11/23: Voters Want Change in Albany…Legislature Approval Ratings Low

It probably comes as no surprise that many voters want change in Albany.  In fact, 71% say the way things are done in Albany need major changes, and another 11% believe government in Albany is broken and beyond repair.  Only 18% think daily operations in the state capital need minor changes.

new york state capitol


“Albany is not a good place for politicians right now,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Poll, “Voters are dissatisfied with how things are being run and want change.”

Click Here for Complete November 23, 2009 NYS Poll Release and Tables

Governor David Paterson’s approval rating is at a dreadful 20% among registered voters in New York State, but he isn’t the only one who is in the dog house among voters.  The New York State Senate and Assembly aren’t faring better.  Just 16% of voters statewide believe  the State Senate is doing either an excellent or good job in office, and nearly a majority — 48% — thinks the legislative body is performing poorly.

How does the State Senate do along party lines?  17% of Democrats, 13% of Republicans, and 16% of non-enrolled voters approve of the Senate’s job performance.  There has been little change in the Senate’s approval rating among the parties since Marist’s September survey.

There is even worse news for state senators.  Voters divide about whether they plan to re-elect their current representative come 2010.  If the election were held today, 44% report they would cast their ballot for the incumbent while 42% report they would say someone else.  Republican voters want to make a change more than Democrats.  A majority – 51% — of New York’s GOP say they would vote for the challenger.  This compares with 33% of Democrats who vow to do the same.  47% of non-enrolled voters agree.

As for the State Assembly, it is scraping bottom along with the Senate.  Only 13% of New York State voters approve of the job the Assembly is doing while 47% give the chamber poor marks.  This is little changed from Marist’s September survey.

And, like their counterparts in the State Senate, members of the Assembly need to rally the support of their constituents.  44% of voters say they would choose for their current representative if the 2010 elections were held today, but 43% report they would cast their ballot for someone new.  Again, Republicans and non-enrolled voters are more likely to vote against the incumbent than are Democrats.  49% of the state’s GOP and half of non-enrolled voters want to oust their current representative while one-third of Democrats share this view.

Table: Status of Government in Albany
Table: NY State Senate Job Approval Rating
Table: 2010 Election for New York State Senator
Table: NY State Assembly Job Approval Rating
Table: 2010 Election for New York State Assembly

NY In Need of a Road Map

As for the direction of the state, 75% of voters think New York is moving in the wrong direction while 20% say its trajectory is on the mark.  Similar proportions of voters held these views when Marist asked about the direction of New York State in its September 16th poll.

Table: NYS Direction

Marist Poll Methodology