Albany County

Poll finds Cuomo up, Trump down with voters

Governor has 60 percent approval rating
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, and President Donald Trump.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, and President Donald Trump.

LOUDONVILLE — In a diverging tale of two men originally from Queens, New Yorkers are thinking more highly of Gov. Andrew Cuomo than they have in years, while President Donald Trump’s approval rating is dropping since he took office, according to a new poll from the Siena College Research Institute.

The statewide poll released Monday found Cuomo has a 60 percent approval rating. It’s his highest rating since July 2014, when he was launching his re-election campaign. Voters like many of the specific things he is supporting in his proposed 2018 state budget, including continuation of the millionaire’s tax, approval of upstate ride-sharing services, an expanded child care tax credit and free state college tuition for middle-class New York families.

“Voters like Cuomo more than at any time since his second term began,” said Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg. “Maybe it’s because they like his 2017 agenda, or perhaps it’s a comparison with the president, or it might simply be because it’s been quiet the last few months on the corruption front.”

Voters weren’t asked in February whether they would support Cuomo’s re-election, but recent poll numbers show 47 percent favor his re-election, with nearly as many — 44 percent — saying they would prefer someone else. Cuomo would be up for re-election in 2018.

Cuomo’s highest approval rating — 77 percent — was seen in February 2011, shortly after he took office. His approval ratings since last summer have been above 50 percent, according to the research institute.

Trump, however, has the approval of only 36 percent of those polled, down from 37 percent in January. Those who viewed him negatively rose from 55 percent in January to 59 percent in February, as more undecided voters made up their minds.

There is a deep divide based on party, though, with 71 percent of Republicans viewing Trump favorably and 79 percent of Democrats viewing him unfavorably. His job performance rating was 61 percent favorable among Republicans and 85 percent negative among Democrats.

While the poll found that 71 percent of Republicans viewed Trump favorably, that’s down from 77 percent in January. Among independents, 53 percent view Trump unfavorably, and 64 percent view his job performance negatively. There was also a large racial split, with 54 percent of white’s viewing Trump favorably, but the president having an 83 percent negative rating among blacks, and a 77 percent negative rating among Latino voters.

The survey asked voters about Trump’s performance on specific national topics, and his approval rating on those issues ranged from 36 percent favorable on job creation and keeping Americans safe from terrorism to just 25 percent on advancing the peace process in the Middle East and representing the United States on the world stage. Those ratings were all above 50 percent among Republicans, but among Democrats, his approval rating on those issues was between 10 and 20 percent.

On state issues, more than 75 percent of voters support extending the millionaire’s tax, as Cuomo has proposed, and allowing ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate outside New York City.

The only major new proposal of Cuomo’s that most New Yorkers see unfavorably is his proposal for a 750-mile biking and hiking path that would run statewide both north-south and east-west. Some 38 percent favor the trail system, down from 43 percent in January; 57 percent  view it negatively, up from 52 percent.

“Voters from every party and region are agreed in their opposition to the governor’s proposal,” Greenberg said.

The poll was conducted Feb. 19-23 by contacting 723 New York state registered voters. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.2 percent.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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