Support for ConCon Fading; Voters Evenly Divided on Whether It’s a Waste of Time

NY state building

Support for ConCon Fading; Voters Evenly Divided on Whether It’s a Waste of Time or Once in a Generation Opportunity
Huge Support for Potential ConCon Issues: Term Limits; Full-Time
Legislature; Initiative & Referendum; Women’s Reproductive Rights;
Constitutional Protections Regardless of Gender Identity, Sex, Ethnicity
Voters Support Athletes’ Right to Kneel During National Anthem, 60-38%

2/3 View Trump Unfavorably; Nearly 2/3 Rate His Job Performance as Poor

Loudonville, NY. By a narrow 44-39 percent margin, registered voters say they will vote ‘yes’ to support a Constitutional Convention on election day next month, down from 45-33 percent in September. While 44 percent say it’s a “once in a generation opportunity to bring our State Constitution into the 21st Century,” 45 percent say it “will be an expensive waste of time,” according to a new Siena College Poll of New York State registered voters released today. Seven of nine potential issues tested that could be discussed at a Constitutional Convention enjoy overwhelming public support.

Sixty percent of New Yorkers support 1st Amendment rights of athletes to kneel during the national anthem, compared to 38 percent who say it’s disrespectful and athletes should protest on their own time. President Donald Trump continues to be unpopular with his home state voters, as 68 percent view him unfavorably and 77 percent give him a negative job performance rating, including 63 percent who rate his job performance as poor. Governor Andrew Cuomo saw an uptick in his ratings with voters.

“As half of New Yorkers continue to have heard or read nothing about the upcoming ConCon vote – down from two-thirds in July – support for ConCon continues to wane. A plurality of Democrats and a bare majority of independents say they will vote yes, however, a majority of Republicans say they’re voting no. Support is greatest among young, lower income, black, and Latino voters,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

“Similarly, a plurality of Democrats and a bare majority of independents see a ConCon as a once in a generation opportunity to improve the lives and safeguard the rights of New Yorkers, while a majority of Republicans say nothing good will get done at a ConCon,” Greenberg said. “Not surprisingly, voters from union households are much more negative towards ConCon than those voters from non-union households.”

“While New Yorkers may be divided on whether to ConCon or not, on several issues that might be the topic of discussion at a convention there is widespread, bipartisan support,” Greenberg said. “Four issues – term limits for both state legislators and statewide office holders, establishing an initiative process to allow New Yorkers to vote directly on proposed laws, and adding constitutional protections based on gender identity, sex and ethnicity – are supported by more than three quarters of voters.

“At least two-thirds also support making the Legislature full-time, while also banning outside income, closing the LLC loophole, and prohibiting unreasonable laws to restrict women’s reproductive rights,” Greenberg said. “By smaller margins, voters oppose revising state policies to allow increased development in the Adirondacks and limiting collective bargaining rights of public employees.

“Of course, regardless of whether there’s a ConCon or not, the Legislature could send any of these issues to the voters for their approval as proposed constitutional amendments,” Greenberg said.

Athletes Kneeling During the National Anthem? NYers Say 1st Amendment Trumps It Being Disrespectful

“Republicans and conservatives overwhelmingly say that athletes kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful and protests like that should not happen while they are in uniform, as do a strong majority of Catholics. Upstate voters are closely divided,” Greenberg said.

“A majority of others – Democrats and independents, men and women, liberals and moderates, downstaters, blacks, whites and Latinos, young, middle-aged and older voters, Jews and Protestants – say the 1st Amendment trumps disrespect, and that they support the rights of athletes to kneel during the anthem,” Greenberg said. “Older and white voters are the only of those groups where support is less than ten percentage points.

Trump Remains Very Unpopular with His Fellow New Yorkers

The President has a negative 28-68 percent favorability rating, down from negative 29-66 percent last month. His job performance rating is negative 23-77 percent, essentially unchanged from 22-77 percent last month.

“Trump continues to enjoy support from Republicans and conservatives but those are the only groups that view him favorably or give him a positive job performance rating,” Greenberg said. “He is viewed unfavorably by at least 61 percent and given a negative job performance rating by at least 72 percent of voters from every region.

Trump’s specific job performance ratings: terrorism, 36-63 percent; handling natural disasters, 34-65 percent; creating jobs, 28-68 percent; the conflict with North Korea, 25-73 percent; working with Congress 16-81 percent.

“Republicans give Trump good grades on terrorism, natural disasters and jobs. They are divided on Korea and negative on working with Congress. At least 78 percent of Democrats and at least 58 percent of independents give the President negative grades on all the issues,” Greenberg said. “Trump’s a ‘red’ native son from a ‘blue’ state.”

Cuomo Poll Numbers Edge Up Second Month in a Row

Cuomo’s favorability rating is 57-35 percent, up slightly from 56-37 percent in September. He has a negative 48-50 percent job performance rating, up from negative 43-55 percent last month. Fifty-two percent of voters are prepared to re-elect Cuomo, compared to 41 percent who prefer ‘someone else,’ up from 48-44 percent in July.

“Cuomo’s favorability is up a bit for the second month in row. His job performance rating – flat last month – jumped 10 points, thanks to Democrats and independents. The bump in his re-elect number comes largely from Republicans, who still prefer ‘someone else’ by 34 points, down from 46 points last month,” Greenberg said.

“The Governor’s numbers are strong and his war chest substantial. However, we’re 11 months from a potential Democratic primary and 13 months from the general election. That’s a long, long time with the potential for many political, governmental, economic, social and other events – some within his control, many outside his control – to intervene and change the dynamic, maybe to his benefit, maybe to his detriment. Siena will continue to monitor, and start looking at the election more closely as we move past this year’s elections,” Greenberg said.

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This Siena College Poll was conducted September 25-October 2, 2017 by telephone calls conducted in English to 789 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: