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Matching His Lowest Favorability Rating as Governor, Cuomo Still Maintains Solid Leads Over Nixon

Matching His Lowest Favorability Rating as Governor

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Matching His Lowest Favorability Rating as Governor, Cuomo
Still Maintains Solid Leads Over Nixon, Molinaro, DeFrancisco

Cuomo More Known, Viewed More Favorably than Nixon Among Dems;
Nixon Cuts Deficit from 47 to 31 Points; Cuomo Leads 58-27 Percent

Child Victims Act, Codifying Roe v. Wade, Bail Reform and Dream Act Remain Very Popular with New Yorkers; Legalizing Recreational Pot
and Including Citizenship on Census Have Narrower Support

Loudonville, NY.  Governor Andrew Cuomo’s favorability rating fell to 49-44 percent this month, matching his lowest favorability rating as governor, according to a new Siena College poll of New York State registered voters. Among Democrats, Cuomo has 62-32 percent favorability rating, compared to 33-23 percent for Cynthia Nixon. Head to head, Cuomo leads Nixon among registered Democrats 58-27 percent, down from 66-19 percent last month, before Nixon declared her candidacy. He maintains large leads over Marc Molinaro and John DeFrancisco.

Several proposals being considered by the State Legislature enjoy strong support from voters, including the Child Victims Act (74-20 percent), codifying Roe v. Wade (65-18 percent), the Dream Act (59-38 percent) and bail reform (56-35 percent). Legalizing recreational marijuana is supported 52-44 percent, and New Yorkers support including a question on citizenship in the 2020 Census 50-43 percent.

“Since the last Siena College poll, Nixon declared her candidacy, Senate Democrats promised kumbaya, there was public debate over the definition of ‘qualified lesbian,’ and Nixon appears to have secured the Working Families Party line for November,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “The race has just started and there’s still five months to go. In a variation of Bette Davis’ famous line: fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

“With a 49-44 percent favorability rating, Cuomo matched his lowest favorability rating as governor, which previously occurred in July 2015. Since January, when he enjoyed the best favorability rating of his second term, Cuomo’s favorability rating has dropped net 27 points, from 62-30 percent,” Greenberg said. “One month into her first run for office, Nixon remains largely unknown to almost half of voters and almost half of Democrats. While her favorability rating is positive by 10 points among Democrats, Cuomo’s is on the positive side by 30 points.”

“Four years ago, Cuomo won the primary – in which only 11 percent of Democrats voted – with 63 percent of the vote, beating Zephyr Teachout by 29 points. Early in this primary race, Cuomo leads Nixon by 31 points,” Greenberg said. “He has a three-to-one lead in New York City, where more than half of Democratic primary votes traditionally come from, a two-to-one lead in the downstate suburbs and a narrower 48-37 percent lead upstate, which is slightly lower than his 15-point upstate margin of victory over Teachout four years ago.

“Cuomo leads Nixon by 25 points with men and 37 points with women. He leads by 23 points among white Democrats and more than double that with both black and Latino Democrats. Early on, Cuomo seems to be in a strong position to again be the Democratic Party’s standard bearer, however, Nixon has narrowed the deficit more than a little in the last month and the campaigns are just gearing up,” Greenberg said.

Molinaro and DeFrancisco each remain unknown to three-quarters of voters. More than half of registered Republicans say they don’t know who they would support in a primary between the two. Cuomo leads Molinaro 57-31 percent, little changed from 57-29 percent last month. He leads DeFrancisco 56-32 percent, down a little from 57-28 percent last month.

“In an April 2014 Siena College poll, Cuomo led Rob Astorino 58-28 percent – comparable to his leads over both of this year’s potential Republican opponents – before moving on to a narrower 54-40 percent win over Astorino. While minor party candidates garnered five percent of the vote four years ago, the likelihood of that growing significantly increased dramatically with the emergence of Nixon as the likely WFP nominee,” Greenberg said.

Child Victims Act & Codifying Roe v. Wade Overwhelmingly Supported
“The Child Victims Act has overwhelming bipartisan support. At least 65 percent of voters regardless of gender, race, religion, geography, ideology or income support its passage. Making New York’s law consistent with the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision also has broad support despite some partisan differences. Democrats favor it 78-11 percent, compared to 59-19 percent support among independents and 45-33 percent support among Republicans. It has strong support in every region, among women and men, with black, white and Latino voters, Catholics, Jews and Protestants, and voters of all income brackets.”

“Eliminating monetary bail for people facing misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges is supported by two-thirds of Democrats and small pluralities of Republicans and independents. It has widespread support in New York City and upstate but virtually evenly divides voters in the downstate suburbs,” Greenberg said. “The Dream Act is supported by 77 percent of Democrats and opposed by 71 percent of Republicans. It’s favored by 53 percent of independents. It has three-to-one support in New York City and is virtually break-even in the rest of the state. It’s supported by 53 percent of white voters, 73 percent of Latino voters and 83 percent of black voters.

“Legalizing marijuana for recreational use is a mixed bag. Democrats support it by 24 points and independents by nine points. Republicans oppose it by 28 points. In New York City, it’s supported by a 16-point margin and by five points upstate. The downstate suburbs are evenly divided,” Greenberg said.

“In a hotly debated national issue, New Yorkers are closely divided on whether the 2020 Census should include a question on citizenship. Democrats say ‘no.’ Independents say ‘yes.’ Republicans overwhelmingly say ‘yes.’ It’s opposed in New York City and supported everywhere else. Whites support it while blacks overwhelmingly oppose it and Latinos are closely divided, leaning toward support,” Greenberg said.

Dems Say Senate Democratic Reunification Will Improve How State Govt. Operates; Reps & Inds Do Not
“While only about a quarter of New Yorkers have read or heard at least something about the recent announcement of Senate Democratic reunification, nearly half of voters – more than two-thirds of Democrats – believe it will improve the way state government operates. Republicans strongly say it will worsen state government operations and independents tilt more to the Republican side,” Greenberg said.

“When it comes to what voters want to see happen in the Senate after the election, party tells the story. Democrats want to see Democrats in control 84-9 percent; Republicans want Republicans 77-14 percent; and independents are divided 42-38 percent, slightly leaning Democratic,” Greenberg said. “Not surprisingly, voters feel the same way about who they want to see control the United States House of Representatives next year: Democrats say Democrats; Republicans say Republicans; and independents are evenly divided.”


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This Siena College Poll was conducted April 8-12, 2018 by telephone calls conducted in English to 692 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 +/- 4.3 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 by region, and gender to ensure representativeness.  The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social and cultural research primarily in NYS. SCRI, 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/SCRI/SNY.