New Yorkers were losing jobs and feeling more pessimistic than they did last month. At the same time, a majority of independent voters, as well as voters in both major political parties, viewed Governor Andrew Cuomo positively, according to the latest poll released Monday by the Siena Research Institute.
Cuomo’s job performance rating was 8 points higher than it was in March, reaching a record for the Democrat of 71 percent.
The three-term governor’s 77 percent favorability rating also inched up from last month and matched his highest-ever favorability numbers from February 2011.
Cuomo was viewed favorably by 90 percent of Democrats, and, for the first time in 6 years, he was in positive territory with Republicans.
But the number of New Yorkers who said they were not confident that things would be “back to normal anytime soon” grew this month, with Democrats more pessimistic than Republicans by 63 percent to 39 percent.
Women were more pessimistic than men by a 64 percent to 46 percent margin.
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The poll comes after more than a month of the New York “pause,” which has closed schools and non-essential businesses. More than 16,000 New Yorkers have died from the novel coronavirus, though hospitalizations and the daily death toll have started to slide in recent weeks.
The shutdown has been extended until at least May 15, and Cuomo is now considering a regional approach to reopening that would expand the definition of essential businesses in areas of the state where the pandemic has not been as severe.
The poll asked respondents whether they had been laid off during the pandemic: 14 percent of respondents answered yes, with similar numbers, 13 percent and 14 percent, being reported by whites and blacks, respectively.
It’s notable that Latinos appear to have been bearing the brunt of unemployment in the state, with 23 percent reporting that they, personally, had been laid off from work. Forty-eight percent of Latino voters said that they and/or someone in their household had been laid off.
According to the March 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, more than 450,000 job losses had been seen in the leisure and hospitality sectors where Latino workers are heavily represented.
To the question, “Do you know someone who has died from the Coronavirus," 46 percent of respondents from New York City, 36 percent from the suburbs and 13 percent from upstate said they did.
Regarding the statement, “America will weather this crisis and things will be back to normal sometime soon,” there was relatively little difference in how optimistic respondents were from the state’s various geographical regions.
Only 39 percent of respondents from New York City, 44 percent from the suburbs and 45 percent from upstate told the survey they were optimistic.
In spite of layoffs and pessimism regarding the economy, New Yorkers gave higher marks to Cuomo than to the President Trump.
Cuomo’s daily Coronavirus briefings, which are supported by easy-to-follow power point slides and punctuated by personal anecdotes (and occasional appearances by family members) have been compared favorably to Trump’s daily briefings.
That, too, was reflected in the Siena poll, which asked registered voters who they trusted more to make a decision about when to open the economy. By a 78-16 percent margin, including 56 percent of Republicans, voters said they trusted Governor Cuomo over the President Trump to make that determination.
Ninety-two percent of respondents said they supported the governor’s order requiring face masks in public. Eighty-seven percent of voters said they supported his decision to extend New York "pause" until May 15.
This month’s Siena Poll of 803 registered voters was conducted between April 19–23 by cell phone, land line and web.