4/21/2014 5:40:09 AM

Siena Poll: Will Cuomo Succeed?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Siena College Poll:
Will Cuomo Succeed on Major Issues? Voters More Optimistic Than Not
 Creating New Jobs Is Most Important Issue for Voters; Budget is Second
 Majority Want Reps & Dems to Jointly Share Power Running State Senate
 Cancel White House Speculation, Focus on NY, Voters Tell Governor-Elect


Loudonville, NY.  Most New Yorkers have a favorable view of Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo and a majority say they are somewhat or very optimistic that Cuomo will be successful in addressing several key issues, according to a new Siena (College) Research Institute poll of registered voters released today. Creating new jobs and balancing the state budget are the two most important issues voters want at the top of his priority list.
More than eight in ten voters do not like speculation of a Cuomo presidential candidacy, preferring that he prove he can succeed as governor first.  When it comes to control of the State Senate, the majority thinks that the two major parties should share power, jointly running the Senate, while only 22 percent of voters want to see either the Republicans or the Democrats control that house of the Legislature.
“Fresh off his victory over Carl Paladino, 64 percent of voters have a favorable view of Andrew Cuomo, compared to 26 percent who view him unfavorably, his best favorability rating since May,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.  “Voters know the issues they want Cuomo to work on and they are at least somewhat optimistic he will succeed in addressing them.
“Creating jobs is the most important issue for voters, and it’s the issue on which voters are most optimistic that Cuomo will succeed,” Greenberg said.  “Three-quarters of voters, including 65 percent of Republicans, are optimistic that Cuomo will develop programs to create new jobs, while only 24 percent are not very or not at all optimistic.”
“By a 59-40 percent margin, voters are optimistic that the incoming governor will solve the state budget deficit.  Voters are least optimistic on enacting a property tax cap, but even there by a 52-41 percent majority voters are optimistic.  By 26 and 16 point margins, respectively, voters are confident Cuomo will successfully pass a new ethics law and require non-partisan redistricting,” Greenberg said. “Democrats are overwhelmingly optimistic that Cuomo will succeed on all the issues and independent voters are also optimistic on all of the issues. Republicans are optimistic on jobs and nearly divided on ethics reform and the state budget, however, they are not optimistic on enacting a property tax cap, non-partisan redistricting or making state government less dysfunctional.”
Voters are divided on whether the new Cuomo Administration will improve the quality of life for New Yorkers over the next two years.  Forty-one percent of voters say the quality of life will improve, 44 percent say things will stay about the same and 14 percent believe the quality of life will worsen.  A plurality of Democrats and New York City voters say the quality of life will improve.  Independents are evenly divided between improvement and status quo.  And a plurality of Republicans, suburbanites and upstate voters say things will remain the same.
“While there’s been early speculation by some that the governorship will merely be a stepping stone for Cuomo’s bid for the White House, that kind of talk does not make voters happy,” Greenberg said. “Only 11 percent of voters like the Cuomo presidential speculation, while an overwhelming 85 percent, including 79 percent of Democrats, say they don’t like the speculation because Cuomo needs to prove he can succeed as governor first.”
Voters Want Democrats & Republicans to Share Power and Jointly Run the State Senate
“While a majority of Republicans want to see their party take a narrow majority and control the Senate, a majority of Democrats and independents want the two major parties to share power and jointly control the chamber.  Overall, 53 percent of New York voters want shared power, with 22 percent each saying the Democrats or Republicans should control the Senate,” Greenberg said.  “A majority of voters from every region want a shared power relationship, as do a majority of voters who view the Tea Party Unfavorably.  Even a plurality of voters who have a favorable view of the Tea Party want to see shared power in the Senate.”
Paladino Viewed Unfavorably by 2/3 of Voters; They Say He Should Not Remain Active in Politics
“Since the election, voters’ view of Paladino has only worsened, with 68 percent of voters, including a majority of Republicans and those favorable to the Tea Party, viewing Paladino unfavorably,” Greenberg said. “Paladino’s favorability rating does not hit 40 percent with any demographic group.  And when asked whether he should or should not remain active in New York politics, the answer voters give is a resounding ‘no.’  By a 58-27 percent margin, voters say Paladino should not stay on the New York political scene. A plurality of Republicans and Tea Party supporters say he should, while a plurality or majority of every other group says he should not.”
Support for Same Sex Marriage; Opposition to State Worker Layoffs; No Cuts for Education & Health
“By a 52-39 percent majority, New York voters favor legalizing same sex marriages.  In August 2009, the last time voters were asked in a Siena College Poll, support for same sex marriages was at 50-44 percent,” Greenberg said.  “There is strong support among Democrats, independents, women, and younger voters.  Same sex marriage is supported by at least a 12-point margin in every region of the state.  A majority of Republicans, conservatives, Protestants, and those favorable to the Tea Party oppose legalizing same sex marriages.
“Voters oppose Governor David Paterson’s plans to lay off nearly 1,000 state workers to help balance the budget by a 53-40 percent majority.  Republicans and those favorable to the Tea Party are the only groups where a majority supports the Governor’s plan.  A majority of voters in every region oppose the plan,” Greenberg said.
“While balancing the state budget is the second most important issue voters want Cuomo to address, a majority would like him to do so without cutting spending for education and health care,” Greenberg said.  “Only about one-quarter of voters support spending cuts in both of those areas, with another 18 percent favoring cuts to one or the other. However, 52 percent of voters, including a majority or plurality of voters from every region, urge Cuomo and the Legislature to ‘not cut spending to either health care or education, even if it means raising taxes.’  State leaders certainly have their work cut out for them if they want to balance the budget, not raise taxes – as the legislative leaders and Governor-elect have said is their plan – and keep their constituents happy.”
Voters See Continued Bleak NY Fiscal Picture; ‘Right Track/Wrong Direction’ Measure Up, Still Negative
“Unchanged since March, only seven percent of voters think the fiscal condition of New York is either excellent or good, compared to 92 percent who rate it fair (27 percent) or poor (65 percent).  Between 89 and 93 percent of voters have rated the fiscal condition of the state as fair or poor since the beginning of 2009,” Greenberg said.
“When it comes to the direction of the state, 32 percent believe New York is on the right track, compared to a majority of 54 percent who say the state is headed in the wrong direction.  That is up considerably from 14-76 percent last month among likely voters and it is the most optimistic voters have been on this measure since the beginning of the year. There was a huge bounce in this question after the 2006 gubernatorial election.  This year’s election provided a significant uptick – particularly among Democrats and downstate voters – but there is a long way to go before most New Yorkers think the state is headed in the right direction.”
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This SRI survey was conducted November 8-10, 2010 by telephone calls to 802 New York State registered voters. It has a margin of error of + 3.5 percentage points.  Data was statistically adjusted by age, party and region to ensure representativeness. Sampling was conducted via random digit dialing weighted to reflect known population patterns. SRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices.  For more information, please call Steven Greenberg at 518-469-9858.  Survey cross-tabulations and frequencies can be found at: www.Siena.edu/SRI/SNY.

Contact: SRI
Contact E-mail: sienaresearch@siena.edu

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