Jun 18th - 12:09 pm
The New York Gaming Association, which believes Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s casino expansion proposal would put its members at a competitive disadvantage, has commissioned a poll that finds voters aren’t big on the governor’s Plan B if the Legislature fails to pass his gaming bill: Expand VLTs across the state, including in New York City’s outer boroughs.
The poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group, found 51 percent of New Yorkers support the plan to expand non-Indian gaming in the state, eventually resulting in up to seven new casinos, while 41 percent are opposed.
But 56 percent said they don’t support the idea of building more VLT gaming facilities, with the same number saying they prefer more casinos to more VLTs.
When told that the governor’s plan is to push for more gambling in New York regardless of whether a public referendum passes or fails this fall, with VLT casinos as the default plan, New Yorkers were even more strongly opposed, with 65 percent saying they feel that’s a bad idea. A whopping 70 percent said they are opposed to the idea of a VLT center in their own neighborhood.
Also, 43 percent of voters said Cuomo’s support for more VLTs makes them have a less favorable opinion of him – something that might hit home with the governor, given his slow and steady drop in the polls over the past several months.
Cuomo and legislative leaders are trying to hammer out a casino deal before the session ends this week. It is one of the issues that appears to still be “live” down at the Capitol, as opposed to public campaign financing and the Women’s Equality Act, which Cuomo himself has admitted are unlikely to pass before lawmakers leave Albany for their summer vacations.
Jun 17th - 6:00 am
Today’s Siena poll brings bad news for two of Albany’s top leaders – Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver – both of whom have hit new favorability rating lows as the 2013 legislative session draws to a close.
Things are far less dire for Cuomo, whose 58-35 rating (down from 64-32 last month) remains fairly well above that magic 50 percent mark, though it is the lowest it has been since took office.
Actually, the last time his numbers were this low, it was October 2010 – one month before Cuomo was elected governor.
The same goes for his job performance rating, which is 50-49, down from 52-47 in May. For the fourth consecutive month and fourth time ever, more voters think Cuomo is doing a poor job as governor than an excellent job
And in even more troubling news, especially considering he’s gearing up for his first re-election bid next year, his drop this month is more attributable to a loss of faith among Democrats than to Republicans or independents.
Sixty-two percent of voters said they’re prepared to re-elect governor next November, which is more than enough for a comfortable win. But that number has dropped 10 percentage points, and the percentage of those who say they would prefer someone else in office has climbed 12 points.
This continues a downward trend in favorability for Cuomo that has been underway more or less since he pushed the controversial SAFE Act through the Legislature in the wake of the Newtown massacre six months ago.
It looked in the last Siena poll like Cuomo’s numbers had stabilized. But apparently that’s not the case.
As for Silver, his 20-43 (with 37 percent undecided) favorability rating is his worst-ever showing in a Siena poll. The speaker also has a negative three-to-one job performance rating.
He also does not have the confidence of New York voters, with more than half suggesting that he step down as speaker following his botched handling of the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal.
That’s pretty much in keeping with a recent Quinnipiac poll, which found 51 percent of voters believe it’s time for Silver to relinquish his leadership post.
Just to put things in perspective, however, Silver’s favorability rating has never been terribly high in Siena polls. His best showing was 28 percent – a number he hit in April of this year after the third on-time budget was passed, and in July of 2005.
As for what New Yorkers would like to see the Legislature accomplish in this last week of session, a plurality of voters – 44 percent, including a majority or plurality of voters from every region, party and demographic group – say passing new laws to address public corruption should be the top priority in Albany.
That’s up three percentage points from last month.
Approving the governor’s Women’s Equality Act came in second at 23 percent – up two points from last month – followed by public campaign financing at 13 percent (down two points), and passing the casino amendment at 12 percent (down one point).
Even though Cuomo has devoted a lot of time and energy to touting his Tax Free-NY plan, most New Yorkers still don’t have a clue what it’s all about. A full two-thirds of voters say they’ve heard or read little to nothing about the initiative.
Familiarity with the proposal is greatest upstate (which makes sense, since that’s the region Tax Free-NY is mainly designed to assist).
Overall, 4 percent said they do not have enough information to give an opinion on the plan, while 18 percent support it and 17 percent oppose it.
Also in this survey, opposition to fracking increased a little this month and opponents outnumber supporters 44-37 percent, which is up from 41-39 percent last month.
The seven-point edge in opposition is the largest it has been, according to Siena pollster Steve Greenberg.
