Overwhelming Support for a Dozen of Cuomo’s State of the State Proposals

NY state building
  • Boost to Cuomo’s Favorability & Job Performance Ratings
  • By 12-Point Margin, Voters Say New Bail Law is Bad for New York; After Passage in April, Voters Thought it Would be Good for NY by 17 Points
  • Taxes & Education Top 2020 State Issues for Voters; Jobs and Ethics Low on Voters’ Minds; Criminal Justice Up the Most from Last Year

Press Release     Crosstabs

Loudonville, NY. With at least two-thirds of voters supporting 11 of his State of the State proposals, Governor Andrew Cuomo saw a significant boost in his favorability and job performance ratings since November. Cuomo has a 49-45 percent favorability rating up from a negative 44-49 percent rating in November. His job performance rating jumped even more, going from a negative 30 points (35-65 percent) in November to now negative 15 points (41-56 percent), according to a new Siena College Poll of registered New York State voters released today.

By a 49-37 percent margin, voters say the new law eliminating monetary bail for people facing misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges is bad for New York. Back in April, shortly after passage of the law, voters thought the law would be good for New York, 55-38 percent. While every demographic group moved more negative from April until now, independent, suburban and older voters moved the most, each from positive to strongly negative.

“In the last year, the Governor’s favorability has been up and down – half the months a little above water and half a little below water. Right now, a plurality of voters say they view Cuomo favorably, including more than
two-thirds of Democrats. However, he’s viewed unfavorably by 51 percent of independents and 80 percent of Republicans,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “The boost in his favorability rating and the even bigger bump in his job performance rating – which still resides in negative territory – are a thank you from voters to kick off the new year.

“Although Republicans like many of the Governor’s State of the State proposals – albeit, with one exception, not as much as the Democrats – they clearly don’t agree with the Governor’s rhetoric surrounding those proposals. While overall voters agree with Cuomo’s statement that New York should be the progressive capital of the world 60-33 percent, 70 percent of Republicans disagree,” Greenberg said. “A majority of independents agree, as do a majority from each region of the state.”

Very Support Strong for Many of Cuomo’s State of the State Proposals

State of state 2020 proposal chart

“Legalizing marijuana in New York has the largest support its ever had in a Siena College poll – a 20-point margin, 58-38 percent. Eleven other proposals from Cuomo receive strong to overwhelming support from voters by margins of 37 to 63 points. Every one of those proposals – other than legalizing marijuana – enjoys strong bipartisan support,” Greenberg said.

Last year, New York passed a law eliminating monetary bail for people facing misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges. Do you think this law is good for New York or bad for New York?

Plurality Think New Bail Law is Bad for NY; After Passage in April, Majority Thought it Would be Good

bail reform chart

“In April, at least 60 percent of Democrats and independents thought the new bail law would be good for New York, while 55 percent of Republicans thought it would be bad,” Greenberg said. “Today, independents have flipped from a 22-point margin thinking ‘good,’ to a 27-point margin saying ‘bad.’

“While small majorities of suburban and upstate voters had thought the law would be ‘good,’ today, 56 percent of upstaters and 64 percent of downstate suburbanites think the law is ‘bad.’ While every demographic group moved more negative since April, joining independents and downstate suburbanites with the largest movement from ‘good’ to ‘bad’ was voters 55 and older. About two-thirds of black and Latino voters had thought the law would be ‘good’ and now that support is down to about half, still a plurality for both groups,” Greenberg said.

“Certainly, all the attention this new law has gotten across the state has had an impact with voters and it is clear that a sizeable number of New Yorkers, who were optimistic that the new bail law would be good for the state, now believe the law is bad for New York,” Greenberg said.

Taxes & Education Top 2020 Voter Priorities for Cuomo; Criminal Justice Jumped Most from Last Year
One-third of voters calls taxes one of their top two issues for 2020 – 19 percent name it as top issue – and one-third say education is one of the top two, 14 percent top issue,” Greenberg said. “Infrastructure, last year’s top issue for voters, fell to fourth behind taxes, education and health care. Jobs fell to its lowest level since 2015 when Siena began asking this question; now, 23 percent call it one of their top two issues, it was 43 percent in 2015.

“While criminal justice was only a top or second priority for 13 percent of voters last year – and only five percent called it their top issue – this year, 27 percent named it one of their top two issues, including 14 percent who named it their top priority. Again, the new bail law is having an impact on how voters are viewing issues.”

Odds & Ends
By a 49-41 percent margin, voters say the state is headed on the right track, up from 45-42 percent in November, and the best it’s been since it was 49-40 percent in January 2019.
Both United States Senators are doing well with voters heading into their stints as impeachment jurors. Chuck Schumer has a 54-36 percent favorability rating, up from 51-40 percent in November. Kirsten Gillibrand has a 45-29 percent favorability rating, up from 41-36 percent in September, her best since January 2019.
President Donald Trump has a negative 31-64 percent favorability rating, unchanged from 32-65 percent in November. Michael Bloomberg has a 51-38 percent favorability rating, up from 47-39 percent in November.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has a 27-15 percent favorability rating, with 58 percent of voters not knowing him or having an opinion. Attorney General Letitia James has a 36-15-49 percent favorability rating.

This Siena College Poll was conducted January 11-16, 2020 by telephone calls conducted in English to 814 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 (ASDE) and cell phone (Dynata) telephone numbers from within New York State. Data was statistically adjusted by age, party by region, race/ethnicity, 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 crosstabs: www.Siena.edu/SCRI/SNY.