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New Yorkers give Cuomo tops marks on handling COVID-19

New Yorkers overwhelmingly approve of the job Governor Andrew Cuomo is doing to address the coronavirus pandemic, 87-11 percent.

They also give overwhelmingly high marks to their local health department, Dr. Anthony Fauci, their local government leader, and the CDC.

New Yorkers disapprove of the job Vice President Mike Pence is doing, 47-41 percent, and they disapprove of the job President Donald Trump is doing, 56-41 percent, according to a new Siena College Poll of registered New York State voters released today.

Ninety-two percent of New Yorkers say they’re very (73 percent) or somewhat (19 percent) concerned about the pandemic, and 79 percent say they are very (42 percent) or somewhat (37 percent) concerned about getting the coronavirus themselves. Nearly one-third of voters, 31 percent, say they know someone who tested positive.

“In the midst of this global pandemic, New Yorkers approve of Governor Cuomo’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic with near universal support. At least 85 percent of voters from every region approve of his handling of the crisis, as do 95 percent of Democrats, 87 percent of independents and even 70 percent of Republicans,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

“President Trump, on the other hand, gets praise from 82 percent of Republicans, but 52 percent of independents and 79 percent of Democrats disapprove of the job he’s doing.

Governor Cuomo at the Javits Center, which has been turned into a 1,000 bed hospital to treat non-COVID-19 patients

“Similarly, by a 79-18 percent margin – including at least 74 percent from every region and party – voters say New York State government is doing everything it can to protect the health of New Yorkers,” Greenberg said. “However, by 53-43 percent margin, they say the federal government is not doing all it can to protect Americans’ health. Although 82 percent of Republicans say the feds are doing all they can, 52 percent of independents and 71 percent of Democrats say they’re not.”

“Not surprising given how fast this pandemic has overtaken nearly everyone’s lives, at least 85 percent of voters from every region and party are very or somewhat concerned about the pandemic, and at least 64 percent from every region and party are at least somewhat concerned that they will be infected with the virus,” Greenberg said. “While about 40 percent of downstaters personally know someone who has tested positive, only 14 percent of upstaters personally know someone.”

Four percent of voters say they are in a household with someone who has tested positive and 10 percent say someone is sick but not tested. One-third say that someone in their household is either under mandatory or voluntary quarantine. Twenty-six percent say someone in their household has been laid off and 53 percent say someone is working from home. Twenty-eight percent say a neighbor or friend has checked in or assisted them.

“One of every three New York City voters lives in a household where someone has been laid off, while the same is true in 24 percent of downstate suburban and 19 percent of upstate households. And nearly 60 percent of downstate households and 44 percent of upstate households have someone working from home,” Greenberg said. “Sadly, only a little more than one-quarter of New Yorkers say that a friend or neighbor has checked in on them or provided them with some assistance, with little variation by region or age.

“Seventy percent of Republicans and 57 percent of independents think ‘things will be back to normal sometime soon,’ while 54 percent of Democrats say they are not confident we ‘will be back to normal anytime soon.’ Although a small majority of New York City voters are pessimistic, upstaters and downstate suburbanites are optimistic that a return to normalcy will happen sometime soon,” Greenberg said. “Voters 55 and older are the optimists, while those under 55 are virtually evenly divided.”

By a 59-33 percent margin, voters say the federal government is not doing enough to meet the financial needs of average Americans. By 48-37 percent, they say the feds are not doing enough to meet the most affected industries. And by 63-24 percent, they say the feds are not meeting the financial needs of small businesses.

“Republicans say the federal government is doing enough to meet the financial needs of average Americans, small businesses and affected industries, however, independents say the federal government is not doing enough for any of those three groups and nearly three-quarters of Democrats say the feds are not doing enough for average Americans or small businesses,” Greenberg said, noting calls were completed prior to final bill passage.

When asked how they would spend money received from the federal government, 53 percent say they will use it for immediate needs, 24 percent say they will save it for future needs and 14 percent intend to donate the money.

“Half of New Yorkers, including two-thirds of New York City voters and nearly two-thirds of voters of color, need the federal payment they will receive under the law passed last week for immediate personal and family needs,” Greenberg said. “One-quarter plan to save it for future needs, and 14 percent, including one-quarter of those who earn at least $100,000 annually, plan to donate the money to help those less fortunate.”

Cuomo’s favorability rating jumped to 71-23 percent this month, up dramatically from 44-50 percent in February, his best since January 2013, just before passage of the Safe Act. His job performance rating soared to 63-35 percent, up from 36-63 percent last month, its highest level since April 2012, his best ever.

Joe Biden leads Trump 58-33 percent, up a little from last month, when Biden led 55-36 percent. Currently, New Yorkers say Trump will be re-elected 51-37 percent, down from 62-29 percent in February.

This Siena College Poll was conducted March 22-26, 2020 by telephone calls conducted in English to 566 New York State registered voters.

Photo top: Governor Andrew Cuomo welcomes the US Navy hospital ship Comfort to New York Harbor on Monday.

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