Nov. Siena report: Views on election results, N.Y.’s COVID response, the COVID vaccine, behavior of elected officials


LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Siena College Research Institute released a new report this month regarding people’s views on the election results, New York’s handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the new COVID-19 vaccine, and the behaviors of elected officials.

Who won the 2020 Presidential Election? How should President Trump be responding?

When asked how voters would describe the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, 69%
of New Yorkers say that President-elect Joe Biden won, 9% say that President Donald Trump won, and 20% say they do not know yet. By 65-31%, voters say that Trump should immediately cooperate to ensure a smooth, peaceful transition, rather than he’s right to wait for a final, official outcome to begin the transition.

“While more than two-thirds of New Yorkers agree Joe Biden won the election and is President-elect, one in eleven believes that Trump was re-elected and one in five believes that the outcome is still in doubt,” said Steven Greenberg, Siena College pollster. “Not surprisingly, 97% of those who voted for Biden think he won. Among Trump voters, 27% say Trump won, 21% say Biden won and 49% say we don’t know.”

What is New York’s top priority for 2021?

Nearly half of New Yorkers say the Governor’s and Legislature’s top priority in 2021 should be addressing the coronavirus pandemic; no other issue topped 12%. By 57-35%, voters say the Legislature should continue to allow the Governor to manage the state using the extraordinary executive powers it gave him in the spring.

To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate?

If the FDA approves a COVID-19 vaccine, 35% of New Yorkers say they will definitely get it, 34% will probably get it, and 24% will definitely or probably not get it.

Here is the breakdown on who is willing to get a COVID vaccine, once approved and available:

  • 74% of Democrats
  • 65% of Republicans
  • 64% of independents
  • 72% of white voters
  • 65% of Latino voters
  • 62% of Black voters
  • 76% of Biden voters
  • 62% of Trump voters

How have Cuomo, Biden and Trump been acting?

Governor Andrew Cuomo has a 56-39% favorability rating among registered voters, down from 59-33% in October among likely 2020 voters. His job performance rating is 54-45%, down from 61-38% last month. By a 63-30% margin, voters approve of Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic, down from 73-24% last month. Currently, 51% of voters say they are prepared to re-elect Cuomo if he runs for re-election in 2022 and 42% say they would ‘prefer someone else.’

“New York City voters are on board for a fourth term for the second Governor
Cuomo, downstate suburbanites are split, and a majority of upstaters would prefer ‘someone else’,” said Greenberg.

Biden’s favorability rating is 63-31%, up slightly from 62-33% in October, among 2020 likely voters. By a 66-25% margin, voters approve of how Biden is acting as President-elect.

“Democrats approve of how Biden’s been acting as President-elect overwhelmingly, 85-88%,” Greenberg said. “Independents agree, 66-22%. Republicans, however, disapprove 67-25%. Election day may be behind us but the strong partisan divide remains.”

Trump’s favorability rating is negative 33-64%, up from 29-66% in October, among likely 2020 voters. His job performance rating is 34-65%, up from 29-71% last month. By 64-32%, voters disapprove of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, a little better than 68-27% disapproval last month.

“That old cliché, the more things change, the more things stay the same, seems apt in describing New Yorkers’ views about Donald Trump. His favorability rating is only a few points lower today than it was in February 2017, 36-59%, his first full month in office,” Greenberg said. “A majority of New Yorkers have consistently viewed Trump unfavorably, while about a third have always viewed him favorably. Some things never change.”

To recap:

  • Most New Yorkers believe Joe Biden is the President-elect; Trump should concede
  • Addressing the coronavirus pandemic is New Yorkers’ top priority for Albany in 2021
  • Majority support continuing to allow governor to use executive powers to manage pandemic
  • Most New Yorkers say they will definitely or probably get a COVID-19 vaccine; One-quarter unlikely
  • Cuomo ratings slip; Remain positive, above pre-pandemic levels; Small majority prepared to re-elect
  • Biden favorability highest ever among New Yorkers; 2/3 approve how he’s acting as President-elect
  • Trump ratings improve but remain solidly in negative territory


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