By Wide Margins, Voters Say Hochul Did Not Make Progress on Several 2022 Goals: Making Communities Safer; Enhancing Trust in State Govt.; Transforming SUNY to Envy of Nation; Making NY Place to Live, Not Leave

  • Hochul Favorability, 45-43%, Drops Slightly from October (45-41%), While Zeldin Favorability, 46-32%, Soared from 37-41% Pre-Election Day
  • Voters Want Crime & Cost of Living to Be Albany’s Top 2023 Priorities

Press Release     Crosstabs

Loudonville, NY. Voters say, by wide margins, Governor Kathy Hochul did not make progress on six of the goals she laid out for 2022, including making communities safer, enhancing trust in state government, transforming SUNY into the envy of the nation, and making the state a place people want to live, not leave. Crime and cost of living top voters’ priority list for Albany to address in 2023, according to a new Siena College poll of registered New York State voters released today.

Hochul’s favorability rating (45-43%) and job approval rating (49-44%) both dipped slightly since October but remain in positive territory, while 2022 Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin now has a 46-32% favorability rating, up net 18 points, from 37-41% prior to the election.

“Back in January, Siena asked voters if they thought Hochul would make progress on six of the goals she outlined in her State of the State address. On two, increasing the availability of quality medical care and creating conditions for businesses to succeed, voters were somewhat optimistic she would make progress. On the other four, voters were closely divided,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

“Today, when asked whether the Hochul Administration did or did not make progress on these goals, voters give a resounding ‘no.’ A majority or strong plurality say she did not make progress on any of them. Fewer than one-third of voters say her Administration made progress on any of the goals,” Greenberg said.

“Democrats were very optimistic she would make progress on all the goals in January, and today on four goals, a plurality of Democrats think she made progress. Republicans were not optimistic she would make progress and overwhelmingly, they say she did not make progress on any of the goals. Independents also strongly say no progress was made on any of the goals Hochul set for herself,” Greenberg said.

“Hochul’s job approval and favorability ratings are above water, barely, although they edged down slightly since before Election Day, and her 43% unfavorable rating is a new high. Having just won her first full term – in the closest gubernatorial election in decades – Hochul has a chance to hit the ‘reset’ button and try and reintroduce herself to voters outside of a messy midterm transition and a fiercely fought election,” Greenberg said.

“Certainly, political friends and foes alike will be watching to see if Hochul tries to reset in her upcoming inaugural address and State of the State and budget messages. They’ll also be watching her actions and words in the weeks and months ahead, and whether it impacts her standing with voters,” Greenberg said. “Hochul has her work cut out for her, having barely expanded her base in her first year as governor. In Hochul’s first month in office, September 2021, 42% of voters viewed her favorably. Today it’s 45%. It’s never been higher than 47%.

“Interestingly, Zeldin emerged after Election Day with by far his best ever favorability rating, 46-32%, including a two-to-one favorable rating with independents, 51-25%, up from 41-37% in October,” Greenberg said. “Hochul’s favorability with independents is 32-53%, down from 40-45% in October.”

Plurality of Voters Give Hochul Positive Reviews on 5 Characteristics; All Are Down from Last Year

“While voters think Hochul demonstrates honesty and integrity, 44-36%, a year ago the margin was 56-22%. A strong majority of Democrats, 61%, still says she demonstrates honesty. However, two-thirds of Republicans say she doesn’t – up from 41% – and a plurality of independents also say she doesn’t, after saying two-to-one last year she does,” Greenberg said. “Last year, 68% of Democrats, 47% of independents and 36% of Republicans said Hochul worked hard for New Yorkers. Today those numbers are 66%, 35%, 21%.”

Cost of Living and Crime Are Voters’ Top Two Priorities for Gov & Leg Heading into 2023

“Nearly two-thirds of voters, 63%, say the cost of living should be one of the top two priorities for Hochul and legislators in 2023, followed by crime at 58%. Worth noting that 36% say that crime is the top priority, followed by the cost of living, 31%. Affordable housing is a top priority of 12% and a top-two priority for 29% of voters,” Greenberg said. “The environment, public health and racial justice were each identified by five or six percent as a top priority and between 13-16% said each was a top-two priority.”

“Crime and cost of living were top-two priorities for Republicans, Democrats, independents, upstaters and downstaters, Black, Latino and white voters,” Greenberg said. “Affordable housing doesn’t come within 20 points of crime and cost of living with any of those demographic groups, other than Black voters who rank housing nearly as high a top-two priority as crime.”

Voters: Crime Continues as Serious Problem – Across NYS, 90%; In Their Community, 63%

“Voters say crime is a top priority because 90% say crime is a serious problem – 59% very serious – across New York State, compared to 92% in June. And because 63% say it’s a serious problem in their community – 28% very serious – compared to 65% in June. And because 61% say they’re concerned that they could be the victim of a crime –26% very concerned – compared to 60% in June,” Greenberg said.

“Voters can’t say it clearly enough. They’ve said crime is a serious problem for a year; they see it as a serious problem now; they don’t think Hochul has made progress on making communities safer; and, they want their elected officials to address it as a top priority in 2023.”

Odds & Ends

  • 70% of voters say it’s likely that the United States will be a democratic republic in 2030, 40% very likely. That’s up from 67% / 29% in January. Democrats and Republicans are more optimistic now than they were in January, while independents are less optimistic, with 37% saying they don’t think it’s likely.
  • In July 2012, 63% of voters viewed the US Supreme Court favorably (71% of Dems, 52% of Reps, 58% of inds). In October 2021, the Court had 51-38% favorability rating. Today, a small plurality views the Court favorably, 45-41%, including 61% of Republicans, and 46% of independents who continue to view the Court favorably. In 2012, 71% of Democrats viewed the court favorably, compared to just 38% today.
  • President Joe Biden’s favorability rating fell to 48-46% from 53-45% in October. His job approval rating is 51-47%, down from 53-45% in October.
  • Mayor Eric Adams has a 32-33% favorability rating, down from 36-20% in February. New York City voters give him a 50-35% favorability rating, down from 58-22% in February.
  • US House Minority Leader-elect Hakeem Jeffries makes his first entry into a Siena College poll with a 33-17% favorability rating, with half of voters not knowing him or enough about him to have an opinion.


This Siena College Poll was conducted December 4-7, 2022, among 816 New York State registered voters with 503 voters contacted through a dual frame (landline and cell phone) mode and 313 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, race/ethnicity, education, 2020 vote by region, 2022 vote by region, 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: