NYT/Siena Poll: Voters weigh in on Presidential race, next Supreme Court Justice and pandemic

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LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10)- As the country prepares for the first presidential debate Tuesday, September 29 Democratic candidate Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump 49-41 according to a New York Times/Siena College National Poll.

Biden leads the way in favorability as well with 52-44, as opposed to President Trump’s negative favorability of 44-53. Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris is favored 48-41 over Vice President Mike Pence 44-48.

Voters from both major parties say this is the most important election of their lifetimes. Eighty-seven percent of Democrats and 79% of Republicans agree. Sixty-nine percent of independents also agreed on the importance of the election.

Voters say 56-35 percent the country is headed in the wrong direction. Democrats overwhelmingly say so, 88-8 percent, and independents agree 58-30 percent. While 68 percent of Republicans disagree, saying the U.S. is on the right track, 23 percent of Republicans say we’re headed in the wrong direction.

Despite being pessimistic on the direction of the country, there is optimism among a majority of voters from each party that our nation’s political system can still address the country’s problems, rather than the country being too politically divided to solve its problems. That optimistic view is held by 52 percent of Democrats and independents and 62 percent of Republicans. While a majority of white voters is optimistic on this question, a majority of Black voters is pessimistic, and Latinos are closely divided.

Dr. Don Levy, Siena College Research Institute Director

The majority of all voters also think whoever wins the election in November should nominate the next Supreme Court Justice, 56%. Those voters opposed to the Senate acting on President Trump’s Supreme Justice nomination was split by party line. Eighty-four percent of Republicans saying the Senate should act while 83% of Democrats saying they should not.

Voters were less divided when it came to the coronavirus pandemic. There is strong support for a national mask mandate among all voters surveyed, 67%. Voters also strongly agree a coronavirus vaccine should not be made available until after clinical trials have been completed, 81%. Seventy-two percent support a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.

Voters were surveyed by phone between September 22-24 and included 950 people likely to vote. The entire survey can be found on the Siena College Research Institute website.

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