New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s favorability rating and job approval rating among voters both dropped by eight points from January, according to a new Siena College poll released Tuesday.

The poll found the governor’s favorability rating at 41-46%, down from 45-42% last month, and job approval at 48-47%, down from 52-43%.

That's a contrast from January when Hochul saw a positive favorability rating for the first time in nearly a year.

While a majority of voters said Hochul is hard working and pluralities think she is honest and not corrupt, they also were closely divided on whether she is an effective leader, and a plurality said she is out of touch with average New Yorkers, according to the poll.

“Whether it was her budget proposals, her efforts on issues of importance to voters, or perhaps the recent attention-grabbing special election in Queens and Nassau, both Hochul’s favorability and job approval ratings fell the most with downstate suburban voters and Democrats,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said. “Another potential factor affecting how voters see Hochul is that a majority, 56%, continue to say that the quality of life in New York is getting worse, compared to only 14% who think it’s getting better, and 25% who say it’s staying about the same,” Greenberg said. “More than two-thirds of Republicans and independents think the quality of life in New York is getting worse, as do a plurality, 42%, of Democrats.”

The poll said nearly half of voters, 49%, rank the cost of living in New York as one of their top two issues for the governor and Legislature to address, with 29% calling it the top issue. The recent influx of migrants, crime and affordable housing are New Yorkers’ next three top issues.


“New Yorkers were clear on the top issues they wanted the Governor and Legislature to address in September, and those are the same issues they want Albany to address today. The cost of living in the state, the recent influx of migrants to New York, crime, and the need for affordable housing were the top issues in the fall and remain the top issues today,” Greenberg said. “The top three issues for Democrats are cost of living, housing and migrants. For Republicans it’s migrants, cost of living and crime. Independents say cost of living, migrants and crime.”

When it comes to this year's presidential race, President Joe Biden leads former President Trump by 12 points in a head-to-head match-up, 48-36%, up a little from 46-37% last month, the poll found. If given their way, 41% of voters say they want the next president to be someone other than Biden or Trump, each of whom has the support of 28% of voters in that scenario. Only 7% think both Biden and Trump are physically and mentally fit to serve a four-year term.

Biden won New York by 23 points in 2020 and no Republican presidential candidate has carried the state since Ronald Reagan in 1984.

“When asked their presidential preference among Biden, Trump and ‘someone else,’ a plurality of New Yorkers, including a large majority of independents, want someone other than Biden or Trump,” Greenberg said. “While 61% of Republicans stick with Trump and 29% want someone else, only 46% of Democrats want Biden, compared to 38% who want another choice. Pluralities of white, Black and Latino voters all want their next president to not be named Biden or Trump.”

The poll found if Trump were convicted of a federal crime, 54% of voters say it would make no difference in their vote, while 31% would be less likely to support him and 11% more likely. Sixty-five percent of voters said a Biden impeachment would have no impact on their vote, compared to 19% who would be less likely and 11% more likely.

“Majorities of Republicans and independents say neither would change their vote. A majority of Democrats say that about a Biden impeachment but only a plurality feels that way about a Trump conviction,” Greenberg said.

The Siena College poll was conducted Feb. 12-14 among 806 registered voters.


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