September 15, 2009
9/15: Outrage Over NYS Senate Battle Lingers…Assembly Not Immune
After a summer of political bickering that crippled the New York State Senate, has public outrage over the debacle died down? According to the state’s electorate, “No, it has not.”
70% of New York State registered voters say they are angry about the situation in the Senate while 26% report they are not. These proportions are virtually unchanged from when Marist last asked this question in June. As in that survey, outrage transcends party lines. 72% of Democrats, 71% of Republicans, and 67% of non-enrolled voters admit to feeling this way. These attitudes remain little changed since Marist’s previous poll.
And, this translates into a poor job approval rating for the Senate. A majority — 54% — of registered voters across the state report that the Senate is performing poorly. Just 14% think the legislative body is doing either an excellent or good job, and three in ten think they are performing only fairly well.
How do the senators stand along party lines? They’re viewed as mediocre at best. 14% of Democrats and 10% of Republicans rate the State Senate as doing either an excellent or good job in office. As for non-enrolled voters, 19% think well of the State Senate today.
Although members of the New York State Assembly stayed out of June’s political fray, they have felt the backlash from the public. 49% of the electorate report that the Assembly is performing poorly compared with 51% who said the same earlier this summer. 15% think the body is doing an above average job, and one-third say they are performing fairly well. This chamber received similar marks in June.
More Than Two-Thirds Want Reform in Albany, BUT…
68% of registered voters statewide think the way things are done in state government in Albany needs major changes. 21% report daily political operations require minor changes, 10% think they are broken and beyond repair, and only 1% of voters say they do not need to be changed. More than seven in ten Democrats and Republicans — 71% and 70%, respectively — think Albany needs a major, political overhaul. 60% of non-enrolled voters agree.
However, when it comes to whether a constitutional convention should be held to propose changes to New York State’s government, a plurality does not want one. 48% oppose such a gathering while 42% support it. More Republicans than Democrats disagree with this suggestion. 56% of members of the New York GOP and 44% of Democrats think this is a bad idea. In fact, Democrats divide with 45% supporting the proposal. Non-enrolled voters also divide on this issue with 46% against it and 44% for it.