Monday, July 21, 2014
Loudonville, NY. Fifteen weeks until Election Day, Governor Andrew Cuomo holds an enormous 37-point lead over Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, 60-23 percent, according to a Siena College Poll of likely New York gubernatorial voters released today. Fifty-nine percent of likely voters say Cuomo has made New York a better place to live, compared to 15 percent who say he’s made it worse and 21 percent who say it’s the same.
Voters are closely divided on viewing each house of the Legislature favorably or unfavorably, and more are inclined to re-elect incumbent legislators rather than ‘someone else.’ Yet, 65 percent say most state legislators “do what’s best for them and their political friends and it never surprises me when another one gets indicted.” Only 28 percent say “most state legislators are honest, hardworking and do what’s best for their constituents.”
By a 49-39 percent margin, voters want to see implementation of the Common Core standards stopped rather than continued. Democratic incumbents Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman continue to hold solid leads over their Republican challengers.
“With a little more than a hundred days until voters go to the polls, Astorino has a gigantic hole to climb out of to even make the race for governor competitive. Cuomo currently has the support of 80 percent of Democrats, 56 percent of independents and 32 percent of Republicans. Cuomo’s lead among independents is larger than the lead Astorino has among Republicans,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “Cuomo’s lead among likely voters is 76 points in New York City, 29 points in the downstate suburbs and 15 points upstate.
“Interestingly, while two-thirds of voters say New York is about the same or worse off than it was four years ago, 59 percent of voters say Cuomo has made New York a better place to live in the last four years. Only 15 percent say he’s made it a worse place to live. Nearly three-quarters of Democrats, more than half of independents and a plurality of Republicans say Cuomo’s made New York a better place to live,” Greenberg said.
Cuomo’s favorability rating is 61-35 percent (down a little from 63-31 percent last month among registered voters) and his job performance is 50-49 percent (from 49-50 percent). By a 54-38 percent margin, voters say they are prepared to re-elect Cuomo compared to preferring ‘someone else’ (57-35 percent in June; registered voters). Astorino has a 20-19 percent favorability rating, with 61 percent having no opinion (18-12-69 percent last month among registered voters). Howie Hawkins has a 9-11 percent favorability rating and Zephyr Teachout has a 6-8 percent favorability rating.
“Andrew Cuomo is liked by voters and they are inclined to want to re-elect him. Rob Astorino remains largely unknown to the majority of voters and among those who know him they are evenly divided on whether they view him favorably or unfavorably,” Greenberg said. “Astorino has failed to become significantly more known to voters or to put a dent in the Cuomo armor in the last six months. He has much to do and not much time to do it in.
“When it comes to which issues are motivating voters, they are largely economic. Thirteen percent of voters say jobs is the single most important issue in determining their vote, followed by taxes and education at 12 percent each, economic issues generally at nine percent, and fiscal/budget issues and gun/SAFE act at five percent each,” Greenberg said. “Almost half of voters identified an economic issue as number one.”
Voters: Never Surprised When Another Legislator Gets Indicted
“At least 58 percent of Democrats, Republicans, independents, upstaters, downstaters, men, women, young, old, black, and white voters all agree that most state legislators do what’s best for themselves and their friends, and they’re never surprised when a legislator is indicted,” Greenberg said. “Only about a quarter to a third of voters from virtually every region, party and demographic group think that most state legislators are honest, hardworking and do what’s best for their constituents.
“But despite that rhetorical indictment of the State Legislature, 49 percent of voters are inclined to re-elect their state senator, with 35 percent preferring ‘someone else,’ and by a narrower 41-37 percent margin, they are inclined to re-elect their Assemblymember,” Greenberg said.
Nearly Half of Voters Say Implementation of the Common Core Should be Stopped
“While a majority of New York City voters and a plurality of Democrats think Common Core standards should continue to be implemented, a majority of Republicans, independents and upstaters, and a plurality of downstate suburbanites think implementation should be stopped. A majority of white voters want implementation stopped, a majority of black voters want implementation continued, and Hispanic voters are evenly divided,” Greenberg said.
“Voters supporting Cuomo want the standards implemented by a 49-38 percent margin, however, Astorino voters are strongly opposed to Common Core being implemented by a 73-17 percent margin,” Greenberg said.
DiNapoli & Schneiderman Continue to Have Large Leads Over Largely Unknown Opponents
DiNapoli has 28-16-56 percent favorability rating (26-12-62 percent last month among registered voters). Currently, 36 percent say they are prepared to re-elect him, with 34 percent preferring ‘someone else’ (28-28 percent last month). His Republican opponent, Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci, has a 9-12-79 percent favorability rating (from 9-9-82 percent).
Schneiderman has a 26-18-56 percent favorability rating (23-16-61 percent last month among registered voters). He has a 39-33 percent re-elect rating (from 41-27 percent). Republican John Cahill, Schneiderman’s opponent, has a 14-12-74 percent favorability rating (from 12-10-78 percent).
“DiNapoli leads Antonacci by more than 30 points, 57-26 percent, and Schneiderman is besting Cahill by more than 20 points, 53-31 percent. While the incumbents are hardly household names amongst New York voters, their challengers remain largely unknown to about three-quarters of likely voters,” Greenberg said. “Right now, Cahill is garnering more support than any of the Republican statewide candidates but he’s got a large gap to close and Antonacci’s deficit is substantially bigger.
New York Voters’ Division About Fracking Continues
Fracking is opposed by 43 percent of likely voters and supported by 40 percent. In April it was opposed by 43 percent and supported by 41 percent of registered voters.
“Since October 2013, Siena Polls have asked voters about fracking five times. And every time support for fracking has been between 38 and 41 percent, while opposition has been either 42 or 43 percent. Here’s the bottom line: just as there’s been virtually no movement on whether New York will or will not allow fracking in the state, there’s likewise been virtually no movement in public opinion among voters. They remain nearly evenly divided on whether they support or oppose fracking being allowed to move forward,” Greenberg said.
Voters Say State is on Right Track, Country Headed in Wrong Direction
“By a 49-40 percent margin, likely voters say New York is on the right track, not headed in the wrong direction, virtually unchanged from 50-39 percent last month with registered voters,” Greenberg said. “However, a majority of likely voters, 56 percent say the country is headed in the wrong direction, with only 38 percent saying the country’s on the right track, little changed since March’s 57-36 percent of registered voters saying the country was headed in the wrong direction.”
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This Siena College Poll was conducted July 13-16, 2014 by telephone calls to 774 likely New York State registered voters. It has an overall margin of error of + 3.5 percentage points. Data was statistically adjusted by age, party, region, race/ethnicity, and gender to ensure representativeness. Sampling was conducted via random digit dialing to landline and cell phones weighted to reflect known population patterns and historic New York State gubernatorial turnout. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social and cultural research primarily in New York State. 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, call Steve Greenberg at (518) 469-9858. For survey cross-tabs: www.Siena.edu/SRI/SNY.