COLONIE – If the presidential primary were held today, New York Democrats would narrowly pick Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders over former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to a recent poll by the Siena College Research Institute.
And, if the general election were held today rather than in November, voters would choose any of the six leading Democratic candidates over President Donald Trump, according to the poll released Monday, Feb. 24.
Of the polled registered Democrats who are eligible to vote in New York’s primary on Tuesday, April 28 — only enrolled members of a party can vote in that party’s primary — Sanders has the support of 25 percent followed by Bloomberg with 21 percent. Former Vice President Joe Biden would place third with 13 percent, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was favored by 11 percent while former South Bend Indiana Mayor Peter Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar had the support of 9 percent each.
According to the poll, 51 percent of Democrats prefer a candidate they agree with on more issues, while 45 percent want the candidate with the best chance to defeat Trump. Also, 33 percent of Democrats say Bloomberg, who now lives in Florida, has the best chance to beat Trump, followed by Sanders at 22 percent, Biden at 16 percent with the remaining three in single digits.
“Bloomberg leads in New York City with Sanders second, while Sanders leads upstate and in the downstate suburbs, where Bloomberg finishes third in both” Greenberg said. “Bernie is trouncing with younger voters and Mike has a commanding lead with older voters. Men side with Bernie, while women lean toward Mike.”
“Thirty-six weeks out, it does not appear that the Democrats’ winning streak in presidential contests in New York – solid since Ronald Regan’s re-election in 1984 – is in jeopardy,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “All six leading Democratic candidates currently lead Trump by double digits.”
According to the poll all six candidates would be Trump in the overwhelmingly ble New York state:
•Bloomberg by 25 points
•Biden by 19 points
•Buttigieg by 19 points
•Sanders by 18 points
•Klobuchar by 16 points
•Warren by 14 points.
But, according to the poll, the great majority of New Yorkers, 62 percent, think Trump will get re-elected including 81 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of independents and 48 percent of Democrats. Just 29 percent think he will be a one-term president.
Self-described liberals is the only group more people, 47 percent to 42 percent, who think Trump will not win the general election in November.
Greenberg warns the poll is more of a “snapshot of Democrats than a pre-election poll” since the field of six leading Democrats will likely thin after Super Tuesday, which falls on March 3, when the delegates of 11 states are decided.
According to the poll, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a negative 44-50 percent favorability rating, down from 49-45 percent in January, and matching his negative 44-49 percent rating in November. His job performance rating also dropped, with 36 percent giving Cuomo a positive job performance rating and 63 percent giving him a negative rating, down from 41-56 percent last month, barely ahead of 35-65 percent in November.
“Over the last year, Cuomo’s ratings have been on a seesaw. Some months he’s a little above breakeven; some months he’s a little below,” Greenberg said. “Since last month, Cuomo has taken a significant hit with Democrats, liberals, upstaters and younger voters.”
Cuomo’s latest 44 percent approval rating puts him below even the Senate and Assembly, which have historically low polling numbers and which once earned the unflattering moniker of the “most dysfunctional” legislature in the nation.
According to the poll, each body of the New York State Legislature has a 46 approval rating.
Other findings include:
•59 percent of New Yorkers polled think bail reform is bad for New York while 33 percent think eliminating cash bail for a host of crimes is good for the state. In April, 2019, when the law was passed, according to Greenberg, there were 17 percent more who thought it was good for New York.
•Voters are evenly divided, 48-48 percent, on the law allowing undocumented immigrants to get a New York driver’s license. Democrats, black and Latino voters continue to strongly support it, as independents and white voters oppose it and Republicans strongly oppose the law.
•Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie remain largely unknown to voters. Among those voters who have an opinion, both have essentially breakeven favorability ratings.
•Voters’ view on the direction of the state slipped as 41 percent now say the state is on the right track and 46 percent say it’s headed in the wrong direction, down from 49-41 percent last month.
The Siena College Poll was conducted between Feb. 16 and Feb. 20 by telephone calls conducted in English to 658 New York state registered voters. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points