Obama is NY’s Favorite Living President; Trump Least Favorite

US PresidentsPresident-elect Obama with Nancy Killefer, the new Chief Performance Officer, for his administration. The news conference held at the transition office in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 7, 2009. President-elect Obama with former Presidents Bush (41), Carter and Clinton and current President Bush at the WHite House on Jan. 7, 2009. (Photo by Pete Souza)
  • Obama is NY’s Favorite Living President; Trump Least Favorite
  • George H.W. Bush Only Living President Viewed Favorably by
    Majority of New York Democrats, Republicans & Independents
  • Congress’s Job Performance – Dems & Reps – Lower than Trump’s
  • Gillibrand Ratings Fall a Little; Opponent is Virtually Unknown to Voters

Loudonville, NY. With a favorability rating of 67-29 percent, Barack Obama is New York’s favorite of the six living current and former Presidents of the United States, according to a new Siena College poll of New York State registered voters, released on the eve of the Presidents’ Day weekend. George H.W. Bush, viewed favorably 61-31 percent, is the only one to be viewed favorably by a majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents. And Jimmy Carter at 60-24 percent has the second best net favorability rating, two points behind Obama.

“New Yorkers still think Obama is a rock star, that is other than Republicans, two-thirds of whom view Obama unfavorably. Bush 41, the only living President to crack the ideological triple crown, is viewed favorably by three-quarters of Republicans, two-thirds of independents and a majority of Democrats,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “Carter is viewed favorably by about two-thirds of Democrats and independents, and a narrow plurality of Republicans. Carter also has the lowest unfavorable rating at 24 percent.

“Among Democrats, Clinton finishes second to Obama, ahead of Carter but Republicans view him as unfavorably as they do Obama and independents, while favorable, are not as favorable to Clinton as they are to Carter,” Greenberg said. “Bush 43 is the only living former President under water but give it time. The last time Siena asked about ‘W’ was January 2009, when Obama was being inaugurated; he was negative 28-68 percent. So he’s gone from 40 points under water to just five points.

Obama may be the king of the Big Apple but H.W. rules the rest of the state as the most favorable. Obama is the clear winner with those under 35. Obama, Clinton and 41 are within two points of being most favorable to the
35-54 year-olds. The 55-plus crowd gives Carter a slim lead over 41, with Obama close behind,” Greenberg said.

“New Yorkers give President Donald Trump, the kid from Queens, a Bronx cheer with the lowest favorability rating, negative 33-62 percent, of any living President,” Greenberg said. “Later this spring, Siena will release its sixth poll in which scholars rank all of the Presidents, which occurs after the first year of a new President.”

Trump Job Performance Rating Up but Still Very Low; Still Not as Low as Both Parties in Congress
Trump’s job performance rating is negative 29-70 percent (up from negative 23-77 percent in January), up
net 13 points this month. Congressional Democrats get a negative 20-78 percent job performance rating, and the Republicans in Congress have the lowest job performance rating, negative 15-83 percent.

“Only 29 percent of New Yorkers give Trump a positive job performance rating, better than Congressional Democrats, with a 20 percent positive job performance rating, and their Republican colleagues, who have only a 15 percent positive job performance rating. The President will likely not want to tweet about that, nor will he likely boast that he and Congressional Republicans are tied with 56 percent saying each is doing a poor job.”

Gillibrand Ratings Down a Little but Still Positive; Opponent Farley is Virtually Unknown
Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has a 48-27 percent favorability rating, with one-quarter of voters not knowing enough about her to have an opinion (down from 51-23-26 percent in January). Forty-seven percent of voters say they’re prepared to re-elect her, while 35 percent prefer ‘someone else’ (down from 50-32 percent last month). Chele Chiavacci Farley has a 6-6 percent favorability rating, with 89 percent having no opinion.

“Gillibrand, facing statewide voters for the third time, the first since 2012, has a strong plurality of voters who view her favorably and a narrower plurality prepared to re-elect her, but one quarter of New York voters don’t know enough about their 8-year junior senator to have an opinion about her,” Greenberg said. “On the other hand, the nascent Republican candidacy of Farley has a lot of work to do, as she is virtually unknown to New Yorkers.”

Schumer Favorability Falls; Hits Lowest Ever
“Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has a 52-39 percent favorability rating, his lowest ever in a Siena College poll, dating to 2005. It’s down from 59-32 percent in January,” Greenberg said. “As one of the main faces of the opposition in Washington, Schumer is now viewed unfavorably by three-quarters of Republicans. Just 14 months ago he had an overall 67-23 percent favorability rating, including 55-37 percent with Republicans.”

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This Siena College Poll was conducted February 5-8, 2018 by telephone calls conducted in English to 823 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 +/- 3.9 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.

Press Release