A new poll finds that New Yorkers do not think Confederate statues and memorials should be taken down. And they believe the country is headed in the wrong direction under President Donald Trump.
President Trump – with a negative 29-66 percent favorability rating – is viewed more unfavorably than at any time since he’s been president and has his worst favorability rating since October 2016. Steve Greenberg is a spokesman for the Siena College Research Institute. "Republicans still view him favorably, 61 to 33 percent, but down a net 20 points from July when he was at a 71-23 percent with Republicans. 86 percent of Democrats view Trump unfavorably, 58 percent of independents view him unfavorably."
Greenberg notes Trump's job performance rating is the lowest its been since he has been president. "Only 22 percent of New Yorkers say he's doing an excellent or good job as president compared to 77 percent who say he's doing only a fair or poor job, and in fact, 59 percent of all New Yorkers say Donald Trump is doing a poor job as president. For the first time ever, more Republicans give Trump a negative job performance rating than a positive job performance rating."
One of Trump's seemingly most unpopular moves came this week when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program will shut down in six months to give Congress time to find a legislative solution for the immigrants.
New York State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia tells Spectrum News she will be working with the governor and state attorney general to fight Trump's decision. "I just want you to think about a child who came here as an infant, never been in the other county that they came from. They are here. They've gone through our school systems, they've gone through our universities, many of them. They are working in our systems and all of a sudden now we are going to say, 'I'm sorry, but you are not an American.'"
Albany City Schools superintendent Kaweeda Adams told the network about 1 in 8 students in the Albany City School District are immigrants or refugees, from 55 countries. Some of these students are the so-called "Dreamers." "We're going to make sure that we 're tuned in to see what's happening nationally, and what impact that might have on us locally."
Siena's Greenberg says survey respondents don't approve of the way Trump is dealing with immigration issues. "They give him very low grades. Only 25 percent give him a positive grade on immigration, compared to 73 percent who give him a negative grade. Even Republicans are closely divided, with 48 percent of Republicans viewing him positively and 50 percent viewing him negatively."
New York’s Eric Schneiderman led a coalition of 16 Attorneys General in filing suit to protect DACA grantees Wednesday.
In the wake of Charlottesville, officials at SUNY New Paltz have been looking into whether they should rebrand several campus buildings named for the town’s founding families, who were slaveholders. The poll also delved into how New Yorkers feel about Confederate statues and memorials. Again, Steve Greenberg: "Should they stay up because they're an important part of our history, or should they come down because for many they represent slavery and segregation? Well New Yorkers solidly, 59 to 35 percent say 'keep the statues up.'"
“Two-thirds of Democrats are pessimistic about the country’s future, while nearly two-thirds of Republicans are optimistic, as are a small majority of independents. While downstate suburbanites are evenly divided, a majority of upstaters and New York City voters are pessimistic,” Greenberg said.
The Siena College Poll was conducted August 26-30, 2017 by telephone calls conducted in English to 771 New York State registered voters. Respondent sampling was initiated by asking for the youngest male in the household. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points including the design effects resulting from weighting. Sampling was conducted via a stratified dual frame probability sample of landline and cell phone telephone numbers (both from Survey Sampling International) from within New York State weighted to reflect known population patterns. Data was statistically adjusted by age, party, region and gender to ensure representativeness.