Biden Won the Election, Says 2/3 of NYers

new york siena poll statue liberty
  • Biden Won the Election, Says 2/3 of NYers; 9%, Including 1/4 of Republicans, Say Trump Won; Nearly 2/3 Say Trump Should Cooperate Immediately for Peaceful Transition
  • Voters’ Top 2021 Priority for Albany By Far: Addressing the Pandemic; By 20-Point Margin, Majority of Voters Want Legislature to Let Cuomo Continue Using Executive Powers It Gave Him to Manage the State
  • 2/3 of NYers Say they will Definitely/Probably Get an FDA-Approved COVID-19 Vaccine, 1/4 Say they Will Definitely/Probably Not
  • Voters Strongly Approve of the Way Biden is Acting as President-Elect; Cuomo Ratings Slip, Still Positive; Trump Ratings Rise, Still Strongly Negative

Press Release     Crosstabs

Loudonville, NY. When asked how they would describe the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, 69 percent of New Yorkers say that President-elect Joe Biden won, nine percent say that President Donald Trump won, and 20 percent say we do not yet know who won. By 65-31 percent, they say that Trump should immediately cooperate to ensure a smooth, peaceful transition, rather than he’s right to wait for a final, official outcome to begin the transition, according to a new Siena College Poll of New York State voters released today.

Nearly half of New Yorkers say the Governor’s and Legislature’s top priority in 2021 should be addressing the coronavirus pandemic; no other issue topped 12 percent. By 57-35 percent, voters say the Legislature should continue to allow the Governor to manage the state using the extraordinary executive powers it gave him in the spring. If the FDA approves a COVID-19 vaccine, 35 percent of New Yorkers say they will definitely get it, 34 percent will probably get it and 24 percent will definitely or probably not get it.

“While more than two-thirds of New Yorkers agree Joe Biden won the election and is President-elect, one in eleven believes that Trump was re-elected and one in five believes that the outcome is still in doubt,” said Steven Greenberg, Siena College pollster. “Not surprisingly, 97 percent of those who voted for Biden think he won. Among Trump voters, 27 percent say Trump won, 21 percent say Biden won and 49 percent say we don’t know.

“Two-thirds of independents, 90 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of Republicans believe that Biden won the election. However, 26 percent of Republicans, along with a scattering of Democrats and independents, think Trump won. And a plurality of Republicans, 42 percent, as well as 22 percent of independents and seven percent of Democrats say that we still do not yet know who won,” Greenberg said.

“Nearly two-thirds of voters – including 86 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of independents and 24 percent of Republicans – think that Trump should be immediately cooperating to ensure a smooth, peaceful transition. But 73 percent of Republicans and 82 percent of Trump voters say he is right to wait for the final outcome to be officially decided before beginning the transition,” Greenberg said.

Among survey respondents who voted, 59 percent said they supported Biden and 29 percent said they were Trump voters, three percent voted for another candidate, and nine percent refused to say. More than half, 55 percent, voted on election day, 26 percent voted early in person, and 19 percent voted by mail.

Addressing the Coronavirus Pandemic Is New Yorkers’ Top Priority for Albany in 2021
“At the top of New Yorkers’ list of priorities for the Governor and Legislature in 2021 is addressing the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly half, 46 percent, said it was their top priority and 60 percent said it was one of their top two priorities,” Greenberg said. “Helping businesses succeed, creating jobs and improving health care were the only other three issues that has at least one-quarter of voters making it one of their top two priorities. Closing the budget deficit, addressing racial inequality and providing adequate funding for schools brought up the bottom, each with only mid-single-digit support as their top choice.

“Addressing the pandemic was the runaway first choice for Democrats and independents. For Republicans, the pandemic and helping businesses succeed battled for the top spot,” Greenberg said. “The pandemic was one of the top two priorities for three-quarters of Biden voters and only 35 percent of Trump voters, whereas helping businesses succeed was a top two choice for 46 percent of Trump voters and only 20 percent of Biden voters.”

Majority Support Continuing to Allow Governor to Use Executive Powers to Manage Pandemic
“While more than two-thirds of Republicans disagree, a majority of independents and nearly three-quarters of Democrats say the extraordinary executive powers the Legislature gave the Governor in the spring to manage the state during the pandemic should be continued,” Greenberg said. “Allowing the Governor to continue exercising these executive powers is supported by 71 percent of New York City voters and 53 percent of downstate suburban voters. Upstate voters are closely divided with 44 percent supporting it and 46 percent opposing it.”

Most New Yorkers Say they Will Definitely or Probably Get a COVID-19 Vaccine; One-quarter Unlikely
“A strong majority of New Yorkers of every stripe – regardless of party, region, race, age, religion, gender, or even who they supported in the presidential election – say they will definitely or at least probably get a COVID-19 vaccine if it’s approved by the FDA,” Greenberg said.

“Seventy-four percent of Democrats say they will definitely or likely get the vaccine, as do 65 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of independents, 72 percent of white voters, 65 percent of Latino voters, 62 percent of Black voters, 76 percent of Biden voters, and 62 percent of Trump voters,” Greenberg said.

Biden Favorability Highest Ever Among New Yorkers; 2/3 Approve How He’s Acting as President-Elect
Biden’s favorability rating is 63-31 percent, up slightly from 62-33 percent in October, among 2020 likely voters. By a 66-25 percent margin, voters approve of how Biden is acting as President-elect.

