Marist Poll Results & Analysis: New York State, February 2021

Six in Ten Say Cuomo Did Something Wrong Handling Nursing Homes… Fewer Than Four in Ten Think Cuomo Deserves Reelection

Sixty percent of New Yorkers, including 61% of registered voters, perceive some wrongdoing by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his handling of nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic. However, most don’t go so far as to say that Cuomo did something illegal. New Yorkers are also far from sold on another term for Cuomo. 36% of registered voters compared with 39% in April 2018 think Cuomo deserves to be reelected.

Cuomo & Nursing Homes
Based on what you’ve read or heard about the controversy over Governor Cuomo ́s handling of nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic do you think Governor Cuomo:
Source: Marist Poll New York Adults. Interviews conducted Feb. 15th – Feb. 17th, 2021, n=953 MOE +/- 3.8%
  • 41% of adults statewide say Cuomo has done something unethical but not illegal in his handling of nursing homes during the pandemic. 19% think he has done something illegal, and 27% think he has done nothing wrong.

  • 49% of New Yorkers approve of Cuomo’s job performance, down from 66% in July. 44% disapprove. Non-enrolled voters divide – 44% to 47%. Of note, 28% of Democrats disapprove of how Cuomo is doing his job compared with 9% in the summer.

  • 20% of residents strongly approve of Cuomo’s job performance, down from 33% in July. 28%, up from 19%, strongly disapprove.

  • 42% of voters say Cuomo is doing an excellent or good job in office, down from 60% in July. Cuomo’s score has reverted back to about what it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 50% of voters have a favorable view of Cuomo, inched down from 54% in 2018. 46% have an unfavorable opinion of him, up from 40%.

54% of New Yorkers approve of how Cuomo is handling the coronavirus pandemic, down from 72% in July. The decline is across the board. Cuomo has a net positive rating in New York City (+22 points) and the city’s suburbs (+9 points). Upstate residents divide, 48% to 48%. On the economy, 50% of New Yorkers approve of Cuomo’s handling of the issue, down from 59% over the summer. 44% disapprove, up from 33% previously. Cuomo receives majority approval (58%) among those in the city. Suburbanites divide (46% to 48%), and a majority of those Upstate (51%) disapprove.

“Cuomo’s approval rating, which was sky high in the summer, has returned to its pre-pandemic level,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist Poll. “Should Cuomo decide to seek a fourth term, these results suggest it will be a challenge. That said, his current numbers are comparable to what they were when he faced the voters last time.”

At least half of New York voters think Cuomo is a good leader for New York State and represents all regions of the state. New Yorkers’ views of Cuomo on these issues have remained mostly consistent since his re-election in 2014.

Cuomo a Good Leader?

Do you agree or disagree with the statement: Governor Andrew Cuomo is a good leader for New York State?

Source: Marist Poll New York Registered Voters. Interviews conducted Feb. 15th – Feb. 17th, 2021, n=813 MOE +/- 4.1% percentage points

Cuomo Represents All of NYS?

Do you agree or disagree with the statement: Governor Andrew Cuomo represents all regions of the state?

Source: Marist Poll New York Registered Voters. Interviews conducted Feb. 15th – Feb. 17th, 2021, n=813 MOE +/- 4.1% percentage points.

Other Findings

New Yorkers are optimistic about the coronavirus pandemic. 69% think things will get better, up from 47% last July. 10% report things will get worse, down from 23%, and 18% believe things will stay about the same, down from 25%.

Opinions are also more positive about reopening public schools for in-person instruction. 58% of New Yorkers, up from 40%, say it is a good idea to reopen the schools. 35% report it is a bad idea, down from 50%.

A majority of New Yorkers prioritize controlling the spread of coronavirus over the economy. 57% believe the state should prioritize limiting the spread of the virus even if it means it will hurt the economy. 37% say restarting the economy should be top of mind even if it hurts the effort to contain the virus. A majority of residents in all three regions of the state prioritize controlling coronavirus over the economy.

About two in three New Yorkers say they plan to or already have received the coronavirus vaccine. 28% say they will not. Although Democrats are more likely to take the vaccine, at least a majority of New Yorkers, regardless of political party, say they have or will be vaccinated.

Schumer Approval Rating At Lowest Point in More than 20 Years

41% of New York registered voters think Senator Chuck Schumer is doing either an excellent (15%) or good (26%) job in office. This is Schumer’s lowest job approval score since March of 2000. At that time, Schumer’s approval rating was 39%. 52% of voters report Schumer is doing either a fair (23%) or poor (29%) job.

Schumer maintains majority approval (57%) among Democrats but falls short among Republicans (17%) and non-enrolled voters (33%) across the state.

Gillibrand Approval Rating Upside Down

36% of voters think Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is doing either an excellent (8%) or good (28%) job in office. Gillibrand’s approval rating is her lowest since the end of October 2010. At that time, 36% also thought she was doing well in her post. 45% of voters rate her job performance as fair (27%) or poor (18%). Nearly one in five voters are unsure (18%).

Democrats have a lukewarm opinion of how Gillibrand is performing. 50% say she is doing an above average job while 33% disagree. 17% are unsure. 18% of Republicans and 30% of non-enrolled voters say she is doing an excellent or good job.

Direction of New York

New York voters divide (47% to 47%) about the direction of the state. This reflects voters’ attitudes about the state prior to the beginning of the pandemic. In July, 58% of voters said the state was on the right path.