Governor Hochul Starts 2023 with Best Ever Job Approval (56-36%) Rating and Highest Ever (48%) Favorability Rating

Wade Vandervort / AFP via Getty Images file
  • Strong to Overwhelming Support for Several Hochul State of the State Proposals; 4 with Wide Bipartisan Support; Voters Not Optimistic Hochul Will Make Progress on Her Goals: Making NY Safer, More Affordable, Fixing Mental Health System
  • By 59-17%, Voters Say George Santos Should Resign From Congress; Santos Viewed Unfavorably 56-16%; Dems, Reps & Inds All Agree

Press Release     Crosstabs

Loudonville, NY. Voters approve of the job Kathy Hochul is doing as Governor 56-36%, up from 49-44% last month, and the best it’s ever been. Her favorability rating is 48-42%, up a little from 45-43% last month, and the 48% tops her previous high favorability rating by a point. Six of Hochul’s State of the State proposals have strong to overwhelming support – four of them bipartisan – while her proposal to allow SUNY to increase tuition is strongly opposed, according to a new Siena College poll of registered New York State voters released today.

While a majority of voters think Hochul will make progress this year on her goal of creating more jobs and opportunities, a larger majority think she will not make progress on making New York more affordable, and pluralities think she will not be successful making the state safer or fixing its mental health system. By better than three-to-one, voters both view George Santos unfavorably, and think he should resign from Congress.

“Kicking off the 2023 legislative session with her first State of the State address, chock full of proposals that have strong voter support, Hochul sees her job approval rating hit its highest level, jumping from a positive five points last month to a 20-point positive approval rating today. The jump – despite continued strong partisan divide – is largely thanks to independent and downstate voters,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

“More than three-quarters of Democrats approve of the job she’s doing, while more than three-quarters of Republicans disapprove. A small plurality of independents, 47-43%, approve, after a majority disapproved last month,” Greenberg said. “More than two-thirds of New York City voters and a majority of downstate suburban voters approve of the job Hochul’s doing, but by five points, upstaters disapprove.

“Hochul’s favorability rating edged up to six points positive, from two points positive last month,” Greenberg said. “While she has yet to have a majority of New Yorkers view her favorably, the 48% of voters this month who view her favorably is the highest it has ever been.”

Voters Give Strong Support – Often Bipartisan – for Several Hochul State of the State Proposals

“When it comes to not raising state income taxes this year, voters overwhelmingly agree with Hochul, with no difference among Democrats, Republicans and independents. And strong majorities of voters of every partisan persuasion support three of her other proposals: guaranteeing state employees up to 12 weeks of paid family leave, basing the minimum wage on the inflation rate, and giving judges more discretion to set bail for offenders accused of serious crimes,” Greenberg said.

“Partisans also agree – though Democrats not as much – in their opposition to Hochul’s proposal to allow SUNY schools to increase tuition,” Greenberg said. “Two other Hochul proposals enjoy strong overall support, despite Republican opposition – a majority on CAP and INVEST, and a plurality on a state ERA.”

Voters Think Hochul Will Make Progress this Year on Creating Jobs; Not on Making NY More Affordable

“On five Hochul State of the State goals, voters think she’ll make progress this year on one: creating jobs and opportunities for New Yorkers, 54-32%. However, a majority think she will not make progress in 2023 on making the state more affordable, 59-25%, and pluralities think she will not make progress on making the state safer, 45-36%, or fixing its mental health system, 46-38%. Voters are closely divided on whether they think she will make progress on creating 800,000 new homes,” Greenberg said.

“With the exception of making New York more affordable – even Democrats don’t think she’ll make progress on that – Democrats are optimistic that Hochul will make progress on all five goals,” Greenberg said. “On the other hand, by margins of between 46 and 70 percentage points, Republicans say she will not make progress toward achieving any of her goals. Independents think Hochul will make progress this year creating jobs but not on any other goal, though they’re not nearly as negative as Republicans.”

Voters Say Santos – Well Known and Strongly Viewed Unfavorably – Should Resign from Congress

“Nearly two-thirds of Democrats, 59% of independents and a strong plurality of Republicans, 49%, say George Santos should resign from Congress, compared to only 17% of all voters who say he shouldn’t resign,” Greenberg said. “Upstate voters say he should resign by a 36-point margin. In New York City it’s 39%. But downstate suburbanites want him out by a 56-point margin, 71-15%, even more than Democrats.

“Voters overwhelmingly view Santos unfavorably, including 55% of Democrats, 56% of Republicans and 59% of independents. Again, downstate suburbanites lead the state, 76%, in their unfavorable view of Santos,” Greenberg said. “It is fascinating that Santos has gone from largely unknown freshman representative-elect to being more well known to New Yorkers than Brooklyn’s Hakeem Jeffries, just elected to his sixth term and the new US House Minority Leader. Although it must be pointed out that Jeffries is viewed favorably, 33-20%.”

Maybe Yes, Maybe No: Voters’ Reaction to a Casino in Manhattan

“Voters are evenly divided 38-38% on whether there should or should not be a casino in Manhattan. Another 16% said they need more information, or their view is mixed,” Greenberg said. “Interestingly, there is little geographic difference with New York City voters saying ‘yes’ by a narrow three points, downstate suburbanites saying ‘no,’ also by three points, and upstaters tilting ‘no’ by a point. Republicans oppose by seven points, while Democrats and independents are closely divided.”

Odds & Ends

  • New Yorkers continue to say crime is a serious problem in the state – 93%, 61% a very serious problem – and in their community – 65%, 30% very serious – both little changed from last month, or this time last year. Voters regardless of region, party or race want to see judges have more discretion to set bail for serious crimes, and a plurality, 45-36%, don’t think Hochul will make progress this year making New York safer
  • New US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is viewed unfavorably 41-30%, with 28% having never heard of him or not knowing enough to have an opinion. Republicans view him favorably, 47-22%, while Democrats, 25-52%, and independents, 25-39%, view him unfavorably.
  • Former President Donald Trump’s favorability rating fell from 37-58% last month to 31-64% today, the worst his favorability rating has been since April 2021. Republicans view him favorably, 64-29%, but that’s down from 74-22% in December.

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This Siena College Poll was conducted January 15-19, 2023, among 821 New York State registered voters with 494 voters contacted through a dual frame (landline and cell phone) mode and 327 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, region, race/ethnicity, education, gender, and 2020 vote by region to ensure representativeness. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.3 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.

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