Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 57%, runs ahead of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, 40%, by 17 points among New York likely Democratic primary voters in the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination. In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of New York released earlier this week, Clinton was ahead of Sanders by 14 points.
“As the primary approaches, the back and forth between Clinton and Sanders hasn’t dramatically changed the New York contest for the Democrats in the last few days,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
Clinton has maintained her advantage over Sanders by running up a large margin among Democratic primary voters 45 years of age or older. Sanders retains his lead among first-time voters, those under the age of 45, and likely Democratic primary voters who describe themselves as very liberal. Looking at region, Clinton is ahead of Sanders by 26 points in New York City and 24 points in the city’s suburbs. Clinton and Sanders are competitive upstate, 49% to 50%, respectively.
72% of likely Democratic primary voters with a candidate preference, compared with 69% of those earlier this week, report they strongly support their choice of candidate. Similar proportions of Clinton’s supporters, 71%, and Sanders’ backers, 72%, express a firm commitment to their choice of candidate.
Turning to the job performances of other prominent office holders in New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s rating remains upside down. 41% of registered voters think Cuomo is doing either an excellent or good job in office. This includes 7% who say he is doing an excellent job and 34% who think he is doing a good one. 55% of voters report Cuomo is doing either a fair, 34%, or poor, 21%, job. Cuomo’s approval rating has inched up slightly from the 37% score he received in the Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll last year.
Assessing Cuomo’s approval rating by party, a majority of Democrats, 54%, approve of how the governor is doing in office, up from 43% last spring. The proportions of Republicans, 25%, and independents, 38%, who give Cuomo high marks are identical to what they were at that time.
Regionally, Cuomo is perceived best in New York City, 47%, and in the city’s suburbs, 45%. Last time, Cuomo’s approval rating was 44% in the city and 41% in the suburbs. 34% of upstate voters, compared with 31% last May, share this opinion.
43% of voters statewide think the Empire State is moving in the right direction while 48% say it is moving in the wrong one. This is little changed from last spring when 43% said the state was on track, and 51% thought it was off course.
Regionally, differences exist. Half of New York City voters, 50%, have a positive opinion of the direction of the state. 43% of those in the suburbs and 38% of voters upstate agree.
The approval rating of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is at its lowest point since taking office. 35% of voters citywide approve of his job performance. Included here are 8% of registered voters citywide who think the mayor is doing an excellent job and 27% who say he is doing a good one. 62% think he has done a fair or poor job. In the November Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll, 38% approved of de Blasio’s job performance, and 58% did not. Currently, even a majority of Democrats rate him as fair or poor, 54%.
Mayor de Blasio’s approval rating is down among white voters. 27% of white voters approve of de Blasio’s job performance, down from 32% in the fall. There is little change among Latinos and African Americans. 36% of Latinos, comparable to the 37% he received last time, approve of how de Blasio is doing his job. Among African Americans, 49% give de Blasio high scores while 50% did so previously.
When it comes to the direction of New York City, voters’ opinions are upside down. A majority of New York City voters, 51%, continue to think things in the Big Apple are moving in the wrong direction. 43% believe New York City is moving in the right one. This is somewhat improved from last fall when 55% thought the city was on the wrong path, and 38% reported it was on the right course.
In contrast, President Barack Obama’s job approval rating among New York registered voters, 52%, is at its highest in three years. Mr. Obama received an identical score of 52% this time three years ago. When this question was last reported in May of 2015, 46% of registered voters gave Mr. Obama high scores, and 54% did not.