With an eye to the 2020 presidential election, more than six in ten Democrats in New York (62%) say they prefer a nominee who is more progressive than moderate (35%). Opinions differ along age and racial lines. Democrats under the age of 45 (75%) and non-white Democrats (70%) are more likely than older Democrats (53%) and whites (55%) to favor a progressive nominee at the top of the Democratic ticket.
Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren are the most acceptable candidates to New York Democrats. When asked whether or not they would be “happy” with each as the nominee, 78% say they would be happy with Biden, 61% report they feel the same about Sanders, and 51% say they would be satisfied with Warren as the Democratic presidential nominee. Cory Booker (50%) and Kamala Harris (49%) are also viewed positively. A plurality of New York Democrats (45%) would also be satisfied if Kirsten Gillibrand received her party’s nod, but 40% would not. Democrats also divide about whether or not they would be satisfied with Michael Bloomberg (46% “happy” to 45% “not happy”) at the top of the ticket. Beto O’Rourke and Amy Klobuchar suffer from low name recognition in New York. More Democrats would be unhappy than happy if Amy Klobuchar were their nominee. Overwhelmingly, New York Democrats would be unhappy (65%) if Bill de Blasio were the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.
“Despite a preference for a more progressive nominee, a Biden candidacy is tops for New York Democrats,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “But, the biggest surprise is that none of the New Yorkers in the mix is benefitting from a home field advantage, especially New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.”
On the statewide level, 38% of registered voters think Governor Andrew Cuomo is doing either an excellent (6%) or good (32%) job in office, down from 42% in April 2018. 58% of voters consider Cuomo’s job performance to be fair (31%) or poor (27%).
Nearly six in ten New Yorkers (57%) support Cuomo’s push to legalize recreational marijuana in New York. 38% oppose making marijuana legal for this purpose. This is a partisan issue. 65% of Democrats and 58% of independents support the proposal. 60% of Republicans do not.
While both men and women support the proposal, men (63%) are more likely than women (51%) to do so. Not surprisingly, residents under the age of 45 (72%), including 81% of those under 30, support the measure while only 44% of those 45 or older, including 38% of those 60 and above, agree.
Half of voters (50%) do not believe Governor Cuomo is changing the way things work in Albany for the better. 40% think he is, and 10% are unsure. These results are little changed from last April.
37% of registered voters think Governor Cuomo is too liberal, up from 31% last year. Seven percent say Cuomo is too conservative, and 49% perceive his views to be “about right.”
Senator Chuck Schumer enjoys a 46% job approval rating among the statewide electorate, little changed from the 47% score he received last April. 40% of voters in New York approve of how Senator Gillibrand is doing her job compared with 43% last time.
New York voters divide about the direction of the Empire State. 49% say the state is moving in the wrong direction, and 47% report it is moving in the right one. Last April, voters similarly divided, 48% to 48%.