Cuomo Ratings All Drop; Favorability Lowest Since Feb 2016
Voters Give MTA Negative Job Rating and Rate Cuomo & de Blasio
Negatively for MTA Mass Transit; Hold Cuomo More Accountable;
Strongly Believe State & City Should Invest More to Improve Service
Plurality Oppose Naming Tappan Zee for Mario Cuomo; Divided on
Legalizing Recreational Pot; Narrower Support for ConCon
Loudonville, NY. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ratings dropped significantly since May. His favorability rating (52-41 percent, down from 61-31 percent in May, or 19 points) hit its lowest level since February 2016 and his job performance and re-elect ratings hit their lowest levels this year, according to a Siena College poll of New York State registered voters released today. Now, 46 percent of voters say they’re prepared to re-elect Cuomo and 46 percent prefer ‘someone else,’ down from 53-36 percent (net 17 points) in support of his re-election in May.
Overall, Cuomo has a negative 43-55 percent job performance rating, down from a positive 51-46 percent job performance rating in May (down net 17 points). When it comes to Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) mass transit issues, voters give Cuomo a negative 26-59 percent job performance rating, slightly better than Mayor Bill de Blasio’s negative 20-63 percent rating. By a 52-33 percent margin, voters say they hold Cuomo – not de Blasio – more accountable for overseeing the MTA. And approximately three-quarters of voters say both the State and City should invest more to improve MTA services.
“With his lowest favorability rating in a year and a half, since May, Cuomo’s favorability rating sank by double digits with all parties and in all regions. However, the drops in his job performance and re-elect ratings – which both fell by double digits with Democrats, Republicans, independents – are wholly from downstate voters,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “While his job performance rating dropped 25 points with New York City voters and 32 points with downstate suburban voters, his rating with upstate voters ticked up two points.
“It appears likely that a major reason for Cuomo’s lower poll numbers relate to issues surrounding the MTA, for which only about one-quarter of voters – downstate and upstate – rate Cuomo positively,” Greenberg said. “While Cuomo’s re-elect and job performance ratings fell by 23 and 27 points, respectively, among voters in the MTA region*, they both ticked down only a single point among voters not in the MTA region.”
“While voters outside the MTA region hold Cuomo more accountable for overseeing MTA mass transit than de Blasio by 13 points, voters in the MTA region hold Cuomo more accountable by 21 points,” Greenberg said. “Three-quarters of upstate voters and 96 percent of downstate voters say it’s important that the New York City area has a world-class mass transit system, yet only one-quarter of downstate voters and one-third of upstate voters give the MTA a positive job performance rating for managing New York City area mass transit.
“When it comes to investing money in the MTA to improve services, 72 percent of all voters – including 47 percent of those outside the MTA region – say New York State should invest more, and 76 percent of all voters – including 64 percent of those outside the MTA region – say New York City should invest more,” Greenberg said. “Those in the MTA region say the state should be primarily responsible for providing funding by a 59-33 percent margin, while those outside the MTA region say the city should be primarily responsible, 67-26 percent.”
Plurality of Voters Oppose Naming New Tappan Zee Bridge for Mario Cuomo
“New Yorkers oppose naming the new Tappan Zee bridge – currently named for Governor Malcolm Wilson – the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge 47-37 percent. While a small plurality of Democrats supports the new name, a larger plurality of independents opposes it, as does a large majority of Republicans,” Greenberg said. “Other than Democrats, every demographic group opposes the new name, with the exception of black voters, who support it 48-39 percent, and Jewish voters, who support it 43-39 percent.”
New Yorkers Closely Divided on Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in the Empire State
“Legalizing and regulating marijuana for recreational use in New York is supported by 49 percent of voters and opposed by 47 percent. Democrats strongly support it, 58-39 percent, while Republicans strongly oppose it, 60-34 percent, and independents are closely divided,” Greenberg said. “Not surprisingly, younger voters overwhelmingly support recreational pot 68-28 percent, while older votes oppose it 56-39 percent. Interestingly, downstate voters are virtually evenly divided, while upstate voters are mildly in support, 53-45 percent.”
Knowledge of a ConCon Vote Remains Extraordinarily Low; Plurality Support for ConCon
“Two-thirds of New Yorkers have heard ‘nothing at all’ about the November vote on a State Constitutional Convention, and only 14 percent have heard a great deal or some about it, virtually unchanged from May, and comparable to what it’s been for the last two years,” Greenberg said.
“In previous Siena College polls, support for ConCon has been overwhelming, including a 62-22 percent bulge in May. Now, however, with a newly worded question which includes what voters will see on the November ballot, support for ConCon is only 47-34 percent. A strong majority of Democrats and a plurality of independents support it, while a plurality of Republicans opposes it. A plurality of voters from every region of the state also support it,” Greenberg said. “Voters from every region and party strongly support the constitutional amendment on the ballot to reduce or revoke the pensions of public officers convicted of felonies related to their duties.”
New Yorkers Continue to View Direction of the State Positively – But Down from May
“By a 46-40 percent margin – down from 52-33 percent in both April and May – voters say New York is headed on the right track, rather than in the wrong direction,” Greenberg said. “Democrats strongly say the state is headed on the right track. Republicans strongly say the state is headed in the wrong direction. Independents are closely divided. A plurality of downstate voters says the state is on the right track, while upstaters are closely divided.
“With virtually no change over the last three years, only 29 percent of New Yorkers describe the fiscal condition of the state as excellent or good, while 65 percent say it’s fair or poor,” Greenberg said.
Like Cuomo and Direction of the State, Legislature Also Takes a Hit from Voters
The State Assembly is viewed favorably by 41 percent of voters and unfavorably by 41 percent of voters, down from a 45-34 percent favorability rating in May. The State Senate has a 44-43 percent favorability rating, down from 48-35 percent in May.
“Both the Senate and Assembly, which had each been viewed favorably by voters every month so far this year, saw their ratings drop to even splits,” Greenberg said. “A plurality of Democrats views each house favorably, however, pluralities of Republicans and independents view each house unfavorably. There is little difference among the regions for how they feel about either the Assembly or the Senate.”
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* The MTA region is defined as: New York City and Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties.
This Siena College Poll was conducted July 9-13, 2017 by telephone calls conducted in English to 793 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. SCRI, 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.