Marist Poll Results & Analysis: New York State, August 11, 2021

Cuomo Resigns with 38% Approval Rating… Hochul Little Known to New Yorkers

Governor Andrew Cuomo will leave office with a 38% job approval rating among New Yorkers, a steep decline from the 49% rating he received in February and the 66% score he received in July 2020. When asked to rate Cuomo’s job performance on a scale from excellent to poor, Cuomo receives the lowest marks of his tenure. Only 31% of New York registered voters say Cuomo is doing either an excellent (11%) or good (20%) job in office, falling below his previous low of 37% in May 2015. Cuomo’s 31% rating clocks in just below the lowest rating (32%) of his father, former Governor Mario Cuomo.

Cuomo Approval
Do you approve or disapprove of the job Andrew Cuomo is doing as governor?
Marist Poll New York State Adults. Interviews conducted August 4th through August 10th, 2021, n=868 MOE +/- 4.0 percentage points.
  • A slim majority of registered Democrats (51%) statewide approve of the job Cuomo is doing as governor. 43% disapprove. This is in contrast with the 64% of Democrats who approved of Cuomo’s job performance in February.

  • Only 45% of registered Democrats characterize Cuomo’s performance as either excellent (16%) or good (29%). Earlier this year, 59% reported Cuomo was doing an above average job as governor. A majority (53%) currently rate his performance as fair (31%) or poor (22%).

  • Regardless of the region of the state, Cuomo’s approval rating is upside down. He has the most support in New York City (44% approve to 48% disapprove). In all regions of the state, fewer than 40% rate his performance as either excellent or good.

  • 16% of New Yorkers strongly approve of the job Cuomo is doing, and 33% strongly disapprove. In February, 20% and 28%, respectively, had these views.

  • New Yorkers’ impressions of the governor have plummeted. Cuomo’s favorable rating (28%) among New York registered voters is his lowest since taking office. In February, Cuomo’s favorability rating stood at 50% which was his previous low point.

  • New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will take the reins of the Empire State as a relative stranger to many New Yorkers. When asked to rate Hochul’s favorability, 64% of New Yorkers, including 62% of registered voters, say they have either never heard of her or are unsure how to rate her. 23% have a favorable opinion of Hochul, and 13% have an unfavorable one. While 55% of Democrats cannot form an opinion of New York’s first female governor, 34% have a favorable impression of Hochul. She is best known Upstate where 31% have a positive opinion of her.

“This is the end of the Cuomo era in New York State,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist Poll. “Governor Hochul assumes office with an opportunity to make her mark on state government. Depending on how she fares, she may face Democratic primary challengers in 2022, in addition to the Republicans who need to recalculate their chances given the exit of Cuomo from the New York stage.”

Other Findings

Pessimism in NYS on the Rise

The Cuomo controversy has played out against a pessimistic backdrop in New York State. 35% of registered voters think the state is moving in the right direction while 56% say it is moving in the wrong one. New York voters have grown increasingly pessimistic. The proportion of the electorate who say the state is on track is at its lowest since the end of October 2010 when 18% said the Empire State was moving in the right direction. In February, voters divided (47% right direction to 47% wrong direction). The drop in optimism has occurred mainly among Democrats and non-enrolled voters statewide.

New Yorkers Lose Faith in Coronavirus Effort

Only 38% of New Yorkers say the coronavirus pandemic in the state will get better. 33% say it will get worse, and 26% say the situation will stay about the same. This is in contrast with the 69% in February who thought the pandemic would get better. 10%, at that time, thought things would get worse, and 18% said there would be no change. Of note, the proportion of New Yorkers who think the pandemic will improve is at its lowest point since this question has been asked. In July 2020, 47% of adults statewide reported that the situation would get better.

Schumer & Gillibrand Approval Ratings

41% of registered voters in New York think Senator Charles Schumer is doing either an excellent (15%) or good (26%) job in office. Impressions of Schumer’s job performance matches the rating he received in February.

37% of voters report Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is doing either an excellent (9%) or good (28%) job in office. This compares with 36% who had this view in last time.