As the New York Legislature rushes to complete its 2019 legislative session, voters are supportive of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and 55-40 percent and strongly supportive of eliminating the religious exemption for vaccinating children, 84-13 percent, according to a Siena Research Institute poll.
Voters are strongly supportive of adding an Equal Rights Amendment to the State Constitution, 72-17 percent, while they continue to oppose allowing undocumented immigrants to get a driver’s license, 53-41 percent.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a 52-42 percent favorability rating (up from 47-48 percent in April), his best rating since March 2018. However, by a 58-37 percent margin, voters say Cuomo should not run for a fourth term.
Among New York presidential candidates, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has the best rating — although she trails badly in polling nationally. She leads New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio among Democrats 56-25 percent. She leads President Donald Trump 58-34 percent among all new York voters, while de Blasio polls ahead Trump by a narrower 48-36 percent.
“New Yorkers overwhelmingly support legislation requiring parents to vaccinate their children regardless of religious beliefs,” says Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “More than three-quarters of voters from every party and region support it.
“There continues to be support for legalizing the recreational use of marijuana,” he adds. “It has strong support from Democrats and independents, while Republicans oppose it, albeit narrowly, 53-40 percent. Voters under 35 support it 75-23 percent, while voters 55 and older oppose it 54-42 percent.”
Greenberg says a majority of New Yorkers continue to oppose allowing undocumented immigrants to get New York state drivers’ licenses. Licenses for undocumented immigrants is supported by Democrats as well as black, Latino and younger voters; however, it is overwhelmingly opposed by Republicans. Upstate and downstate suburban voters, white voters and voters 55 and older oppose it, while New York City voters are evenly divided.
Meanwhile, regarding Cuomo’s best favorability rating in more than a year, he’s viewed favorably by two-thirds of Democrats and New York City voters. Greenberg says Cuomo is close to break-even with independents and downstate suburbanites, and he remains significantly underwater with upstate voters and deep underwater with Republicans. Men are evenly divided, while 56 percent of women view him favorably.
“Cuomo recently said, ‘I plan to run for a fourth term,’ Greenberg says. “Less than a year into his third term, voters don’t think that’s the best idea. Democrats and New York City voters are closely divided on the subject of a fourth Cuomo run, however, two-thirds of independents, downstate suburbanites and upstaters think he should not run, as do 80 percent of Republicans.”
The pollster says “blue New York” shows no interest in supporting the incumbent Republican president for re-election. Currently, only 29 percent of voters say they are prepared to re-elect Trump, while 68 percent say they prefer someone else. In hypothetical matchups, Gillibrand leads Trump by 24 points and de Blasio leads Trump by 12 points, although he doesn’t hit 50 percent.
“Trump runs close to de Blasio upstate and in the downstate suburbs, although he trails Gillibrand by double digits in both regions,” Greenberg says. “While Gillibrand leads Trump with voters 55 and older by 18 points, de Blasio only leads among those voters by five points. Men support Gillibrand by five points but favor Trump over de Blasio by six points.”
MEANWHILE, de Blasio, who announced last month he is running for president, received 0% support in a Des Moines Register/Mediacom/CNN Iowa Poll released Saturday night.
De Blasio was one of just two candidates in the crowded Democratic presidential race who was not listed by a single respondent as a first or second choice. Seven other candidates who had their showing rounded down to 0% had at least one respondent voting for them.
Former Vice President Joe Biden led the field with 24%, followed by Bernie Sanders with 16%. Elizabeth Warren had 15%, Pete Buttigieg was next with 14% and Kamala Harris received 7% of support. No other candidate had more than 2%.
The 433 “likely in-person 2020 Democratic caucus participants” were all asked which candidate would be their first choice for president. The poll was conducted over a four-day period earlier this month.
The pivotal Iowa caucuses will take place on Feb. 3, still eight months away.