Hochul Has Commanding Lead Over Williams & Suozzi with Dems; With Cuomo in Race, Hochul Leads 38-30%, Other Two Way Behind

putin and zelensky
  • 56% of Voters Say Bail Reform Law Has Been Bad for NY; 64% Say it Has Resulted in Crime Increase; 82% Say Give Judges More Discretion; 56% Concerned Discretion Will Result in Poor Being Unjustly Incarcerated
  • 88% of NYers View Putin Unfavorably; 70% View Zelensky Favorably
  • Twice as Many Yankees Fans (40%) as Mets Fans (21%) in New York

Press Release       Crosstabs     

Loudonville, NY. In a three-way Democratic gubernatorial primary, Governor Kathy Hochul has a commanding 40-point lead over both New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Rep. Tom Suozzi among registered New York Democrats. If former Governor Andrew Cuomo runs in the primary, Hochul has the support of 38% of Democrats, compared to 30% for Cuomo, 10% for Suozzi and 7% for Williams, according to a new Siena College poll of registered New York State voters released today.

By a 56-30% margin, voters say the 2019 bail reform law has been bad for New York. In January 2020, voters thought the law was bad, 49-37%. Immediately after its passage, in April 2019, voters thought the law would be good for New York by a 55-38% margin. Voters say the law has resulted in an increase in crime, 64-24%, and think it should be amended to give judges more discretion to set bail based on the seriousness of the crime or the individual’s criminal record, 82-11%. By a 56-39% margin, voters say they’re concerned that giving judges discretion to set bail will result in poor people and people of color being unfairly incarcerated.

“If the Democratic candidates for governor in the primary 85 days from now are Hochul, Suozzi and Williams, Hochul currently has the support of 52% of Democrats, compared to 12% for Williams and 11% for Suozzi,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “However, if Cuomo files petitions to run in the next 10 days, he enters the race trailing his chosen successor by only eight points, 38-30%, with Suozzi and Williams way behind.”

Hochul has a 45-35% favorability rating, 67-17% with Democrats. Williams has a 24-19% favorability rating, 40-13% with Democrats. Suozzi’s favorability rating is 20-18%, 25-16% with Democrats. Cuomo has a 32-60% favorability rating, 50-42% with Democrats. When asked what Cuomo should do this year, 18% of voters said run in the Democratic primary, 10% run as independent in November, and 67% not run for governor in 2022. Among Democrats, 33% say run in primary, 8% say run as independent, and 54% of Democrats say don’t run.

“In a three-way race, Hochul has a commanding lead no matter how you look at it. She leads by 29 points in New York City, 28 points in the downstate suburbs and 56 points upstate. She leads with liberals by 42 points and leads Williams among Black Democrats 39-17%,” Greenberg said.

“Hochul has 50-point net positive favorability rating among Democrats, compared to Cuomo’s eight-point net positive rating. More than half of Democrats don’t want Cuomo to run for governor this year and only one-third say he should run in the primary,” Greenberg said. “Despite all that, Cuomo would be very much in the game – if he decides to put himself in the game.

“The two are tied in New York City, likely home to a majority of Democratic primary voters. Hochul leads by eight points in the downstate suburbs and 25 points upstate. Cuomo has a two-to-one lead with Black Democrats and Hochul has a comparable lead among white Democrats, while Latinos are closely divided,” Greenberg said. “Interestingly, while Hochul leads among men by 15 points, she only leads with women by four points.”

Voters: Bail Reform Law Bad for NY, Resulted in Increased Crime, and Needs to Be Amended

“One month after the 2019 bail reform law passed, at least 60% of Democrats, independents, New York City, Black, Latino, and young voters, and a majority of non-New York City, white, and older voters thought the new law would be good for the state. Only Republicans, 55-34%, thought the law would be bad,” Greenberg said. “Today, 84% of Republicans think the law has been bad for New York, as do at least 60% of independents, voters outside New York City, white, and older voters. A plurality of Democrats, 46-38%, and a majority of young voters think the law has been good for the state. Black and Latino voters are closely divided, tilting toward bad.

“Nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers – including at least 60% of Republicans, independents, voters from every region, and white and Latino voters, as well as majorities of Democratic and Black voters – say the bail law has resulted in an increase in crime,” Greenberg said. “And an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers, including at least 72% of voters of every party, region and race, say the law should be amended to give judges more discretion to set bail.”

