Monday, June 16, 2014
Loudonville, NY. Governor Andrew Cuomo holds a huge 36-point lead over Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, 57-21 percent. Cuomo has a better than two-to-one favorability rating, while Astorino remains unknown to more than two-thirds of New Yorkers, according to a Siena College Poll of New York voters released today. The other independently elected statewide office holders – Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, both Democrats – also have large leads over little-known opponents. DiNapoli leads Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci by 34 points and Schneiderman leads John Cahill by 25 points.
A large majority of voters, 59 percent, want to see the State Senate continue to be led by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans after the election. By a 53-36 percent margin, voters want to see the Independent Democratic Conference continue to partner with the Republicans rather than the Democrats, and by a 55-38 percent margin, they want Cuomo to stay out of senate races, rather than help Democrats gain control of the Senate.
Slightly more than one-quarter of voters say they are better off today than four years ago, while a little less than one-quarter say they are worse off and half say they are about the same. When it comes to New York, one-third say the state is better off than it was four years ago, one-quarter say it’s worse and 40 percent say the same.
“There are five months till Election Day. No race is over in June. This is a snapshot of all registered voters, not just those likely to vote in November. All true. But true too are two other facts: Astorino has a huge gap to close, and it’s hard to beat a popular incumbent when you face a two-to-one party disadvantage and you are unknown to two-thirds of voters, including 70 percent of your own party,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.
“While Cuomo leads among Democrats by 69 points, Astorino only leads among Republicans by 29 points. And Cuomo wins among independents by 31 points,” Greenberg said. “Additionally, his favorability, job performance and re-elect ratings are all the best they’ve been since January. Half of voters see Cuomo as a moderate and, by a two-to-one margin, voters see him as a pragmatic, rather than partisan, Democrat.”
Cuomo’s favorability rating is 63-31 percent (up from 57-38 percent in April) and his job performance is up to 49-50 percent (from 45-54 percent). By a 57-35 percent margin, voters say they are prepared to re-elect Cuomo compared to preferring ‘someone else’ (50-41 percent in April). Astorino has an 18-12 percent favorability rating, with 69 percent having no opinion (18-16-66 percent in April).
“When it comes to which candidate voters identify with on issues, they clearly line up with Cuomo,” Greenberg said. “Whether economic issues – like making New York more business friendly or instituting policies to create new jobs – or issues such as improving education, medical marijuana or the SAFE Act, a majority say their position is closer to Cuomo’s. Strong pluralities are with Cuomo on combating corruption and the Dream Act. Only between 13 and 21 percent of voters say they’re with Astorino on any of these issues.
Voters Want Cuomo Out of Senate Races; the IDC to Stay with Republicans; and a Continued Coalition
“New York voters say they like the State Senate just the way it is right now, with a bipartisan coalition of Republicans and Democrats in control. Only 22 percent want the Democrats in control after the November election, including only 37 percent of Democrats. Even fewer, 16 percent, want the Republicans in control. A strong majority, 59 percent – including 56 percent of Democrats, 53 percent of Republicans and a whopping 70 percent of independents – want a bipartisan coalition to continue leading the Senate,” Greenberg said.
“While a majority of Democrats would like to see the Independent Democratic Conference partner with the other Democrats, 81 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of independents want to see the IDC continue to partner with the Republicans. New York City voters are divided but strong majorities of downstate suburban and upstate voters like the status quo,” Greenberg said.
“And should Cuomo, the titular head of the Democratic Party, help his party gain control of the Senate? Fifty-seven percent of Democrats think he should but 83 percent of Republicans, two-thirds of independents, and more than one-third of Democrats say he should stay out of Senate campaigns,” Greenberg said.
DiNapoli & Schneiderman Not Well Known, But Have Large Leads Over More Unknown Opponents
DiNapoli has 26-12-62 percent favorability rating (29-17-54 percent in April). Currently, 38 percent say they are prepared to re-elect him, with 28 percent preferring ‘someone else’ (up from 32-35 percent). Schneiderman has a 23-16-61 percent favorability rating (27-20-53 percent in April). He has a 41-27 percent re-elect rating (up from 35-32 percent). Antonacci and Cahill are both unknown to more than three-quarters of voters.
“The Comptroller and Attorney General are far from household names in New York. Each is only viewed favorably by about one-quarter of voters,” Greenberg said. “However, their opponents are known to far fewer voters. Schneiderman and DiNapoli have the built in advantages of incumbency and a two-to-one party enrollment edge. Right now, Schneiderman leads Cahill 52-27 percent and DiNapoli leads Antonacci even bigger, 56-22 percent. Cahill and Antonacci have difficult tasks in front of them in sparsely-covered, down-ballot races.”
Less than One-Third of Voters Say They or the State Are Better Off Today than Four Years Ago
“Slightly more voters, 32 percent, say New York is better off today than four years ago, compared to 26 percent who say the state is worse off. A plurality of 40 percent say things are about the same,” Greenberg said. “More than twice as many Democrats say the state is better than worse, while twice as many Republicans say the state is worse rather than better, and independents are closely divided. More downstaters say things are better rather than worse, while by a small margin more upstaters say things are worse, not better.
“When it comes to the famous Ronald Reagan question – are you better off now than you were four years ago? – only 28 percent say they and their families are better off today than four years ago, with almost as many, 23 percent, saying they are worse off, and nearly half, 49 percent, saying things are about the same,” Greenberg said. “A majority or plurality of voters from every region, party, ideology, gender, age, race, religion, and income level say things are about the same.”
By 11-Point Margin, New Yorkers Say State is Headed on Right Track, Not Wrong Direction
“By a 50-39 percent margin, voters say New York is headed on the right track, not the wrong direction, up from 46-44 percent in April,” Greenberg said. “By a two-to one margin, Republicans say the state is headed in the wrong direction, while by a two-to-one margin, Democrats say the state is on the right track. Independents agree with Democrats 52-39 percent. New York City voters say right track by a 26-point margin and downstate suburbanites agree by a 13-point margin. Upstaters say wrong direction by a five-point margin, however, that has narrowed considerably from an 18-point margin in April.”
This Siena College Poll was conducted June 8-12, 2014 by telephone calls to 835 New York State registered voters. It has an overall margin of error of + 3.4 percentage points. Data was statistically adjusted by age, party, region and gender to ensure representativeness. Sampling was conducted via random digit dialing to landline and cell phones weighted to reflect known population patterns. 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.