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Latest Siena Poll Offers Hochul Mixed Bag

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New York Governor Kathy Hochul
Credit: Karen DeWitt

Latest Siena Poll Offers Hochul Mixed Bag

A new Siena College poll finds that Governor Kathy Hochul has her highest numbers in nearly a year, while President Joe Biden’s popularity and performance ranking falls to a new low in blue New York.

The poll offers a mixed bag for Hochul, who has been in office for two and a half years. Her job performance rating is above 50%, and more people view her favorably than unfavorably.    45-42% favorability rating, up from 40-43% in November, and the first time it has been positive since it was 46-43% in February 2023. 

But Siena’s Steve Greenberg says New Yorkers don’t have a lot of faith in the governor’s abilities to tackle the major problems facing the state, that Hochul has identified including addressing the affordable housing crisis, improving public safety, and making New York the AI capital of the world.

“And on all five of those issues., a plurality or majority of voters do not think she will make progress this year on those issues,” Greenberg said.

The poll also offers a first look in 2024 at where New Yorkers stand on the presidential race. In a state that has twice as many registered democrats as republicans, President Joe Biden’s favorability rating is underwater, with 53% viewing him negatively, compared to 43% who gave him a positive ranking. While 70% of democrats still back Biden, and nearly 90% of republicans don’t like him, the key group of independent voters, who outnumber republicans in the state, also dislike Biden. 71% of independents view him favorably and fully three quarters disapprove of his job performance.

When it comes to the likely republican nominee, former President Donald Trump has solidified his base with three quarters of GOP voters saying they want to see Trump become President again.

Biden still leads Trump 46 to 37%, but Greenberg says that has to be worrisome for democrats in the state. He says the last time a Republican carried New York was during Ronald Reagan’s reelection campaign in 1984.

“The fact that Joe Biden is only up by nine points now has to be concerning to the Biden camp,” Greenberg said. “(And) to all Democrats in New York who are going to have to run with him as their standard bearer”.

While the governor’s seat is not up for election for two more years, all of the 212 state legislative posts hold contests in November, as well as the state’s 26 seats in the U.S. house of Representatives. Incumbent U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is also seeking re election.

Several of the congressional races are expected to be close, and democrats are seeking to take back four seats that flipped Republican in 2022.