January 26, 2012
1/26: Brighter Financial Days Ahead, Says Majority in NY
New York State voters see a light at the end of the financial tunnel. A majority of registered voters statewide — 52% — believe the worst of the state’s economic woes are behind them. 44% think the worst is yet to come, and 5% are unsure.
This is in stark contrast with voters’ views from November. In that NY1/YNN-Marist Poll, a majority — 54% — thought there were more tumultuous economic times on the horizon while 42% said the worst was over. Four percent, at the time, were unsure.
“More New York voters are beginning to see an improved economic picture,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “It’s not exactly rosy but the gloom is lifting.”
- Perceptions of the economy’s future have improved among both Democrats and Republicans. 59% of Democrats and 44% of Republicans now report the worst is over. This compares with 47% and 32%, respectively, in November. 46% of non-enrolled voters share this view compared with 42% in the previous poll.
- Regionally, the greatest change has occurred in New York City. A majority of voters in this region — 55% — see a clearer economic picture ahead while only 39% held this view in November. Upstate voters are also more positive. Half — 50% — of voters, compared with 38% two months ago, think better days are ahead. In the suburbs of New York City, 51% have this view, little changed from 52% in November.
Not only do voters think the worst of the state’s economic problems are over, they believe the state’s economy is on an upswing. More than one in four voters — 26% — report New York’s economy is getting better; double the proportion — 13% — who shared this opinion in November. One in four voters — 25% — still say the state’s economy is getting worse, but 36% felt this way in the last poll. Almost half — 49% — report it is about the same, relatively unchanged from the 51% in NY1/YNN-Marist’s previous survey.
- Looking at party, about one in three Democratic voters — 33% — say the economy is improving, a 17 percentage point increase from 16% in November. Among non-enrolled voters, 21% see the economy as getting better compared with 11% previously. 19% of Republicans share this view while 10% did so in November.
While more than seven in ten voters in New York say the state is still in a recession, there has been a slight decrease in the proportion who thinks this to be so. 72% think New York is in a recession while 26% believe it is not, and 3% are unsure. In November, 78% thought the statewide economy to be in this condition, 20% reported it was not, and 2% were unsure.
Voters More Upbeat About Personal Finances
On the home front, there has been an increase in the proportion of voters who perceive their family finances to be improving. Three in ten — 30% — have this impression while 15% think their money matters are getting worse. A majority — 55% — see their finances as status quo.
When NY1/YNN-Marist last reported this question in November, 23% said their family finances were getting better, 22% thought they were getting worse, and 55% believed they were about the same.
- While voters across the state are more positive about their financial picture, those in New York City are the most optimistic. 41% of these voters say their finances are improving compared with 28% in the city’s suburbs and 24% of upstate voters. In November, those proportions stood at 28%, 23%, and 20%, respectively.
Up the Minimum Wage? Nearly Seven in Ten Adults Think So
69% of New York State adults believe raising the minimum wage is a good idea because it adds money to people’s income during difficult times. 27%, however, say it is a bad idea because small businesses will hire fewer people who need jobs when times are tough. Four percent are unsure.
- Across each region, more than six in ten adults support the idea of increasing the minimum wage in the state. However, more residents in New York City — 75% — say the idea is a good one compared with 68% of those in the city’s suburbs and 64% of upstate residents.