Senate, Assembly enjoy high marks from optimistic voters



A poll of 600 likely New York voters released Tuesday shows renewed optimism about state government, which is good news for incumbent lawmakers heading into the fall elections.

The state Senate has a 48-41 percent favorability rating — the best it’s ever been — up from 41-45 percent last month. By a 51-38 percent margin, voters say they’re inclined to re-elect their state senator, up from 46-39 percent last month.

The state Assembly has a 44-40 percent favorability rating – within one point of its best ever rating – up a little from 41-40 percent last month. Voters are inclined to re-elect their Assembly member by 46-38 percent margin, up slightly from 42-36 percent last month.

“Legislative elections are run district by district and not statewide, however, seven weeks from election day, voters view the Legislature as favorably today as they have at any time in the last decade and a majority of New Yorkers are prepared to re-elect their state senator and a plurality are prepared to re-elect their Assembly member.

Siena will be taking a closer look at key state Senate battleground seats later this fall, Greenberg said.

Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a 57-39 percent favorability rating, up a little from 53-40 percent last month, and his job performance rating is a negative 41-57 percent, down a little from negative 43-55 percent last month.

If he runs for re-election in 2018, 45 percent say they’re prepared to re-elect him, compared to 49 percent who would prefer ‘someone else,’ down a little from 46-47 in August.

“In last month’s Siena poll, Cuomo’s favorability rating was down a little and his job performance rating was up a little. This month we see just the opposite,” Greenberg said. “However, the pattern of the last two plus years continues. Cuomo’s ratings with voters remain largely stagnant over the course of his second term — he’s viewed favorably by a small majority of voters, and a majority of voters give him a negative job performance rating.”

By a 53-38 percent margin, voters say New York is on the right track, rather than heading in the wrong direction, up from 47-40 percent last month. A small majority say the country is headed in the wrong direction, 51-41 percent, down from a 54-36 percent majority last month who said the country was headed in the wrong direction.

“Nearly six in ten downstaters say the state is on the right track, while upstaters are closely divided. It’s the most optimistic New Yorkers have been about the direction of the state since January 2014,” Greenberg said. “New York City voters are evenly divided on the direction of the country, while a majority of the rest of the state feels the country is headed in the wrong direction.”

This Siena College Poll was conducted September 11-15, 2016 by telephone calls conducted in English to 600 self-identified likely New York State voters. Respondent sampling was initiated by asking for the youngest male in the household. It has an overall margin of error of 5 percentage points.