republicans are closely divided, 82 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of independents and at least 63 percent of voters from every region think free tuition at SUNY and CUNY for families making less than $125,000 will make New York better,” Greenberg said. “Voters were told that a requirement for receiving this benefit was that students must live and work in New York for at least the number of years they received the award.

“About two-thirds of Democrats and New York City voters think raising the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 will make New York better, as do a small majority of independents, downstate suburbanites and upstaters. By a 53-43 percent margin, Republicans disagree,” Greenberg said.

Cuomo Ratings Edge Up a Tick; Voters Continue to Rate Assembly & Senate Favorably

Cuomo has a 54-37 percent favorability rating (from 54-40 percent last month), a negative 47-51 percent job performance rating (from negative 47-52 percent last month), and 51 percent say they are prepared to re-elect him, compared to 39 percent who prefer ‘someone else’ (up from 48-41 percent last month).

“Cuomo’s 71 percent favorability rating from Democrats more than offsets the unfavorable rating he gets from Republicans (58 percent) and independents (52 percent). He is strongly favorable downstate, while a plurality of upstaters view him unfavorably,” Greenberg said. “It’s still a long way till the 2018 election, however, by a 12-point margin, voters say they are prepared to re-elect Cuomo, up from seven points last month.

“The Assembly is viewed favorably by a nine-point margin, virtually unchanged from 10 points last month, while the Senate is viewed favorably by an eight-point margin, up slightly from six points last month,” Greenberg said.

Trump Ratings – Still Strongly Negative – Inch Up; Voters Give Him ‘C-’ or ‘D+’ On Most Issues

“Although two-thirds of Republicans have a favorable view of Trump, he is viewed unfavorably by 53 percent of independents and a whopping 81 percent of Democrats. His rating actually nudged up this month with Democrats and independents but fell from plus 51 points last month with Republicans to plus 37 points now,” Greenberg said.

“Likewise, Trump’s job performance rating – under water by 41 points overall – remains abysmal with Democrats and independents, although it nudged up a little this month. Among Republicans, however, he fell from a plus 29-point positive rating to a plus 22-point rating today,” Greenberg said.

“Republicans consistently give the President good grades on the issues. With the exception of improving health care – when only 40 percent of Republicans give him an ‘A’ or a ‘B,’ on every other issue, at least 62 percent give him a ‘B’ or better,” Greenberg said. “On the other side of the partisan equation, at least 59 percent of Democrats give Trump a ‘D’ or worse on every single issue.

“While all parties give Trump his best grade on the selection of a good Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, gets a break-even favorability rating from New Yorkers, 30-31 percent, with 39 percent not knowing enough about him to have an opinion,” Greenberg said.

“Viewing eight issues together, all voters give Trump a 1.6 GPA. Republicans give him a solid ‘B-’ or 2.7 GPA. Independents grade him a ‘C-’ or 1.8 GPA. Democrats give the President a ‘D’ or 1.0 GPA,” Greenberg said.

“A small majority of New Yorkers, 51 percent, give the President a great deal or some credit for the stock market and consumer confidence being up since November, compared to 46 percent who say he deserves not very much or no credit,” Greenberg said. “Republicans and independents give him credit but Democrats, not so much.”

Direction of State Up & Positive; Direction of Nation Up but Still Negative

“Majorities of downstaters and Democrats and pluralities of upstaters and independents say the state is on the right track. A plurality of Republicans say the state is headed in the wrong direction. Overall, right track leads by 19 points, up from 10 points last month,” Greenberg said. “With a deeper partisan divide regarding the country – by 51 points, Democrats say it’s headed in the wrong direction; Republicans say on the right track by 40 points – all New Yorkers say the direction of the country is under water by 15 points, half of last month’s 30 points.”

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This Siena College Poll was conducted April 17-20, 2017 by telephone calls conducted in English to 714 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 +/- 4.1 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/SCRI/SNY.