Jun 12th - 12:26 pm
The coalition of groups backing the women’s agenda is highlighting a poll released today that found lawmakers in traditional swing Senate districts would be hurt electorally if they didn’t vote for the abortion plank in the women’s agenda introduced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week.
Polling was peformed in the districts of Republican Sens. Phil Boyle, Kemp Hannon, John Bonacic, Mark Grisanti, Joe Robach and James Seward, along with David Valesky, a member of the Independent Democratic Conference.
Both Boyle, a Long Island lawmaker, and Robach, of Monroe County, said this week they wouldn’t support the abortion plank in the legislation.
The survey asked voters in the district: “A new piece of legislation called the Women’s Equality Agenda aims to protect Roe v. Wade in New York, ensure equal pay for women and protect victims of domestic violence. If your senator votes against this new law, would you be more likely or less likely to vote for that senator in the next election?”
The organization says the results showed most voters in a 3-to-1 margin would cast a vote against a senator who didn’t support the women’s agenda.
The legislation from Gov. Andrew Cuomo aims to codify the Roe v. Wade decision in state law, but opponents of abortion contend it goes further than that and actually expands existing abortion rights.
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos has said there’s no agreement on the abortion provision and will not allow a vote on the floor of the full women’s agenda.
The survey comes as abortion opponents hold their own rally at the Capitol today to urge the abortion component be defeated.
“Today is about values, and principles, and stating the obvious, and having the courage to stand up and tell the truth about the obvious,” said Kristin Smith, a spokeswoman for New Yorkers for Life. “The truth is we discriminate against innocent unborn children in society in this state and in this country, and it is pervasive, and we haven’t admitted it, and it goes on every day, and it’s a shame, and it’s wrong, and it’s immoral, and it’s unethical, and it has to stop, and it’s going to stop in the state of New York, and then it’s going to stop everywhere. That is the truth.”
Jun 6th - 11:03 am
From the morning memo:
Voters by a wide majority back the effort to strengthen the state’s abortion laws, part of the final end-of-session push from Gov. Andrew Cuomo this June, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this morning.
The poll found that a narrow majority back a proposal to expand non-Indian casinos to commercial operators, but voters are mixed on whether they want a casino in their area.
“Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he wants to establish Roe v Wade in state law, in case the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the landmark decision, and voters are with him on its controversial support for late-term abortions,” said Mickey Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. ““On abortion overall, the numbers don’t change much: a small right-to-life minority, a larger abortion-on-demand minority, a majority in the middle saying it depends on the case.”
The poll found that the measure is most popular among self-described Democrats, with 77 percent backing abortion rights for pregnant women when their health is in danger. The move is popular among independent voters as well, with 70 percent giving it approval.
Overall, twenty-six percent believe abortion should legal in all cases, while 36 percent believe it should be in place for “most” cases. A combined 29 percent believe it should be illegal in most or all cases.
Overall, 68 percent of those polled believe abortion should be legal when a woman’s health is at risk, with 22 percent disapproving.
The survey was conducted before Cuomo released his 10-point women’s agenda outlining a set of priorities that included a plan to codify the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973. Cuomo has insisted the move isn’t an expansion of existing abortion rights in New York.
But opponents — including the Catholic Church and some Republican lawmakers — believe the abortion plank is an unwarranted expansion of the law to uncomfortable degree. Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos reiterated this week he will not bring a bill to the floor that includes the abortion component and plans “minor revision” to the other nine proposals.
It’s also possible that Senate Republicans may break out the individual pieces of the women’s legislation — especially an anti-human trafficking component — and pass those measures separately.
Voters more narrowly back the expansion of casino gambling in New York. The Q-poll found New Yorkers back more casino construction by a margin of 51 percent to 39 percent.
But when asked if they support or oppose a casino in their hometown, most voters — 55 percent — said they do not, while 41 percent would welcome a casino as a neighbor.
Cuomo’s legislation introduced on Wednesday calls for three casino in the upstate region as a way to boost that area’s economy, with a five-year moratorium for any casinos in the New York City region.
The poll found 46 percent of upstate voters want a casino in their area, while 50 percent do not.
The survey of 1,075 voters was conducted between May 29 and June 3, with a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
May 20th - 6:00 am
The latest Siena poll contains some head-scratching results.
On the one hand, half of New Yorkers agree with Gov. Andrew Cuomo when he says state government is working again.
But when asked how they feel about the government in light of the recent series of public corruption scandals, only 26 percent said it’s working effectively, compared to 67 percent who said it is becoming more dysfunctional every day.
