LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (WTEN) — Voters say, by wide margins, Governor Kathy Hochul did not make progress on six of the goals she laid out for 2022, including making communities safer, enhancing trust in state government, transforming SUNY into the envy of the nation, and making the state a place people want to live, not leave. Crime and cost of living top voters’ priority list for Albany to address in 2023, according to a new Siena College poll of registered New York State voters released on Tuesday.
Hochul’s favorability rating, 45-43%, and job approval rating, 49-44%, both dipped slightly since October but remain in positive territory. Meanwhile, 2022 Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin now has a 46-32% favorability rating, up net 18 points from 37-41% before the election.
“Back in January, Siena asked voters if they thought Hochul would make progress on six of the goals she outlined in her State of the State address. On two, increasing the availability of quality medical care and creating conditions for businesses to succeed, voters were somewhat optimistic she would make progress. On the other four, voters were closely divided,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.
“Today, when asked whether the Hochul Administration did or did not make progress on these goals, voters give a resounding ‘no.’ A majority or strong plurality say she did not make progress on any of them. Fewer than one-third of voters say her Administration made progress on any of the goals,” Greenberg said.
Democrats were optimistic she would make progress on all the goals in January, and Tuesday on four goals, a plurality of Democrats think she made progress. Republicans were not optimistic she would make progress and overwhelmingly, they say she did not make progress on any of the goals. Independents also strongly say no progress was made on any of the goals Hochul set for herself.
“Certainly, political friends and foes alike will be watching to see if Hochul tries to reset in her upcoming inaugural address and State of the State and budget messages. They’ll also be watching her actions and words in the weeks and months ahead, and whether it impacts her standing with voters,” Greenberg said. “Hochul has her work cut out for her, having barely expanded her base in her first year as governor. In Hochul’s first month in office, September 2021, 42% of voters viewed her favorably. Today it’s 45%. It’s never been higher than 47%.”
While voters think Hochul demonstrates honesty and integrity, 44-36%, a year ago the margin was 56-22%. A strong majority of Democrats, 61%, still say she demonstrates honesty. However, two-thirds of Republicans disagree—up from 41%—and a plurality of independents also say she doesn’t, after saying two-to-one last year she does. Last year, 68% of Democrats, 47% of independents, and 36% of Republicans said Hochul worked hard for New Yorkers. Tuesday, those numbers were 66%, 35%, and 21%.
Nearly two-thirds of voters, 63%, say the cost of living should be one of the top two priorities for Hochul and legislators in 2023, followed by crime at 58%. Notably, 36% say crime is the top priority, followed by the cost of living at 31%.
“Voters can’t say it clearly enough,” continued Greenberg. “They’ve said crime is a serious problem for a year; they see it as a serious problem now; they don’t think Hochul has made progress on making communities safer; and they want their elected officials to address it as a top priority in 2023.”