January 28, 2011
1/28: Gillibrand Approval Rating Climbs to Highest Point Since Taking Office
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has improved her standing among New York voters. Nearly half of registered voters statewide — 49% — think she is doing either an excellent or good job in office. Included here are 13% who report she is doing an excellent job and 36% who say she is doing a good one. Gillibrand’s approval rating is the highest she has received since taking office in January 2009. Currently, 29% rate Gillibrand’s performance as fair while 10% say she is doing poorly. 12% have not heard enough about her to offer an opinion.
When Marist last reported on Gillibrand’s approval rating in late October, 36% gave her above average grades, 30% thought she was doing a fair job, and 18% said her performance was poor. 16%, at the time, were unsure.
“This is the first time since being appointed to the U.S. Senate by former Governor David Paterson that Senator Gillibrand has established herself with New York voters in terms of her job performance,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Voters see Gillibrand in a different light.”
Although Gillibrand has bolstered support across party lines, the largest bump in her approval rating comes from her own base. 61% of New York State Democrats approve of the job she is doing in the U.S. Senate. In October, 45% of Democrats held this view. Among the state’s GOP, 39% give Gillibrand a thumbs-up compared with 30% who did the same in Marist’s previous survey. And, among non-enrolled voters, 40% approve of Gillibrand’s job performance while 28% did so at the end of October.
Regardless of region, Gillibrand’s approval rating has enjoyed a boost. A majority of voters — 54% — in New York City, 45% in the city’s suburbs, and nearly half of those upstate — 49% — approve of her job performance. In October, those proportions stood at 31%, 35%, and 40%, respectively.
Schumer Approval Rating Up
Senator Chuck Schumer’s job approval rating is strong. Nearly six in ten voters — 59% — think New York’s senior senator is doing either an excellent or good job in office. This includes 22% who believe he is doing an excellent job and 37% who report he is doing a good one. Nearly three in ten — 28% — give him fair grades, and just 9% say he is performing poorly in office. Five percent are unsure.
At the end of October, Schumer enjoyed a 55% approval rating. His highest approval rating came in October of 2004 when 61% of voters lauded his performance.
Obama Approval Rating at 53%
Among registered voters statewide, a majority — 53% — approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office. Included here are 17% who think he is doing an excellent job and 36% who report he is doing a good one. One in four think his job performance is fair, and more than one in five — 22% — say Mr. Obama’s performance is poor. One percent is unsure.
The president’s approval rating in the state has grown. At the end of October, 45% approved of the job Mr. Obama was doing as president. 23% gave him fair marks, and about one-third — 32% — thought his performance was subpar.
Although there has been a seven percentage point bump in the president’s job performance rating among non-enrolled voters, Republicans in New York play a role in Mr. Obama’s improved standing as well. 26% of the statewide GOP currently approve of the president’s job performance. 16% thought that way in Marist’s previous survey.
The Marist Poll’s Lee Miringoff discusses Gillibrand’s improvement in the polls: