Latest Siena poll holds cues for 2020 state legislative session

Jan 21, 2020

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is getting some good news, as he prepares to release his 2020 state budget. The latest polling numbers from Siena College show Cuomo's favorability rating got a slight boost, while his job performance got an even bigger boost.

The Siena poll released Tuesday morning found New Yorkers are still about split on the governor, but he now has a 49-45 favorability rating. That is up from a negative 44-49 rating in November. As far as the job Cuomo is doing, 41% of New Yorkers now approve, as compared to 35% in November.

Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said the boosts come because about two-thirds of New Yorkers support 11 of the governor's "State of the State" initiatives.

"In the last year, the governor's favorability has been up and down - half the months a little above water and half a little below water," said Greenberg. "Right now, a plurality of voters say they view Cuomo favorably, including more than two-thirds of Democrats. However, he's viewed unfavorably by 51% of Independents and 80% of Republicans."

Credit Sienna College

Among the initiatives New Yorkers overwhelmingly like: including an Equal Rights Amendment in the state constitution, banning flavored vaping products, banning the use of Styrofoam as single-use food containers and requiring businesses with five or more employees to provide five paid sick days a year. Legalizing marijuana showed the largest support yet, 58-38, in a Siena poll, but it is not bipartisan.

Voters had very strong support for a number of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's "State of the State" proposals.
Credit Sienna College

"By a better than 2-1 margin, Republicans oppose legalizing marijuana, whereas more than two-thirds of Democrats support it and 51% of Independent voters support it," Greenberg said. "There's no question that this is going to be one of the issues that gets a lot of attention. The question is does the legislature want to on this issue go along with the voters of the state or do they not? And only time with tell."

Another issue expected to get a lot of attention this legislative session is bail reform. Greenberg said it has seen a flip-flop since the last poll.

"Back in April, 55% of New Yorkers though that this bail law was good for New York, 38% thought it would be bad for New York. So by a margin of 17 points, New Yorkers thought the bail law would be good," he said. "When we asked about it today, we see a complete flip. Only 37% of New Yorkers now say the bail law is good, 49% say it is bad for New York."