A vast majority of poll respondents – 88 percent – believe more arrests of legislators are on the horizon. That’s up from 81 percent last month.
A plurality of voters – 41 percent – said passing laws to address corruption should be the top end-of-session priority.
Addressing the governor’s Women’s Equality Agenda came in a distant second at 21 percent, with more than twice as much support from women as from men, followed by public campaign financing at 15 percent and the casino amendment at 13 percent.
All this turmoil has, oddly, been good for Cuomo’s favorability rating, which had fallen incrementally in each of the last four months.
According to this poll, Cuomo’s numbers – both approval and re-elect – have edged up a little, while his job performance rating remains identical to last month.
Cuomo now has a 64-32 favorability rating, up slightly from 62-33 percent last month.
Fifty-two percent say Cuomo is doing an excellent or good job as governor, and 47 percent say he’s doing only a fair or poor job. That’s unchanged from April.
Fifty-five percent say they are prepared to re-elect Cuomo, while 36 percent would prefer someone else – up from 53-39 in April.
Support for a casino gambling constitutional amendment, 53-37 percent, is the highest it has ever been. This makes some sense, given the amount of attention given to the Cuomo administration-Oneida Indian Nation deal struck last week.
On fracking, 39 percent of voters say they’d like to see drilling move forward, while 41 percent are opposed. The numbers last month were 45 percent opposed, 40 percent in favor.
Statewide, 57 percent of New Yorkers support the idea of a taxpayer funded campaign finance system, (in other words, using public dollars to match donations to candidates while also lowering contribution limits).
More than 60 percent of Democrats and independents support creation of a public system, while Republicans are evenly divided.
Apr 24th - 11:09 am
The honeymoon between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Republicans appears to have ended, according to a Marist College/Wall Street Journal poll released today.
The poll shows Cuomo, a Democrat, has retained a steady favorable rating of 65 percent overall.
But his popularity with Republicans, at 60 percent back in March, is now down to 46 percent of registered GOP voters viewing him favorably.
Democratic voters, meanwhile, continue to hold a favorable impression of the governor, with 79 percent backing him, up slightly from 77 percent in the last poll.
When it comes to job approval, Cuomo stands at 54 percent overall. Among upstate residents, he’s below water at 48 percent approval.
The drop among Republican voters comes as Cuomo emphasizes a decidedly liberal agenda this year, and has already scored early victories on increasing the state’s minimum wage and enacting a sweeping gun control law.
He is pushing a women’s agenda that includes plans to strengthen the state’s abortion laws through a codification of Roe v. Wade.
Cuomo is more than a year away from seeking re-election, but he’s starting with 47 percent of New Yorkers saying they plan to cast their ballot for him. Twenty-five percent say they prefer someone else and 15 percent responded that it depends on his opponent.
The numbers suggest Cuomo, who has more than $20 million already in the bank for his 2014 re-election effort and the advantage of a heavily Democratic state with a relatively weak Republican bench, will be formidable incumbent.
“Should the governor seek re-election, he starts with a base of support of nearly half the electorate,” said Marist College pollster Lee Miringoff. “That makes for an uphill fight for anyone looking to replace him next year.”
Republicans in New York have been hinging their hopes on economic stagnation as a potential factor to unseat Cuomo, but the poll found most voters don’t blame the governor for the state’s current financial situation.
The survey found 51 percent of voters believe the state’s economy is staying about the same, but 74 percent say Cuomo inherited the economic troubles.
“Although New Yorkers still see a sluggish state economy, they don’t think Governor Cuomo is to blame,” Miringoff said. “By more than four to one, voters believe the economic condition of the state is something the governor inherited not the result of his policies. In fact, a majority think the state is headed in the right direction.”
The Marist survey of 1,129 adults was conducted April 16 through April 18.
Apr 22nd - 5:58 am
Today’s Siena poll brings bad news for Albany elected officials from Gov. Andrew Cuomo on down, revealing New Yorkers believe corruption is widespread in state government and more arrests are likely.
More than half of voters polled by Siena describe themselves as “distrustful” and “cynical” of New York politics and 91 percent say legislative corruption is a serious problem.
Eighty-one percent said it’s not only possible but likely that there will be more arrests like the back-to-back scandals we saw recently that netted a group of pols, including Sen. Malcolm Smith and Assemblyman Eric Stevenson.
Many believe the arrests could include their own assemblymember (35 percent) or state senator (30 percent), which is unusual, since most polls show voters who have low opinions of elected officials in general tend to like their own representatives.
