Siena Poll Measures NY Governor, Legislature's Favorability Ratings

Jan 14, 2019

With state lawmakers back in Albany, a new Siena Poll shows half of New Yorkers view the governor and the legislature favorably, but pay raises are another story.

Pollster Steve Greenberg says the Siena College survey released Monday shows Governor Andrew Cuomo's favorability decreasing as the Democrat enters his third term, with 51 percent of New Yorkers viewing him favorably...   "...43 percent viewing him unfavorably, it's up from right before the election last November, but significantly below where he was starting his first and second term. As he starts his third term, he has a 51 percent favorability rating. In the first month of his first term it was 70 percent, in the first month of his second term it was 60 percent."

The poll indicates half of voters view the legislature favorably with Democrats in control of both chambers.   "The legislature: the Assembly has a 48 to 32 percent favorability rating, its highest ever. The Senate has a 49 to 38 percent favorability rating, close to its highest ever."

Both chambers had negative ratings in a June Siena poll.

Greenberg says 80 percent of survey respondents disapproved of the raises authorized last year by a state pay commission.   "Voters do not like the pay raise commission's recent action to raise the salary of state legislators from $79,500 to $110,000 this year and up to $130,000 in two years. By a margin of 57 to 35 percent, New Yorkers say they disapprove of that pay raise even though it limited legislators' outside income and the stipends they receive."

The survey finding comes as no surprise to 108th District state Assemblyman John McDonald, a Democrat.   "For individuals her in the Capital Region who follow the antics at the state capitol on a regular basis, there's overall general dissatisfaction with government in general because everyone has high expectations and we know we can do better.  I'm not surprised. I could have told you that two years ago, four years ago, six years ago. I think anytime you ask for a politician to have a pay raise, you're gonna get a thumbs down. That's just the nature of the beast. And you know, candidly, the numbers they came out with I felt were quite high myself. But I think that shock value, when you read the tail end of a 67 percent increase, it just doesn't sit well with the public."

The January 6 through 10 landline and cell phone survey of 805 registered voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

January 14 Siena Poll on Scribd