“Biden is viewed favorably by 84 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of independents, while 76 percent of Republicans view him unfavorably,” Greenberg said. “Democrats approve of how Biden’s been acting as President-elect overwhelmingly, 85-8 percent. Independents agree, 66-22 percent. Republicans, however, disapprove 67-25 percent. Election day may be behind us but the strong partisan divide remains.”

Trump Ratings Improve but Remain Solidly in Negative Territory
Trump’s favorability rating is negative 33-64 percent, up from 29-66 percent in October, among likely 2020 voters. His job performance rating is 34-65 percent, up from 29-71 percent last month. By 64-32 percent, voters disapprove of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, a little better than 68-27 percent disapproval last month.

“That old cliché, the more things change, the more things stay the same, seems apt in describing New Yorkers’ views about Donald Trump. His favorability rating is only a few points lower today than it was in February 2017, 36-59 percent, his first full month in office,” Greenberg said. “A majority of New Yorkers have consistently viewed Trump unfavorably, while about a third have always viewed him favorably. Some things never change.”

Cuomo Ratings Slip; Remain Positive, Above Pre-Pandemic Levels; Small Majority Prepared to Re-elect
Governor Andrew Cuomo has a 56-39 percent favorability rating among registered voters, down from 59-33 percent in October among likely 2020 voters. His job performance rating is 54-45 percent, down from 61-38 percent last month. By a 63-30 percent margin, voters approve of Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic, down from 73-24 percent last month. Currently, 51 percent of voters say they are prepared to re-elect Cuomo if he runs for re-election in 2022 and 42 percent say they would ‘prefer someone else.’

“While Cuomo’s favorability and job performance ratings have slipped a little in the last month and fallen significantly from their all-time April highs, voters continue to view him favorably by a 17-point margin, compared to February, when voters viewed him unfavorably by a six-point margin,” Greenberg said. “Cuomo is viewed favorably by three-quarters of Democrats and half of independents, however, more than three-quarters of Republicans view him unfavorably. In April, a majority of Republicans viewed Cuomo favorably.

“With voters still processing the 2020 election, some – we’re not naming any names – have already turned their thoughts to the 2022 gubernatorial election. Two years out, 51 percent of voters, say they’re prepared to re-elect Cuomo if he runs, including 71 percent of Democrats, 44 percent of independents and 18 percent of Republicans,” Greenberg said. “New York City voters are on board for a fourth term for the second Governor Cuomo, downstate suburbanites are split and a majority of upstaters would prefer ‘someone else.’ ”

Odds & Ends

  • By 58-37 percent, voters support allowing voters to vote by absentee ballot for any reason – as was allowed this year in the pandemic – rather than the existing law, which only allows for absentee ballots in certain circumstances, such as illness or travel. Democrats support 76-21 percent, independents support 56-36 percent and Republicans oppose 70-26 percent.
  • Voters support allowing absentee ballots to be processed and counted prior to election day 58-33 percent. Three weeks after election day, New York is still counting the record number of absentee ballots received, with a handful of races still too close to call. In a change that would not appear to help or hurt one side or the other, there is a partisan divide with Biden voters supporting the move 72-20 percent and Trump voters opposing it 56-39 percent.
  • New Yorkers support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in New York 60-32 percent, up from 55-40 percent in February, and the strongest support legalization has ever had in a Siena College poll. It is supported by more than 60 percent of Democrats and independents, with Republicans leaning in favor 48-45 percent.
  • By a 50-32 percent margin, voters support online sports betting. The only previous time this issue was asked was February 2019, when voters were evenly divided 44-44 percent. While the biggest support for online sports betting is among men and voters under 35, a majority or plurality of Democrats, Republicans, independents, downstaters, and upstaters all support it. Voters 55 and older oppose it 49-31 percent.
  • While New Yorkers continue to think the bigger danger for the state is opening too quickly rather than opening too slowly, 54-37 percent, that is down from 62-31 percent in June. About six in ten Democrats and independents think opening too quickly is the bigger danger, while about six in ten Republicans think opening too slowly is the bigger danger for the state.
  • Although New Yorkers continue to think the country is headed in the wrong direction, rather than on the right track, 48-38 percent, that is a marked improvement from prior to election day in October, when voters thought the country was headed in the wrong direction 62-24 percent.
  • New York’s senior senator, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has a 45-39 percent favorability rating, down from 55-39 percent in April. The 45 percent favorable number is the lowest ever for Schumer, falling below 47 percent in February 2019. Junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has a 39-29 percent favorability rating, with 32 percent not knowing enough to have an opinion. In April, her favorability rating was 55-31 percent.

This Siena College Poll was conducted November 15-18, 2020 among 803 New York State registered voters with 503 voters contacted through a dual frame (landline and cell phone) mode and 300 responses drawn from a proprietary online panel (Lucid) of New Yorkers. Telephone calls were conducted in English and respondent sampling was initiated by asking for the youngest person in the household. Telephone sampling was conducted via a stratified dual frame probability sample of landline (ASDE) and cell phone (Dynata) telephone numbers within New York State weighted to reflect known population patterns. Data from both collection modes (phone and web) was merged and statistically adjusted by age, party by region, race/ethnicity, education, and gender to ensure representativeness. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points including the design effects resulting from weighting. 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: