Siena Poll: More than half of New Yorkers polled believe worst of pandemic is yet to come

PETER R. BARBER/THE DAILY GAZETTEThe Proctors Theatre marquee in Schenectady sends a message to “Shine a light for those we’ve lost” on Tuesday as COVID-19 deaths in the United States surpassed 400,000.
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PETER R. BARBER/THE DAILY GAZETTE

The Proctors Theatre marquee in Schenectady sends a message to “Shine a light for those we’ve lost” on Tuesday as COVID-19 deaths in the United States surpassed 400,000.

LATHAM — More than half of New Yorkers polled believe the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is yet to come and nearly three-quarters say they plan to get vaccinated, according to a new Siena poll.

The poll released Tuesday morning found that 55 percent of those surveyed believe the pandemic will get worse than it is now, the poll found. Those who disagreed came in at 31 percent.

The poll also found 7 percent said they had already been vaccinated and, among those who have not, 69 percent said  they planned to do so, while 27 percent said they do not.

On the state of the pandemic, the poll found the results cut across party, geography and race. It found between 50 and 61 percent of Democrats, Republicans, independents, upstaters, downstaters, Black, Latino and white voters all believe the worse is ahead.

“In fact, a majority of every demographic group says the worst is still to come, with the exception of voters under 35 — only a plurality — and conservatives, a plurality of whom think the worst is over,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a press release.

Regarding the vaccines, the responses found  that about a third of Republicans, independents, voters under 35, and Black and Latino voters said they don’t plan to get it, up from the overall 27 percent.

The poll also touched on the upcoming change of power in Washington, and the aftermath.

Voters believe President-elect Joe Biden will have a positive impact on New York 54 to 23 percent. Broken down by party, three-quarters of Democrats and a plurality of independents predict a positive impact. Two-thirds of Republicans believed he would have a negative impact on the state, the poll found.

As U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer becomes majority leader, New Yorkers also expressed optimism that he’ll have a positive impact in his new role. Democrats, voters from New York City and Black voters were most optimistic. Republicans, a plurality of them, believed Schumer would have a negative impact, the poll found.

The New Yorkers polled supported Attorney General Letitia James continuing to investigate President Donald Trump’s businesses once he leaves office by nearly 2-to-1. Republicans opposed with 63 percent.

Looking ahead, 57 percent of New Yorkers expressed optimism for 2021,  considering everything that has happened in the past year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s favorability ratings held largely steady, 57 percent positive to 39 percent negative, compared to 56-39 in November. His job performance rating of 56 to 42 percent is up slightly from his 54-45 mark in November. Voters also approve of his handling of the pandemic 63 to 32 percent after a 63-30 mark previously.

Also, 48 percent said they are prepared to re-elect Cuomo in 2020 if he runs again while 42 percent said they would prefer someone else, down a bit from 51-42 percent in November.

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