Sixty-two percent of voters say they’re confident Cuomo will succeed in pushing through reforms to reduce corruption.
But when it comes to what reforms are most important, voters are evenly divided with 46 percent choosing changes to the electoral system, while 45 percent opt for beefing up law enforcement.
Federal prosecutors and AG Eric Schneiderman were each identified by more than one-quarter of voters as best in taking the lead in trying to clean up corruption in the state Legislature.
Cuomo was chosen by 18 percent and local county district attorneys and the Legislature itself were each chosen by 10 percent.
Voters overwhelmingly support legislative term limits (82-17) and favor limiting candidates to one party line – in other words, doing away with fusion voting altogether (55-40).
Support for a full-time Legislature with no outside jobs is 54-42 percent. (No mention of raising anyone’s pay in the process).
Cuomo now has 62-33 percent favorability rating, down from 64-30 percent last month and 72-21 percent in December 2012.
Fifty-two percent say Cuomo is doing an excellent or good job as governor and 47 percent say he’s doing only a fair or poor job (down from 54-44 percent last month and 60-38 percent in January).
Similarly those who are inclined to re-elect him next year has fallen from 62 percent in December to 54 percent last month and 53 percent today, according to Siena’s Steve Greenberg, who said:
“Drip, drip, drip. That seems to be what’s happening to Cuomo’s approval ratings.”
“Over the last four months, there has been a small drop each month, however, when his current ratings are compared to those four months ago, there is noticeable erosion.”
“…While clearly not in free fall, the governor’s standing with voters has fallen from spectacular to merely very good.”
Cuomo can take some comfort in the fact that the favorability rating of both houses of the Legislature has fallen, too – the Assembly is at 39-39, down from 44-42 in February, while the Senate is at 40-53, down from 45-46.
Also, despite his recent spate of corruption busting, US Attorney Preet Bharara remains unknown to three-quarters of New Yorkers.
And Sen. Smith, whose name was all over the news not too long ago, remains no better known than he was in the aftermath of the 2009 Senate coup when he lost his majority leader post.
Mar 11th - 6:00 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s job approval has fallen to 54 percent – the lowest point since he took office in 2011 – but broad support for his agenda remains among New Yorkers, a Siena College poll released this morning found.
Cuomo’s favorability rating is down from 67 percent in February to 64 percent, while 37 percent of voters say at this point they would prefer a generic “someone else” against the governor for re-election in 2014.
If anything, the poll affirms that Cuomo spent considerable political capital on forcing the gun control law through the Legislature. His approval appears to have taken its toughest hit among Republican and small “c” conservative voters.
While Cuomo once enjoyed strong across-the-board approval from GOP voters, the poll today shows he is coming back down to earth for a Democratic official.
He now is seen favorably by 50 percent of enrolled Republicans, while 55 percent of self-identified conservatives have an unfavorable view, according to the crosstabs that appear below.
However, 80 percent of liberals and 68 percent of moderates continue to give the governor high marks.
Making things a bit contradictory, however, is this: The drop in favorability, job performance and re-election ratings can’t precisely be blamed on Republicans.
Cuomo’s numbers on those issues are actually up among Republicans this month compared to last month.
“The fall this month is due to some slippage among Democrats and independents,” said Siena poll spokesman Steve Greenberg.
“He also slipped among New York City and upstate voters, while gaining a little ground with suburban voters.”
Still, most New York voters polled in this very blue state continue to back the governor’s third year agenda of stricter gun control, increasing the hourly minimum wage and enhancing abortion and reproductive rights for women.
Support remains for the SAFE Act, which was passed in January and updated the state’s assault weapons ban and limited the number of rounds in a magazine from 10 to seven.
The law has become a flashpoint for gun-rights advocates across the country in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting that killed 26 people late last year – including 20 children.
The measure has been the subject of several pro-gun rights rallies at the Capitol and a handful of Republican lawmakers in the Senate are pushing for “repeal and replacement” of the law’s key provisions.
Also, a steady stream of local governments – all of them upstate – have passed resolutions calling for Albany to ditch, or at least rework, the new gun law.
Despite all this upheaval, the SAFE Act remains popular with New Yorkers, according to Siena’s numbers. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed say they back the law, down from 65 percent last month.
Repeal of the law is opposed by a margin of 56 percent to 40 percent.
On the issues that are yet to be locked down in Albany, voters survey back campaign finance reform, as well loosening drug laws for small amounts of marijuana.
