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Siena Poll Tracks New Yorkers’ Attitude On A.O.C., Amazon, Socialism

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria [D-NY-14] in an appearance on Instagram
Composite photo Dave Lucas / Instagram
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria [D-NY-14] assembles furniture during an appearance on Instagram

When Democrats took control of the House in November’s elections, a New York woman in her 20s quickly became a key voice in the party. But what do voters in the 14th House district think? A new Siena College poll out this week aims to answer that question.

Since her January arrival in Washington, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has turned D.C. on its head with her personality and her embrace of social media, where constituents, fans and followers know her as "A.O.C." She recently livestreamed on Instagram, unboxing and assembling furniture at her new D.C. apartment.   "Today's April something, and, I still don't own a chair."

Click on the image to enlarge.

Don Levy is director of Siena College Research Institute:    "We took a look at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and how she fares relative to public opinion in her district. In the 14th Congressional District of New York voters view her favorably. A majority, 52 percent, have a favorable view toward Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and in fact that view goes up to 65 percent among Democrats. And when you compare her to other politicians, the president, the governor, the mayor, she actually has the best net favorability of any of these high-profile politicians in her district."

25 percent of 607 voters polled by Siena describe themselves as a "Democratic Socialist" while 70 percent prefer describing themselves in “some other way.”   "Democrats a little bit more inclined. One0third of Democrats, 44 percent of people who describe themselves as liberal, slightly more than a third of young voters, say that they would describe themselves as 'Democratic Socialists.' But, when we asked them about a series of issues, many of the issues that Ocasio-Cortez is championing, there we see overwhelming support in her district. Free tuition to public universities. Banning assault weapons. Medicare for all. Federal guarantee of a job that pays a living wage. Well over 70 percent of voters in her district and over 80 percent of Democrats are with her on those."

On top of that, the Siena poll finds 48 percent of all voters and 61 percent of Democrats would vote to re-elect Ocasio-Cortez in 2020. But when it comes to her signature piece of legislation, the "Green New Deal," "...only 41 percent are in favor, 20 percent opposed. We've got nearly 40 percent of voters in her district who say 'right now, I simply don't know enough about it in order to say.'"

Levy adds the district breaks with Ocasio-Cortez on the Amazon deal, which would have seen the online retailer build a massive headquarters in Long Island City, near the 14th district.   "57 percent of all voters say that they think that Amazon cancelling was bad for New York, and 58 percent say they wish that the governor could be successful in getting Amazon to reconsider and come back. So that's certainly different than A.O.C.'s position.  One group that stands very closely with A.O.C. on this issue though is young voters. Voters 18 to 34 agree at the rate of 49 to 37 that Amazon canceling was good for New York, and a majority of those young voters oppose revisiting the issue."

This Siena College Poll of NY 14 was conducted March 31- April 4, 2019 by telephone calls conducted in English and Spanish to 607 New York CD 14 registered voters. The poll has a plus or minus 4.3 percent margin of error. Here's a link to view the survey.

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