Wearing masks when the appropriate social distance of six feet cannot be had and extending the shutdown until May 15 has the overwhelming support of all New Yorkers, according to a recent poll by the Siena College Research Institute.
“While you cannot find a single issue that would generate unanimous support from all 12 million New York voters, the governor’s order that face masks or coverings must be worn in public – when social distancing cannot be maintained – comes as close as any issue Siena College has ever polled. It has support from at least 86 percent of voters from every party, region, gender, race, or religion,” said SRCI pollster Steven Greenberg. “Similarly, the governor’s decision to extend New York ‘On Pause’ – keeping schools and non-essential businesses closed – through the middle of May is supported by at least 81 percent of voters from every party, region, gender, race, or religion.”
Overall, New Yorkers approve of how Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic. According to the poll, his favorability rating is 77-21, up from 71-23 a month ago and matching his highest rating since February 2011.
His job performance rating is 71-28, up from 63-35 percent last month.
By a margin of 78-16, voters say they trust Cuomo more than President Donald Trump to make a determination about opening New York.
The governor is favored by 90 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of independents and 53 percent of Republicans, “his first time favorable with Republicans in more than six years.
“Mired in middling poll numbers for the last two years, Cuomo is feeling the love from New Yorkers of all stripes in year three of his third term, and his first global pandemic,” Greenberg said. “His 71-28 percent job performance rating this month bests last month’s all-time high, and is up strikingly from a negative 36-63 percent rating just two months ago.”
Just 16 percent of voters, and only 36 percent of Republicans trust Trump compared to 78 percent of all voters and 56 percent of Republicans who trust Cuomo. Even self-identified conservatives trust Cuomo more, 57-34, percent, Greenberg said.
In other findings:
- 51 Percent of New Yorkers say they personally know someone who has tested positive for coronavirus and 32 percent of nearly half of New York City voters say they know someone who has died as a result of the virus. Last month, fewer than a third of New Yorkers knew someone who had tested positive.
- Fourteen percent of those polled have been laid off with another 13 percent having someone in their household laid off and 5 percent who have been laid off in addition to someone else in their household. Thirty-two percent of voters say they and/or someone they live with is continuing to work outside the home.
- By a 69-26 percent margin, voters say New York cannot start to reopen without widespread coronavirus testing. When asked which level of government should have ultimate responsibility to ensure appropriate testing, voters split with 49 percent saying the federal government, 41 percent state governments and 7 percent say both.
- Thirty-two percent of voters think it very (7 percent) or somewhat (25 percent) likely large public gatherings – like sporting events, concerts or graduations – will resume this summer, and 67 percent think it is not very (40 percent) or not at all (27 percent) likely.
Similarly, if such events were to resume this summer, 69 percent say it is not very (30 percent) or not at all (39 percent) likely they would attend, compared to
31 percent who say it is very (10 percent) or somewhat (21 percent) likely they would attend.
- Forty-three percent of voters think things will be back to normal soon, down from 53 percent last month. Fifty-six percent say they are not confident American will be back to normal any time soon, up from 44 percent last month.
- Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a 65-29 lead over Trump, up from 58-33 last month. “It going to take more than a global pandemic for New York to reverse a 36-year trend and vote Republican for president,” Greenberg said.
- Thirty-six percent say they have received a check or direct deposit from the Federal government in response to the pandemic. Forty-three percent of upstaters and 42 percent of Republicans say they have received money from the Federal government, and one-third of downstaters, Democrats and independents say they have.
- New York state gets significantly higher grades, as 75 percent say it is doing all it can to protect the health of New Yorkers, compared to 24 percent who say it is not. Last month, it was 79-18 percent.
- By a 52-37 percent margin, New Yorkers do not think prison inmates who are over 70 or have pre-existing conditions should be released from prison during the pandemic.
This Siena College Poll was conducted April 19-23, among 803 New York State registered voters. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points.