New Yorkers are giving Gov. Kathy Hochul even lower marks when it comes to confronting the rising cost of living in the Empire State than the below-water rating they gave her on fighting crime, a new poll reveals.
“Crime and cost of living were voters’ top two priorities for Albany back in December heading into this session, and they remain the two issues voters want Hochul and the Legislature to prioritize,” said pollster Steven Greenberg of the Siena College poll released Monday.
“Crime is the top priority for Republicans, independents, downstate suburbanites, and upstaters, while for Democrats and New York City voters, cost of living edges out crime for the single top priority,” he added.
The poll, conducted Feb. 19-23, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 5%, highlights how Hochul continues to struggle on some key issues as she pushes a range of controversial budget proposals — which include an effective ban on gas stoves in new buildings that is opposed by voters 53% to 29% — ahead of an April 1 budget deadline.
Voters overwhelmingly believe crime is at least a somewhat serious problem in the Empire State, with 60% of voters overall saying the situation is “very serious” and another 32% saying “somewhat serious.”
A 49% plurality of respondents disapprove of Hochul’s handling of crime — New York City kicked off 2023 with an 18% spike in serious assaults — compared to 43% who approve.
Siena found big differences between the opinions of suburbanites and upstaters on crime and affordability compared to their relatively left-leaning counterparts in New York City.
- A 55% majority of people within New York City approve of her handling of crime compared to 59% upstate and 51% in the suburbs.
- Registered Republicans gave Hochul her worst marks on crime, with 75% of them disapproving, alongside 66% of self-identified conservatives and 63% of independents.
- A whopping 64% of Latinos disapprove of her record on public safety compared to 47% of black voters and 41% of white voters.
- Young people between the ages of 18 and 34 were the only age group to have a majority (53%) approving of her approach to rising crime while at least 50% of every other age group disapproved.
Crime was the top issue for 36% of voters, though the cost of living and affordable housing were close behind at 27% and 13%, with public health, the environmental and racial justice trailing at 8%, 7% and 6% in the survey of 744 registered voters.
The numbers for Hochul were even worse when it came to making New York more affordable.
A 54% majority disapprove of the job Hochul is doing with making New York more affordable compared to 39% who approve.
The numbers are much worse in the suburbs and upstate, with 63% and 64% of people from the two groups, respectively, disapproving of her response to sky-high prices, compared to just 24% and 32% who approve.
But the situation is reversed within the five boroughs, where 56% of respondents approve of her affordability efforts compared to 37% who disapprove.
The differences in opinion are much less pronounced by ethnicity, gender or income level while 75% of Republicans disapprove compared to 58% of independents and 41% of Democrats.
“There is a regional aspect to it, but I think largely the regional aspect to this is the partisan aspect,” Greenberg told The Post about the differences in opinion between New York City, upstate and suburban counties that include Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam.
Hochul got better marks from voters on other fronts, though her favorability rating slipped from 48% to 46% over the last month, with her disapproval rating increasing from 42% to 43%.
Her job approval rating remains unchanged at 56% despite her suffering a historical defeat after state Senate Democrats made her the first governor to ever have a court pick rejected weeks ago.
Her disapproval rating, however, jumped to 40% from 26% a month ago.
- Voters approve of her efforts “to encourage businesses to locate in New York” by 51% to 37%.
- A slight plurality (45%) gave the thumbs-up to her push to increase “the availability of affordable housing” in New York, with 41% giving a thumbs-down.
- Just 33% of voters oppose her proposal to lower the legal blood alcohol limit from .08% to .05%.
- A 57% majority supports a proposed ban on flavored tobacco products compared to 35% who oppose the idea.
Her proposal to peg the state minimum wage to the rate of inflation is uniting people across the political spectrum, with 59% of Republicans supporting the idea alongside 82% of Democrats and 70% of voters overall.
A similar bipartisan consensus has formed in support of liar Rep. George Santos resigning the Long Island-based seat he flipped last November from Democratic control.
Just 16% of respondents say Santos should not resign following revelations about the falsehoods he told voters about his professional and personal background while 66% of voters overall say he should step down.
“The ‘good’ news for Santos is that even in these hyper partisan times, he’s found a way to get Democrats, Republicans and independents to agree about a political figure. The bad news for Santos is that the political figure they agree on is him, and they overwhelmingly view him unfavorably,” Greenberg said. “It’s not just that 72% of Democrats want him to resign, so do 63% of independents and 58% of Republicans.”
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