“At the same time, 56% of New Yorkers – including at least two-thirds of Democrats, New York City voters, and Black and Latino voters – are at least somewhat concerned that giving judicial discretion on bail could result in the unjust incarceration of poor people and people of color,” Greenberg said. “A majority of voters believe that the bail reform law has been bad for New York and led to an increase in crime. There is near-universal agreement that the bail law should be amended to give judicial discretion, while at the same time, a majority are concerned that providing discretion could lead to unjust incarcerations. Good luck, Governor and legislators.”

Cheers for Zelensky; Bronx Cheers for Putin, Most Unfavorable Rating Ever in a Siena College Poll
Russian President Vladimir Putin is viewed favorably by 6% of voters and unfavorably by 88%. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has a 70-13% favorability rating.

“With an 88% unfavorable rating, Putin sets the all-time Siena College poll record, previously held by former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who had an 11-80 favorability rating in August 2013. It could lead one to wonder about the 6% of voters – and 17% of voters under 35 – who have a favorable view of Putin,” Greenberg said. “While love for Zelensky is not as great as hate for Putin, the Ukrainian leader is viewed favorably by every demographic measure. Views on both Putin and Zelensky cross party lines and provide a rare glimpse of bipartisan agreement.”

New Yorkers: 40% Yankees Fans, 21% Mets Fans; Yanks Rout in City, Upstate; Dogfight in the Burbs
“New Yorkers prefer pinstripes. While 21% identify as fans of the team from Queens, nearly twice as many identify with the Bronx Bombers. New York City and upstate are solidly behind the Yanks, while the downstate suburbs show a pitcher’s duel with 36% supporting the Yanks and 34% the Metropolitans,” Greenberg said. “When it comes to playing October baseball and making it to the Series, 45% think the Yankees have the better chance to make it, 19% say the Mets, six percent see a Subway Series possibility, and seven percent say wait till next year before you see a New York team make the Series.”

Gas Tax Suspension Strongly Supported; Tepid Support for Enviro Bond Act & To-Go Drink Sales
Voters support temporarily suspending New York’s gas tax by 16 cents per gallon 70-24%. They support a $4-6 billion environmental bond 48-28% and legalizing sale of to-go drinks by restaurants 50-41%, down from 55-34% in January. Voters oppose ensuring that early licenses for marijuana retail stores go to those previously convicted of marijuana-related crimes, or their family members 54-33%.

“Another issue uniting Democrats and Republicans is the temporary suspension of the gas tax. It’s supported by 75% of Republicans, 70% of Democrats and 66% of independents. The proposed environmental bond act currently enjoys strong support from Democrats, tepid support from independents and opposition from Republicans. To-go drinks for sale by bars and restaurants enjoys support from Democrats, 57-35%, but Republicans and independents are evenly divided,” Greenberg said.

“Giving first dibs on marijuana licenses to those previously convicted divides Democrats and New York City voters. Strong majorities of Republicans, independents, voters outside New York City, and white voters give it a thumbs down,” Greenberg said. “Latino voters support it by 12 points and Black voters by 11 points.”

Odds & Ends

  • New Yorkers support making Daylight Savings Time year-round, ending changing the clocks in the spring and fall, 67-25%. Strongest support, 79%, with Latinos, and ‘weakest’ support, 59%, with Black voters.
  • President Joe Biden’s ratings rebounded a little from last month, which was their lowest levels since he’s been President. His favorability rating is 50-46%, up from 48-48% last month. His job performance rating is negative 42-57%, up from 36-63% last month.
  • Three months from the June primary, and the most prominent Republican gubernatorial candidates (perhaps with the exception of Andrew Giuliani, based on his last name) remain unknown to most voters, and even to most Republicans:
    • Andrew Giuliani: 25-50% favorability rating with all voters, and 46-29% with Republicans.
    • Rep. Lee Zeldin: 20-20% overall, 35-12% with Republicans.
    • Rob Astorino: 21-18% overall, 33-10% with Republicans.
    • Harry Wilson: 13-9% overall, 13-9% with Republicans as well.
  • More than two-thirds of New Yorkers, 69%, say the worst of the pandemic is over, compared to 18% who say the worst is still to come. Optimism is up from last month’s 58-24% saying the worst is over.

This Siena College Poll was conducted March 20-24, 2022 among 804 New York State registered voters with 504 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 +/- 4.2 percentage points including the design effects resulting from weighting. There were 369 Democrats, with a margin of error of +/- 5.5 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.