Hochul Continues Early Lead in Growing Democratic Primary Field

kathy hochul
  • Economic Opportunity & Crime are Voters’ Top Two 2022 Albany Priorities
  • Strong Support for Build Back Better Act (52-28%); Six Components Have Support Between 62% & 90%; 47% think BBB Bill Will Increase Inflation

Press Release     Crosstabs

Loudonville, NY. New York Democrats continue to favor Governor Kathy Hochul in the gubernatorial primary, with 36 percent supporting Hochul, 18 percent backing Attorney General Letitia James, 10 percent supporting New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and six percent each for Rep. Tom Suozzi and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; 24 percent are undecided or back another candidate, according to a new Siena College poll of registered New York State voters released today.

Creating economic opportunity (26 percent), fighting crime (26 percent), and managing the pandemic (18 percent) are the issues that voters identify as the top 2022 priority for the Governor and Legislature. Nearly half of voters say that the federal Build Back Better Act will increase inflation, which they say is having a serious negative effect on the economy and their personal finances. Still, voters support BBB passage 52-28 percent. Six specific components of the BBB Act are each supported by between 62 and 90 percent of New Yorkers.

“Hochul continues to have a double-digit lead over her opponents in the Democratic gubernatorial primary and, unlike what is often seen in early polls, it is not completely based on name recognition. After all, Hochul and James have very similar favorability ratings among all voters – with nearly identical favorability ratings among Democrats – and de Blasio is the most known – and most disfavored – candidate among all voters and with just Democrats,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

Hochul has a 42-28 percent favorability rating, little changed from 42-26 percent in October. Her job performance rating is negative 42-46 percent, little changed from October’s 43-45 percent. James has a 40-25 percent favorability rating, from 39-19 percent in October. Williams has a 23-17 percent favorability rating. Suozzi’s is 20-15 percent. And de Blasio is 28-55 percent, up slightly from 25-56 percent in October. Hochul (57-18 percent) and James (56-18 percent) have the best favorability ratings with Democrats.

“With all the candidates trying to introduce themselves to voters and stand out among a growing field, Hochul has the advantage of incumbency and the largest bully pulpit and it appears to be helping her in this early going. But as Yogi so sagely put it, ‘It gets late early out there.’ The first financial filings in the race will come next month, the state convention the following month and the primary in just 28 weeks,” Greenberg said. “The clock is ticking and all the gubernatorial campaigns – on both sides of the aisle – have their work cut out for them.”

Voters Give Hochul Strongest Marks on Honesty and Integrity & Working Hard for New Yorkers

sny table 1 december 2021

“A majority of New Yorkers think Hochul both demonstrates honesty and integrity, and works hard for the people. Pluralities think she cares about people like you, provides her vision for the future and collaborates effectively with other government leaders,” Greenberg said. “A strong majority of Democrats say Hochul possesses each of these attributes, as do a plurality of independents. Republicans tend to say she does not.”

Creating Economic Opportunity, Fighting Crime, Managing Pandemic Are Voters’ Top Albany Priorities
Voters were asked their top and second top priories for the Governor and Legislature in 2022 and the results were (combined top and second priority is first number, followed by top priority only in parenthesis): creating economic opportunity, 49 percent (26 percent); fighting crime, 43 (26); managing the pandemic, 37 (18); ensuring public schools teach appropriate curriculum, 21 (8); addressing racial inequality issues, 17 (8); and, working to ensure clean water and air, 16 (5).

“Republicans, Democrats, independents, upstaters and downstaters all agree that creating economic opportunity and fighting crime are the top two issues they want Albany to address in the upcoming session. Managing the pandemic came in as third most important issue, more so for Democrats, downstate suburbanites and Black voters,” Greenberg said. “Ensuring appropriate public school curriculum, was the third most important issue for Republicans, with one in five making it the most important issue, while one in five Black voters said addressing racial inequality was their top priority.”

sny table 2 december 2021

“While there is strong support for Build Back Better overall, there is large to huge support for each of the components,” Greenberg said “Seventy percent of Democrats support the BBB Act and at least 78 percent support each of the specifics. A plurality of independents supports the Act and a majority support each part. And although 60 percent of Republicans oppose the BBB Act, strong GOP majorities support four of the specific proposals.

“Forty-seven percent of voters – including 69 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of independents and 33 percent of Democrats – say the BBB Act would increase inflation,” Greenberg said. “Currently, about half of voters say that inflation is having a very serious negative effect on the nation’s economy, and more than one-quarter say it is having a serious negative impact on their personal finances.”

Odds & Ends

  • For the first time since February 2020, fewer New Yorkers say the state is headed on the right track (41 percent), rather than in the wrong direction (45 percent), down from 44-43 percent last month.
  • By a 52-37 percent margin, voters would prefer to see the Democrats retain control of the House of Representatives next year, and a slightly larger 56-35 percent majority want to see Democrats keep control of the Senate. Democrats overwhelmingly want their party to keep both houses; same for Republicans; independents, by small margins, side with Republicans for the House and Democrats for the Senate.

This Siena College Poll was conducted November 29-December 3, 2021 among 785 New York State registered voters with 467 voters contacted through a dual frame (landline and cell phone) mode and 318 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 + 4.0 percentage points including the design effects resulting from weighting. There were 399 Democrats, with a margin of error of +/- 5.4 percentage points including the design effect 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.