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Spectrum News / Siena College Syracuse Mayoral Primary Poll

Spectrum News / Siena College Syracuse Mayoral Primary Poll

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Spectrum News / Siena College Syracuse Mayoral Primary Poll:
Perez Williams (36%) & Nicoletti (34%) Neck and Neck Early in Democratic Primary Race; Masterpole (8%) Trails

Miner Leaving Office with High Favorability and Job Performance But Syracuse Dems Prefer Cuomo to Miner for Gov 47-38%

Democratic Voters Say 50-36% Syracuse Headed on Right Track; Economic Development on Right Track but Treating All Neighborhoods Fairly, Crime and Opportunities for Youth, Moving in Wrong Direction


Loudonville, NY.  With four weeks until Democrats go to the polls, former New York State Department of Labor Regional Director Juanita Perez Williams at 36 percent and Syracuse Councilor-at-large Joe Nicoletti at 34 percent are locked in a virtual tie in a three-way primary race. City Auditor Martin Masterpole, unknown to 55 percent of voters, garners only 8 percent of the vote according to a new Spectrum News/Siena College Poll of likely Syracuse Democratic primary voters released today.

Perez Williams has a 49-13 percent favorability rating, compared to a 49-20 percent favorability rating for Nicoletti.  Democratic voters give retiring two-term Mayor Stephanie Miner a positive 58-41 percent job performance rating and a favorability rating of 69-26.  Still by a 47-38 percent margin, voters say they would prefer Governor Andrew Cuomo to Miner in a Democratic Primary for Governor.

“Nicoletti and Perez Williams are virtually tied early in this race to replace a popular retiring Mayor,” said Dr. Don Levy, Siena College Research Institute Director. “While a majority say that Syracuse is on the right track rather than headed in the wrong direction, only a third say local government is doing an excellent or good job responding to the needs of citizens and voters split on whether or not the police are doing a good or only fair or poor job in keeping citizens safe.

“Right now this one is a toss-up.  Men lean to Nicoletti, women to Perez Williams.  Younger voters lean to Perez Williams, older voters to Nicoletti.  Liberals prefer Perez Williams, conservatives side strongly with Nicoletti.  Black voters tend to prefer Perez Williams, while by a nearly equal small margin, white voters side with Nicoletti.  This is shaping up to be very close election,” Levy said.

A majority of Democrats say Syracuse is headed in the wrong direction on two issues:  the amount of crime in the city and addressing the needs of all of its neighborhoods fairly.  A plurality think Syracuse is moving in the wrong direction on giving young people an opportunity to be successful. A plurality thinks the city is headed on the right track when it comes to improving the city’s financial well-being, succeeding in obtaining appropriate funding from the state government and cooperating with the County government on the consolidation of services.

“With a month to go, only 30 percent of voters say that there is no chance that they will change their mind,” Levy said. “Each of the leading candidates are unknown to about a third of voters.  All three must work to introduce themselves to all Syracuse primary voters in this contest and to explain how they will carry on the work that voters applaud Mayor Miner for doing and to show how they will address some of the issues – crime, opportunity, and getting all neighborhoods moving forward – that right now voters say are moving in the wrong direction.  Hold on tight, this one looks like it will come down to every vote on Primary Day.”

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This Spectrum News/Siena College Syracuse Mayoral Democratic Primary survey was conducted August 9-13, 2017 by landline and cell telephone calls conducted in English to 497 likely Democratic primary voters.  Calls were made to a stratified weighted sample of voters from the L-2 Voter list via both land and cell phones, supplemented with additional cell phone sample from Survey Sampling International. A likely-to-vote probability was computed for each respondent based on both their stated likelihood to vote as well as by virtue of the imputation of a turnout probability score based on past voting behavior applied to their specific voting history.  This probability to vote was applied as a weight along with a weight that considered age and gender.  This poll has a margin of error of + 4.6 percentage points including the design effects resulting from weighting.  The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social and cultural research primarily in NYS.  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 Don Levy at 518-783-2901.  Survey cross-tabulations and frequencies can be found at: www.Siena.edu/SCRI/SNY.