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Siena Poll: Voters Say Amazon Cancelling Queens HQ Bad For NY

Composite photo Dave Lucas / WAMC

A new Siena College poll indicates some New Yorkers are concerned about state leadership and the general political climate in the Empire State.

By a 67-21 percent margin, New Yorkers say that Amazon nixing its planned second headquarters in Queens was bad for New York. 67 percent of New Yorkers also think it's getting harder to conduct business in the Empire State. Siena Pollster Steve Greenberg says voters across the state are shaking their heads. "Only 21 percent of New Yorkers think it's good for New York. But 2/3rds, 67 percent, think it was bad for New York. And it's across the board. Democrats. Republicans. Independents. Downstaters. Upstaters. All think Amazon cancelling was bad for New York."

Speaking on WAMC's Roundtable hours after the poll was released, Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo says the cancellation is "devastating." "Not just in the Amazon 25,000 jobs but the way it would be interested as more than a one-off bizarre episode and political miscalculation. If it became, a, a, because Amazon is a national company, international. I don't want anyone to think what Siena says, that New York is not receptive to business, that's the scary question in the poll to me and that's what I've been fighting against!"

Greenberg says the people have spoken when it comes down to who is to blame for the spoiled Amazon deal. "Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She beats out the local Queens activist, Mayor e Blasio and the New York State Senate for biggest villain.  And we asked voters 'In light of that, Governor Cuomo and other leaders are trying to woo Amazon to reconsider its decision, and do you think, would you support or oppose a deal where Amazon receives up to $3 billion in state and city incentives in return for creating  this headquarters with up to 25,000 jobs?' Well, by a 2 to 1 margin, 61 to 30 percent, voters say they support such a deal. And again, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, downstaters, upstaters, all support it."

Greenberg says Governor Cuomo bounced back a bit from record low poll numbers reported by Siena in February.  "Still underwater! 46 percent of voters view Andrew Cuomo favorably, 48 percent view him unfavorably, but that's up from last month's all time low when he was at 43 favorable, 50 percent unfavorable."
Cuomo's state budget proposal to make the property tax cap permanent is strongly supported by New Yorkers, according to the poll. "59 percent to 25 percent, supported by Democrats and Republicans by almost equal margins."

The poll says Democratic control of the New York State Legislature has raised concerns among some New Yorkers. The Assembly has a 44-35 percent favorability rating, up a little from 43-38 percent last month. The Senate comes in at 46-38 percent, up a little from 43-41 percent. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is viewed favorably at 51-41 percent, up from 47-46 percent.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who officially declared her candidacy for president this weekend, has a favorability rating among New Yorkers that is unchanged from last month. Siena says nearly one-quarter of voters do not know enough about the Democrat to have an opinion.

The poll finds 51 percent of those surveyed believe New York has moved too far to the political left.  53 percent of New Yorkers support the adult recreational use of marijuana.

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