As usual, there is strong support for increasing the state’s minimum wage. More than three-quarters of voters back an increase to $9 an hour, up from the current $7.25.
But it is Cuomo’s push for a version of the Reproductive Health Act – a measure to strengthen abortion rights in New York that he has yet to introduce – that has the most support.
Voters back the measure, which supporters say merely codifies Roe v. Wade at the state level, but opponents call an expansion into late-term abortion – by a margin of 80 percent to 16 percent.
“When asked to describe themselves as generally ‘pro-life’ or ‘pro-choice’ on the issue of abortion, 66 percent of New York voters describe themselves as pro-choice – including more than two-thirds of Democrats and independents and a majority of Republicans – compared to 27 percent who describe themselves as pro-life,” Greenberg said.
Not helping the governor make a decision on the controversial natural gas extraction process hydrofracking, New Yorkers continue to be split on the issue.
Last month’s Siena poll found a 40-40 tie on the issue, while now 43 percent oppose allowing the method and 39 support support it.
The survey of 803 registered New York voters was conducted between March 3 and 7. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
Jan 31st - 11:04 am
Day two of the Quinnipiac University poll found strong support for a law that would ensure pay equality for women and an increase in the state’s minimum wage.
The poll found the 53 percent of voters believe the pay equity bill should be the “highest priority” for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature. Thirty-six percent believe should be a high priority, and only 10 percent say it should be a lower priority.
The measure is part of Cuomo’s larger women’s equality package that includes the Reproductive Health Act and measures meant to stem discrimination against women in the workplace.
“That liberal shibboleth – equal pay for women – wins overwhelming support in thisliberal state,” said Mickey Carroll, a spokesman for the Quinnipiac poll. “Even Republicans make it their top priority, although with less support than Democrats.
Increasnig the state’s minimum wage, meanwhile, yet again receives broad support. Eighty-percent of voters back the measure, which has been discussed in Albany over the last year. Cuomo in his State of the State address unveiled his plan that would increase the minmum wage from $7.25 to $8.75.
That the minimum wage will be increased is close to a foregone conclusion in Albany, but it remains to be seen how it will actually get accomplished. Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos has said he’s opposed to an immediate increase that would take effect July 1, but is open to phasing in an increase.
The controversial approval the natural gas extraction process hydrofracking remains, well, controversial, the poll found.
New Yorkers are divided on whether to allow fracking in the Marcellus Shale, with 43 percent of voters backing the process and 42 percent opposed to it.
The poll of 1,127 voters was conducted between Jan. 23 and 28 and has a 2.9 percent margin of error.
Jan 30th - 6:18 am
As Gov. Andrew Cuomo himself predicted, New York’s rapid action on gun control has taken a toll on the popular governor’s public approval rating.
A new Q poll found Cuomo’s all-time high of 74-13 percent job approval rating last month has dropped to a “still-solid” 59-28 percent.
The governor’s numbers are down across the board, but the drop was most significant among New York’s Republican voters.
Voters in non-gun homes approve of Cuomo 68-19 percent, while voters in households with a gun disapprove, 50-40.
Republican approval, which stood at 68-18 in a Q poll survey released Dec. 12 – just two days before the Newtown massacre – is now split 44-43.
Democratic support, 82-9 in December, is 74-14 today. Approval among independents has dropped from 70-12 to 54-32.
Women approve of Cuomo 64-23, down from 73-12. Men approve 54-33, down from 74-14.
Thirty-four percent of all voters – including 59 percent of Republicans – believe the SAFE Act, as the gun control law Cuomo pushed through the Legislature is formally known, went “too far” in restricting gun owners rights.
“”With approval ratings that consistently topped 70 percent, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had the political capital to spend when he set out to pass the toughest gun control laws in the nation,” said Q pollster Mickey Carroll.
“It is possible that the gun law cost him some of that political capital, but a 2-1 job approval rating still makes him the envy of most governors.”
“Is Gov. Cuomo’s honeymoon with Republicans over, or is this just a spat that can be patched up in the months ahead?”
“Cuomo lost some Republican support after the 2011 same-sex marriage bill, but he got it back.”
Cuomo can take some solace in the fact that he is not alone in seeing his Q poll numbers drop.
Voters approve 57-39 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing, down from 62-35 percent in December.
Sen. Charles Schumer gets a 60-30 percent job score, down from 63-23 percent.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is now at 57-21, down from 61-18 percent last month – her highest Q poll approval rating ever.