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Siena Cuomo Poll: Public Perception A Mixed Bag

New Yorkers believe Governor Andrew Cuomo has made New York a better place.
Composite Image by Dave Lucas
New Yorkers believe Governor Andrew Cuomo has made New York a better place.

A new poll shows that although his favorability and job performance ratings have sunk to record lows, a majority of New Yorkers believe Governor Andrew Cuomo has made New York a better place.

Has third-term Democrat Andrew Cuomo made New York a better or worse place to live in nine years he's governed New York? Voters surveyed by the Siena College Research Institute say yes:   "A majority, 51 percent, say Cuomo has made New York a better place to live, compared to 39 percent who say he's made it a worse place to live. Not surprisingly, a huge partisan gap, more than two-thirds of Democrats say he's made the state a better place to live. Nearly three-quarters of Republicans say he's made the state a worse place to live. Independents more closely divided, although a plurality of them say he's made the state worse place to live."

Majority Says Cuomo Has Made NY Better Place in 9 Years as Gov; Yet, His Favorability & Job Performance Ratings Match Record Lows... Strong Support for Many New Laws; Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants Opposed; Voters Say 2019 Legislative Session Will Move NY on Right Track

Siena’s Steve Greenberg says when it comes to his favorability rating, the Democrat is at a nadir.    "43 percent of voters view Andrew Cuomo favorably, 50 percent view him unfavorably. It matches his all-time low from February of this year. Similarly, his job performance rating is at the lowest point it has been: 34 percent say he's doing an excellent or good job as governor, 64 percent say he's only doing a fair or poor job as governor, and nearly a third, 32 percent, say he's doing a poor job. That's one-third of New Yorkers think he's doing a poor job as governor, and that's the highest number it's been since he's been governor."

When it comes to recently passed laws, Greenberg says voters give the governor high marks:   "By an 84 to 14 percent margin voters support the new law that requires parents to have their children vaccinated regardless of the parents' religious beliefs. And of course when you have a number like 84 percent support, it's across the board. 88 percent of Democrats, 80 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of independents. Similarly high, the new Farm Worker bill of Rights. 78 percent of voters support that new law, only 15 percent oppose it. The law requiring that single-use plastic bags be banned has overwhelming support 65 to 31 percent. Democrats, independents strongly support that new ban on plastic bags. Republicans, evenly divided. Voters also support the new banning of using the gay or trans panic defense. 58 percent of New Yorkers support that new law, 33 percent oppose."

There is one exception; the new “Green Light” law allowing undocumented immigrants to get a New York driver's license. Only 43 percent of New Yorkers support it. 53 percent oppose it. 

The poll also delves into public perception of two other high-ranking New Yorkers: President Donald Trump's favorability rating is up slightly: 35 percent favorable, 62 percent unfavorable. Trump's job performance rating is up to 34 percent.  Greenberg says perhaps the president can find a little solace:   "As bad as his favorability rating is, the mayor of New York City, a presidential contender, Bill de Blasio, has an even worse favorability rating. Right now in New York, 26 percent of voters view de Blasio favorably, 57 view him unfavorably. So, Trump underwater by 27 points, de Blasio underwater by 31 points. And it gets worse for the New York City mayor. Among only Democrats in New York, de Blasio's favorability rating, 38 favorable, 49 unfavorable."

The poll of 810 state residents was conducted from July 28-August 1, and has a margin of error of plus/minus 4.1 percent.  Here's a BREAKDOWN.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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