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Siena poll paints dim picture of New York leadership


(The Center Square) – A majority of New Yorkers say the state is headed in the wrong direction, with crime being one of the residents’ biggest concerns.

Those were some key findings from a Siena College Research Institute survey conducted earlier this month, with results released on Thursday.

The poll found that 51% of those questioned believe New York is on the wrong track, compared to just 37% who believe the state is on the right course. When it comes to the state’s fiscal condition, less than a quarter of those polled believe it’s in “excellent” or “good” shape, compared to 71% who rated it as “fair” or “poor.”

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Most respondents also said the gas tax holiday that started earlier this month had not produced a “noticeable impact” at the pump. Still, 55% of those who hadn’t noticed a change said they were still happy the state took the step. The poll found that 19% said the 16-cent per gallon tax cut had made a difference.

Financial concerns weren’t the top issue bugging residents. The poll found that 92% consider crime a serious issue, with 63% believing it’s very serious.

Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said the findings aren’t very different from results released in February. Then, 91% considered it a serious issue.

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“A majority of voters of every region, party, race, and gender say they are concerned they could be victims of crime,” Greenberg said.

Given those concerns in an election year, it seems that Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul could be in trouble. However, the poll shows some mixed signals from the participating registered voters.

Statewide, 46% said they found Hochul favorable, 9% more than those who found her unfavorable. Regarding the election, 46% said they would vote for her if she was the Democratic nominee, but 44% said they’d prefer someone else.

What may likely help her, in the end, is party support. Democrats enjoy a more than 2-to-1 advantage over the Republican Party in terms of registered voters, and Greenberg noted that 70% of Democrats would vote for her in November should she win the primary in less than two weeks.

“Independents look a lot more like Republicans than Democrats when it comes to their views on Hochul, with 64% giving her a negative job rating and 59% wanting someone else to vote for in November,” he said.

The institute polled 802 registered voters from June 7-9 and 13. The poll’s margin of error is 3.9 percent.

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