November 2, 2011
11/2: Election 2012 in NYS: Obama Ahead of Leading GOP Candidates
President Barack Obama leads by a wide margin in three potential matchups against GOP challengers for 2012 in New York State.
The closest contest occurs between the president and Mitt Romney. Here, nearly six in ten registered voters in New York — 59% — back the president while 35% support Romney, a 24 percentage point lead. Seven percent are undecided. The president widens his lead to 31 percentage points against Herman Cain. In this contest, 62% of voters statewide support Obama while 31% are behind Cain. Seven percent are undecided. And, when paired against Rick Perry, the president has a 35 percentage point lead. 64% of voters are for Mr. Obama while 29% back Perry. Seven percent are undecided. In all of these hypothetical matchups, the president receives similar support to what he garnered in the 2008 election — 63%.
“New York State voters, not unlike voters elsewhere, have concerns about President Obama’s job performance,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, “But, there is little question over the candidate they plan to support in this very blue state.”
- In all three contests, support is polarized along party lines, but the difference in the margins separating the candidates is mostly attributed to the level of support among non-enrolled voters statewide. The president receives majority support against each GOP challenger. President Obama receives 61% of these voters to Perry’s 27%. 58% of non-enrolled voters back the president compared with 33% for Cain, and when up against Romney, 54% of non-enrolled voters are behind Obama to 37% for Romney.
- President Obama carries each region in the state by at least a majority against each of his competitors, with one exception. When paired against Romney, voters in the suburbs of New York City divide. 48% support Obama while 46% are behind Romney.
Obama Approval Rating in Mid-Forties
President Obama’s approval rating is steady in New York State. 44% of registered voters statewide approve of the job the president is doing in office. Included here are 14% who believe he is doing an excellent job and 30% who say he is doing a good one. More than one in four — 27% — rate the president’s job performance as fair while 29% think he is performing poorly. Less than 1% is unsure.
When NY1/YNN-Marist last reported this question in August, 46% approved of President Obama’s job performance, 25% thought he was doing fairly well, and 28% said he was doing a poor job. Two percent, at the time, were unsure.
Fewer than Four in Ten Plan to Vote for Gillibrand Next Year
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand needs to win over New York State voters going into 2012. Just 39% of voters say they will definitely vote to re-elect her next year while 22% report they definitely plan to vote against her. A large proportion of voters — 39% — are unsure.
- While a majority of Democrats — 53% — think they will cast their ballot for Gillibrand, just 34% of non-enrolled voters and 28% of Republicans say the same. In fact, 42% of non-enrolled voters and 41% of the state’s GOP haven’t made up their minds. Even 33% of Democrats are unsure.
- Regionally, 43% of upstate voters and 41% of those in New York City plan to vote for Gillibrand in 2012 while only three in ten in the city’s suburbs — 30% — agree. A plurality of suburban voters — 46% — is unsure.
There has been little change in Gillibrand’s job approval rating. 41% of registered voters in New York believe the senator is doing either an excellent or good job in office. This includes 8% who say she is doing an excellent job and 33% who believe she is doing a good one. 32% rate her performance as fair while 11% think she is performing poorly. 16% are unsure how to rate Gillibrand.
In NY1/YNN-Marist’s May survey, the same proportion — 41% — approved of the job Gillibrand was doing in office. 31% gave her average grades, and 11% thought she was falling short. 17%, at the time, were unsure.
Schumer Approval Rating Steady
Senator Chuck Schumer’s job approval rating remains in the mid-fifties. 56% of registered voters statewide give Schumer high marks. This includes 18% of those who believe he is doing an excellent job and 38% who say he is doing a good one. About one in four — 26% — give him average grades while 15% say he is missing the mark. Three percent are unsure.
When NY1/YNN-Marist last reported this question in May, 56% applauded Schumer’s performance, 26% thought he was doing a fair job, and 14% said he was performing poorly. Four percent, at the time, were unsure.