August 3, 2011
8/3: Turned Around? Voters More Positive About Direction of New York State
For the first time in more than four years, less than a majority of registered voters in New York think the state is headed in the wrong direction. According to this NY1/YNN-Marist Poll, voters currently divide about the state’s trajectory. 46% report New York State is moving along the right path while 45% say it is on the wrong course. Nine percent are unsure.
This NY1/YNN-Marist Poll marks a major shift in voters’ perceptions toward the future of New York. This is the first time since March of 2007 that voters are more optimistic about the direction of the state. At that time, 49% believed New York was moving in the right direction, 43% thought it was moving in the wrong one, and 8% were unsure.
“New York State voters are responding to what they see as change in Albany,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Governor Cuomo still has a way to go before confidence is restored, but this represents a step in the right direction.”
When NY1/YNN-Marist last reported this question in May, 41% thought New York was moving in the right direction while a majority — 54% — said it was traveling in the wrong one. Six percent, at the time, were unsure.
Looking at party, highlights include:
- Among Democrats, 59% believe the state is on the proper track while 34% say it needs its course corrected. Eight percent are unsure. In May, those proportions stood at 50%, 45%, and 6%, respectively.
- Although there has been little change among non-enrolled voters who think the state is moving in the right direction, there has been a decrease in those who believe it is moving in the wrong one. 53% of non-enrolled voters say New York needs a new compass. 66% said the same in May.
- There has been little change among Republicans. 38% say New York is on the right track. 35% shared this opinion three months ago.
Regionally, highlights include:
- Voters in the suburbs of New York City and upstate are more positive about the future of the state. In the suburbs, a majority — 52% — believe the state is chugging along the right track. Just 37% said New York’s direction was on target in May.
- Upstate, 45% of voters report the state is moving in the right direction while 33% reported New York was on the correct road in NY1/YNN-Marist Poll’s previous survey.
- There is decreased optimism in New York City. 44% now say the state is on the right path while 55% reported the same three months ago.
Cuomo Approval Rating Steady … Viewed Favorably by About Two-Thirds
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to receive high marks from registered voters in New York State. A majority — 56% — think Mr. Cuomo is doing either an excellent or good job in office. Included here are 12% who say he is excelling as governor and 44% who report he is doing a good job. Nearly one in four voters statewide — 24% — rate Mr. Cuomo’s job performance as fair while only one in ten — 10% — believe he is performing poorly. An additional 10% are unsure.
Governor Cuomo’s job approval rating has remained consistent since NY1/YNN-Marist’s previous survey. In May, 54% approved of his job performance. 31% said he was doing a fair job while 6% gave Cuomo failing grades. Nine percent, at that time, were unsure how to rate him.
There has been a bump in Cuomo’s approval rating among Democrats and non-enrolled voters. 65% of Democrats and 57% of non-enrolled voters currently approve of the job the governor is doing while 56% and 41%, respectively, did so in May. Mr. Cuomo has lost some traction with Republicans statewide. While half — 50% — now praise Cuomo, 62% applauded him in NY1/YNN-Marist’s previous survey.
When it comes to the governor’s favorability, 67% of registered voters in New York State have a positive impression of Mr. Cuomo. Almost one in four — 23% — has an unfavorable view of him, and 9% are unsure.
In May, 72% thought highly of Governor Cuomo while 16% did not. 12% were unsure.
While Governor Cuomo’s favorability rating has remained relatively unchanged among Democrats and non-enrolled voters statewide, fewer Republicans have a positive impression of him. 57% of Republicans currently think well of Cuomo compared with 69% who did so in May.
On the specifics of Cuomo’s image, other highlights include:
- 72% of registered voters think Governor Andrew Cuomo is a good leader for the state. 19% do not, and 9% are unsure. Little has changed on this question since NY1/YNN-Marist’s May survey when 72%, 16%, and 12%, respectively, shared these views.
o On this question, there has been a slight bump in the proportion of Democrats who think Mr. Cuomo is a good leader. However, there has been a slight decline in the proportions of Republicans and non-enrolled voters who have this opinion.
- 66% of registered voters believe Cuomo is fulfilling campaign promises while 19% do not. 15% are unsure. In May, 64% said he was keeping his word, 23% believed he was not, and 13% were unsure.
o More Democrats, compared with NY1/YNN-Marist’s May survey, say Cuomo is fulfilling campaign promises. Again, there has been a decrease in the proportion of Republicans who feel this way. Since May, there has been little change among non-enrolled voters.
- 60% of registered voters say Cuomo is changing the way things work in Albany for the better. 25% disagree, and 14% are unsure. Here, too, there has been little change since May. At that time, 62% believed Cuomo was having a positive impact on Albany. 27% didn’t think that was the case, and 11% were unsure.
o There has been an increase in the proportion of non-enrolled voters who believe Cuomo is positively impacting Albany. Fewer Republicans share this view, and the proportion of Democrats is relatively unchanged since May.
Table: Governor Andrew Cuomo Approval Rating
Table: Governor Andrew Cuomo Approval Rating Over Time
Table: Governor Andrew Cuomo Favorability
Table: Governor Andrew Cuomo Favorability Over Time
Table: Governor Andrew Cuomo as Leader
Table: Governor Andrew Cuomo as Leader Over Time
Table: Governor Andrew Cuomo as Fulfilling Campaign Promises
Table: Governor Andrew Cuomo as Fulfilling Campaign Promises Over Time
Table: Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Impact on Albany
Table: Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Impact on Albany Over Time
Obama Approval Rating Below 50%
President Barack Obama’s approval rating has dipped down to 46% among registered voters in New York State. This includes 12% who say he is doing an excellent job in office and 34% who report he is doing a good one. One in four — 25% — says he is doing a fair job while 28% think he is performing poorly. Only 2% are unsure.
When NY1/YNN-Marist last asked this question in January, a majority — 53% — praised President Obama. 25% gave him fair marks, and 22% said he was falling short. At that time, just 1% was unsure.
President Obama’s approval rating has dropped among Democrats and Republicans statewide. Currently, 66% of Democrats and 14% of Republicans in New York approve of Mr. Obama’s job performance. This compares with 75% and 26%, respectively, who thought this way in January. 42% of non-enrolled voters give the president a “thumbs-up” which is little changed from the 45% who did so in January.