LOUDONVILLE — Gov. Kathy Hochul’s favorability and job approval ratings both ticked down this month, while President Joe Biden’s ratings both edged higher. Hochul has a 46-43 percent favorability rating, from 48-42 percent last month, and her job approval rating stands at 56-40 percent, from 56-36 percent.
“Both Hochul’s favorability and job approval ratings dipped a little this month, but her favorability remains slightly positive and her overall job approval rating remains strong, particularly with – and only with –Democrats,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “On specific aspects of the job she’s doing, voters give Hochul a mixed report card.
Crime should be Albany’s top priority, say 36 percent of voters, followed by cost of living, 27 percent, and affordable housing, 13 percent, with public health, environment and racial justice in single digits. When combining voters’ top two priorities, cost of living (62 percent) tops the list, followed by crime (55 percent), and the other issues far behind. Ninety-two percent of New Yorkers say crime continues to be a serious problem across the state and two-thirds continue to say it’s a serious problem in their community.
“A majority approve of the job she’s doing to encourage businesses to locate in New York and a small plurality approve of the job she’s doing to increase availability of affordable housing. At the same time, a plurality disapproves of the job she’s doing to address crime, and a majority disapproves of her efforts to make New York more affordable,” Greenberg said. “Democrats approve of the job she’s doing in all four areas while Republicans and independents disapprove in all four areas.”
Biden has best-ever job approval
Biden’s favorability rating is up to 54-43 percent,from 49-47 percent last month, his best since October 2021, and his job approval rating hit a new high, 55-42 percent, up from 51-47 percent in January, according to a Siena College poll of registered New York State voters released today.
“Overall, New Yorkers are giving Biden his best ratings since 2021. Ironically, the upward swing is not because of Democrats – at least three-quarters of Democrats both view him favorably now and last month, and approve of the job he’s doing, both now and last month – but rather Republicans and independents. And to be clear, Republicans and, to a lesser degree, independents continue to view Biden unfavorably and disapprove of the job he’s doing – but he’s doing significantly less poorly with both this month,” Greenberg said.
The poll showed that both Biden and Hochul have earned mixed grades specific aspects. Greenberg added that double-digit majorities approve with the president is doing to protect American democracy and to keep America safe. But slightly smaller majorities disapprove of the way he’s addressing both immigration and inflation, he said.
Crime, cost of living remain voters’ priorities for Albany
Crime continues to be a top concern among state residents, as is the rising cost of living amidst inflation.
“For more than a year, more than nine in 10 voters have said crime is a serious problem – 60 percent very serious – and more than six in 10 have said that crime in their community is a serious problem –34 percent now say very serious,” Greenberg said. “At least 55 percent of voters from every party, region and race, think crime in the state is a very serious problem. When it comes to crime in their community, voters of color and those from New York City are significantly more concerned than are white, downstate suburban and upstate voters, who also remain concerned.”
Strong support for budget proposals
“Similar to last month, basing minimum wage increases on the inflation rate has strong bipartisan support, as does lowering the BAC for DWI to 0.05 percent,” Greenberg said. “Democrats, overwhelmingly, and independents, strongly, support both increasing the tax on cigarettes by a buck and banning flavored tobacco products. Republicans are more closely divided, opposing the tax by six points, and supporting the flavor ban by three points.
Odds & ends
Voters say that the National Republican Party has become too extreme, 57-30 percent. By a smaller 51-38 percent margin, they say the National Democratic Party has become too extreme. Not surprisingly, nearly three-quarters of Democrats think Republicans are too extreme and a similar number of Republicans say the same about Democrats. Independents think they’re both too extreme, Democrats (61 percent) more than Republicans (54 percent).
Voters are a little less downbeat about the direction of the state and the country. They say the state is headed in the wrong direction 49-41 percent (49-39 percent in January) and the country is headed in the wrong direction 56-35 percent, down from 63-28 percent last month.
Recently declared presidential candidate Nikki Haley debuts in the Siena College Poll with a 30-39 percent favorability rating, with 31 percent either never having heard of her or not knowing enough to have an opinion. Republicans view her slightly favorably, 32-29 percent. Democrats are negative, 26-46 percent.