LOUDONVILLE — While the majority of New York voters approve of how Gov. Andrew Cuomo is handling the pandemic in general, they are split on his re-opening plans and vaccine rollout and most think he did a bad job of transparency when it came to nursing home data, according to a recent poll by the Siena College Research Institute.
Overall, voters approve of how the governor has handled the pandemic, 61-34, down from 63-32 last month. He gets positive grades for communicating with the public, 67-33, and providing accurate information, 61-36.
But, just 39 percent approve of his handling of nursing homes, which has made national news over the past two weeks, while 55 disapprove. For months, the governor refused to release data on how many nursing home residents died and then only released data about those who perished at the residences and not those who were infected at the home and not a hospital or other location.
The simmering controversy boiled over with a scathing report by Attorney General Letitia James that said the actual number was 50 percent higher than reported and then a recorded phone call that captured the governor’s staff telling members of the Legislature they were not provided the information because of a potential investigation by the federal government.
The poll was taken from Feb. 7 to Feb. 11, the phone call was first reported by the New York Post on Feb. 11.
In a significant shift from last month, voters say, by a 46-36 percent margin, the worst of the pandemic is over, rather than the worst is still to come. Last month, voters said 55-31 percent that the worst was still to come.
Meanwhile, between 16 percent of those polled across the state have been vaccinated, 59 percent say they plan to get vaccinated and 22 percent say they will not. There are distinct racial and income disparities across the board, Greenberg said.
“Although 20 percent of white voters have been vaccinated, only 10 percent of Black voters and 5 percent of Latino voters have been,” Greenberg said. “Only 9 percent earning less than $50,000 have been vaccinated, compared to 14 percent who earn between $50,000 and $100,000, and 25 percent of those earning over $100,000.”
Just 17 percent of Democrats plan to get vaccinated and 21 percent of independents do not while 35 percent of Republicans say they will not, according to the poll. Eighteen percent of white voters say they will not get vaccinated, 34 percent of Latino and 37 percent Black voters will not.
Despite the recent negative news cycle regarding COVID in nursing homes, the governor still has a 56-39 percent favorability rating, down a bit from 57-39 a month ago. Hid job performance rating is 51-47, compared to 56-42 in January.
If the election were held today, 46 percent say they are prepared to re-elect Cuomo to a fourth term if he runs in 2022 while 45 percent say they would prefer someone else.
The issue of Cuomo’s extraordinary executive powers has come up over the past two weeks with some legislators saying it should be rolled back. According to the poll, the majority of Democrats across the state, 73-18, say he should keep them while most independents 47-40, and an overwhelming number of Republicans, 70-22, say they should be rescinded.
According to the poll, New Yorkers, 75-18, strongly support President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan. It would funnel millions to local municipalities and school districts to help offset the pandemic’s financial toll and provide qualifying individuals a check worth up to $1,400. The House has taken up his bill and depending on what the Senate does, a version could be passed by the end of next month.
“Three-quarters of New Yorkers, including 91 percent of Democrats, 71 percent of independents and 45 percent of Republicans — support Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan, even though they ‘may or may not agree with all of the components,’” Greenberg said. “Other than Republicans and conservatives — both are virtually break-even — at least two-thirds of every other demographic group support the plan.”
Odds & Ends
- Biden’s first job performance rating as President is 55-38 percent, thanks to a 79 percent positive rating from Democrats.
- In his first month in office, Biden has a 65-29 percent favorability rating, up from 62-32 percent in January. He is viewed favorably by 90 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of independents, while 68 percent of Republicans view him unfavorably.
- By a 61-33 percent margin, voters wanted to see the U.S. Senate convict former President Trump in his second impeachment trial.
- Sixty percent of New Yorkers think that Biden will have a positive impact on New York, compared to 17 percent who think he’ll have a negative impact and 18 percent who say his Administration will have no real impact.
- Trump has a negative 26-67 percent favorability rating with 88 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of independents viewing Trump unfavorably and 62 percent of Republicans who continue to view him favorably.
- Support for legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in New York is at its highest level ever in a Siena College poll, 63-29 percent, up from 56-33 percent last month.
- In a major turnaround, voters say the country is headed in the right direction 49-42 percent. In January, voters said the country was on the wrong track, 59-31 percent.
- Voters say the state is headed in the right direction, 48-41 percent, down slightly from 50-40 percent last month. Seventy percent of Democrats are optimistic about the direction of the state, compared to 69 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of independents who say the state is headed on the wrong track.
This Siena College Poll was conducted Feb. 7 to Feb. 11 by calling 804 New York state registered voters. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.3 percentage points.