Hochul Has Early 42-17% Favorability Rating; 41% Still Undecided

Governor Kathy HochulAugust 24, 2021 - Albany, NY - Governor Kathy Hochul delivers an address to New Yorkers from the Red Room at the State Capitol. (Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)
  • Majority: Hochul More Collaborative than Cuomo; ¾ Excited with First Woman Governor; Strong Majorities Think She Will Be Successful Controlling Spread of Covid, Leading NY Through Disasters, Ensuring In-person Education
  • Cuomo – with Worst-ever Favorability Rating – Should Have Resigned, 67-26%, Including Majority of Dems; 50-48% Job Performance Rating for His Tenure as Gov
  • About 2/3 Support Various Vaccine Mandates; Even Stronger Support for Mask Mandates

Press Release     Crosstabs

Loudonville, NY. Weeks after becoming New York’s 57th Governor, Kathy Hochul is viewed favorably by
42 percent of voters and unfavorably by 17 percent, with 41 percent who either don’t know Hochul or don’t know enough about her to have an opinion, according to a new Siena College poll of registered New York State voters.

By 52-18 percent, voters say Hochul has a more collaborative approach to government leadership than her predecessor, and they say it’s exciting to have New York’s first woman governor, 74-16 percent. Strong majorities of voters think Hochul will be successful in ensuring a safe transition to in-person public education, leading the state through natural disasters and controlling the spread of COVID.

Andrew Cuomo should have resigned, rather than remain in office, voters say 67-26 percent, including Democrats, 55-35 percent. Cuomo has his worst-ever favorability rating, 34-55 percent, down from 45-47 percent in June. Looking back over the last decade, voters give Cuomo a 50-48 percent job performance rating, and a plurality, 39 percent, say he left New York a better place to live and work, compared to 27 percent who say he left it worse.

“While still largely unknown to a wide swath of New Yorkers, Governor Hochul begins her tenure with a lot of good will from voters. Among those with an opinion about her, she is viewed strongly favorably, although two in five New Yorkers don’t yet have an opinion, despite Hochul having been Lt. Governor for six years and elected statewide twice. Among all voters, Hochul has a 44-37 percent job performance rating after only a few weeks in office,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

“Voters overwhelmingly say it’s exciting to have New York’s first woman governor, including 84 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of independents and 59 percent of Republicans,” Greenberg said. “A strong 52-18 percent majority, including majorities of all parties, say she will be more collaborative than Cuomo. Voters reject the notion, 48-28 percent, that Hochul doesn’t have enough experience to lead New York.”

hochul success

Now I´m going to ask you about a few policy issues facing the new governor and I´d like you to tell me how successful you think she will be in addressing that issue: very successful, somewhat successful, not very successful, or not at all successful.

“It may be too early to call it a honeymoon, however, voters across the partisan spectrum say that they think Hochul will be successful in ensuring in-person public school education (69-16 percent), leading the state through natural disasters (65-16 percent) and controlling the spread of COVID (61-24 percent). While most think she will be successful in revitalizing the state’s economy and balancing tenant/landlord rights, a plurality of Republicans think she will be unsuccessful in each of those efforts,” Greenberg said.

Voters: Cuomo Right to Resign; Worst-ever Favorability Rating; 50-48% Job Performance Rating as Gov
“Cuomo gets his worst-ever favorability rating from voters, 34-55 percent, with Democrats only giving him a 47-39 percent favorability rating. Voters overwhelmingly said Cuomo should have resigned rather than remain in office, 67-26 percent, including Democrats, 55-35 percent,” Greenberg said. “More than three-quarters of Republicans, independents and voters from outside New York City say Cuomo was right to resign rather than remain, as do a plurality of New York City voters.

cuomo fav final

“Additionally, by a wide 56-20 percent margin, voters say Cuomo did sexually harass multiple women that worked for the state, including a majority or plurality of voters from every party and region,” Greenberg said. “By a narrow 45-40 percent margin, voters think Cuomo should be barred from holding public office again.

“On the good news front for Cuomo, he gets a 50-48 percent job approval rating for his tenure as governor, including a 65-32 percent rating from Democrats,” Greenberg said. “Did Cuomo make New York a better place to live and work? A majority of Democrats and 39 percent of all voters, a plurality, say ‘yes,’ compared to 27 percent who say he made the state worse, including a majority of Republicans and a plurality of independents. An additional 27 percent say he made the state neither better nor worse.”

Strong Support for Vaccine Mandates; Even Stronger Support for Mask Mandates
Voters support public schools requiring teachers and staff to be vaccinated 69-26 percent, businesses like gyms and restaurants requiring customers to show vaccination proof 66-32 percent and employers requiring employees to be vaccinated 65-31 percent. Support for school districts requiring teachers, staff and students to wear masks is supported 78-18 percent and government requiring masks in indoor public facilities is supported 74-21 percent.

“Three different vaccine mandates – employees generally, school employees specifically and customers of certain businesses – each has the support of at least 65 percent of voters. Each has support from more than three-quarters of Democrats and a majority of independents. Although a majority of Republicans support two of the mandates, they are divided on employers mandating their employees,” Greenberg said. “Mask mandates have even greater support among New Yorkers. A mask mandate for schools is supported by 89 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of independents and 57 percent of Republicans.

“While 40 percent of voters think the worst of the pandemic is over, 44 percent say the worst is still to come, a major change from May, when by a 69-19 percent margin, voters thought the worst was over,” Greenberg said.

Odds & Ends

  • President Joe Biden has a 57-37 percent favorability rating, down from 63-34 percent in June. His job performance rating is 46-52 percent, down from June’s 52-46 percent.
  • Sen. Chuck Schumer has a 52-33 percent favorability, up from 50-38 percent in June. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s favorability rating is 44-23 percent, up from 41-32 percent in May.
  • Attorney General Letitia James has 38-18 percent favorability, with 45 percent having never heard of her or not knowing enough to have an opinion, up from 34-21 percent in June.
  • The Assembly’s favorability rating is 45-30 percent, little changed from 45-29 percent in June, while the State Senate has a 46-33 percent favorability rating, little changed from 48-33 percent in June.
  • Voters continue to say that New York’s best days are ahead of us, not behind us, 57-26 percent, up a little from 53-27 percent in June.
  • Looking at three of the declared Republican candidates for Governor, Andrew Giuliani has a 29-42 percent favorability rating (this is the first time Siena has asked about him), Rep. Lee Zeldin has an 18-15 percent favorability rating, little changed from 20-19 percent in May, and Rob Astorino has a 17-15 percent favorability rating, little changed from 10-15 percent in May.

This Siena College Poll was conducted September 7-12, 2021 among 700 New York State registered voters with 318 voters contacted through a dual frame (landline and cell phone) mode and 382 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 +/- 4.2 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: www.Siena.edu/SCRI/SNY.