December 8, 2010 - New Yorkers Have Little Hope For Fixing Albany, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Legislature Won't Cooperate, Most Voters Say

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New York State government is "broken and needs to be fixed," state voters say 89 - 9 percent in a Quinnipiac University poll released today. This overwhelming consensus is consistent among all groups and in all areas of the state.

By a 59 - 25 percent margin, New York State voters are optimistic about the next four years with Andrew Cuomo as governor. Even Republicans are optimistic 46 - 39 percent.

But only 45 percent of voters say Cuomo will be able to fix state government, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds, while 42 percent of voters say Cuomo will fail in this effort. Democrats are confident 57 - 28 percent that Cuomo will succeed, but pessimism rules Republicans 57 - 34 percent while independent voters are split 43 - 43 percent.

And voters say 57 - 33 percent that the New York State Legislature will not cooperate in fixing state government. Democrats split 44 - 44 percent on whether the Legislature will cooperate in the fix-up, while Republicans say no 63 - 25 percent and independent voters are glum 66 - 26 percent.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is part of the problem, 57 percent of New York State voters say, while 19 percent expect him to cooperate in fixing government. Even Democrats say 45 - 26 percent that Silver is part of the problem.

"That's one messed-up state government in Albany, almost everyone agrees," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Will our new governor, Andrew Cuomo, be able to straighten things out? We get two readings. Most New Yorkers are generally optimistic that he will do a good job overall."

"But will he be an effective Mr. Fix-it? Ask the question that way and voters are split," Carroll added.

"New Yorkers agree with people who follow New York politics: Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been the 800-pound gorilla in Albany for years. That means he's 'part of the problem,' most voters think. About one-fifth think he'll cooperate to straighten the place out."

New York State voters say 69 - 20 percent that an independent commission, not the State Legislature, should draw the district lines from which members of Congress and the State Legislature are elected. There is strong support for an independent commission across all party and regional lines.

Elections would be more competitive if an independent commission created congressional and legislative districts, voters say 71 - 14 percent.

"It's far from certain that those election-time pledges to make redistricting non-partisan will stick. But voters heavily favor the idea of having an independent commission - not legislators - draw the political lines for themselves and for Congress," Carroll said. "With the state set to lose one or two members of Congress, drawing those lines could be a real blood-bath."

By a 48 - 43 percent margin, New York State voters approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing, his lowest approval ever in the Empire State. Democrats approve of the president 75 - 16 percent, but he gets a negative 12 - 82 percent rating from Republicans and a 44 - 46 percent split from independent voters. President Obama gets a negative 36 - 55 percent score from white voters, with positive scores of 93 - 3 percent from black voters and 71 - 17 percent from Hispanic voters.

From November 30 - December 6, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,646 New York State voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Approve              48%    12%    75%    44%    44%    51%    45%
Disapprove           43     82     16     46     49     38     48
DK/NA                 9      6      9     11      7     10      7
 
                     UpSt   NYC    Subrbs Wht    Blk    His
 
Approve              45%    57%    38%    36%    93%    71%
Disapprove           44     34     56     55      3     17
DK/NA                10      9      7      9      4     12
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                             APPROVE......
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 08  Aug 31  Jul 29  Jun 22  Apr 13  Feb 19  Dec 08
                     2010    2010    2010    2010    2010    2009    2010  
                                                                           
Approve              48      51      53      55      62      72      48    
Disapprove           43      41      41      39      33      17      43    
DK/NA                 9       7       6       6       5      10       9    
 
 
2. Are you generally optimistic or pessimistic about the next four years with Andrew Cuomo as Governor?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Optimistic           59%    46%    71%    56%    57%    62%    57%
Pessimistic          25     39     14     24     30     20     29
DK/NA                16     14     14     20     13     18     13
 
                     UpStat NYC    Suburbs
 
Optimistic           58%    60%    60%
Pessimistic          26     20     29
DK/NA                16     19     11
 
 
3. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New York State today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Very satisfied        2%     4%     2%     1%     2%     2%     3%
Smwht satisfied      23     15     31     19     23     23     17
Smwht dissatisfied   31     30     37     29     29     33     29
Very dissatisfied    42     50     29     49     45     40     50
DK/NA                 1      -      1      2      1      1      1
 
                     UpStat NYC    Suburbs
 
Very satisfied        2%     2%     2%
Smwht satisfied      13     33     25
Smwht dissatisfied   27     35     33
Very dissatisfied    56     29     39
DK/NA                 2      1      1
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New York State today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                             VERY+SMWHT SAT
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 08  Sep 01  Jul 28  Jun 23  Apr 14  Feb 25  Jun 23
                     2010    2010    2010    2010    2010    1998    2010
 
Very satisfied        2       1       3       1       2      13       1
Smwht satisfied      23      19      20      18      20      60      18
Smwht dissatisfied   31      31      32      33      32      20      33
Very dissatisfied    42      47      45      47      46       7      47
DK/NA                 1       1       -       1       1       1       1
 
 
15. Some people say that state government in New York State is broken and needs to be fixed. Do you agree or disagree?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Agree                89%    90%    87%    90%    88%    89%    89%
Disagree              9      7     11      8     10      8      9
DK/NA                 3      3      2      3      2      3      2
 
                     UpStat NYC    Suburbs
 
Agree                93%    85%    86%
Disagree              6     11     11
DK/NA                 1      4      3
 
TREND: Some people say that state government in New York State is broken and needs to be fixed. Do you agree or disagree?
                     Dec 08  May 17
			               2010    2006
 
Agree                89      72
Disagree              9      20
DK/NA                 3       8
 
 
16. Do you think as governor Andrew Cuomo can fix New York State government or not?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Yes                  45%    34%    57%    43%    42%    49%    44%
No                   42     57     28     43     47     37     44
DK/NA                13      9     14     14     11     15     12
 
                     UpStat NYC    Suburbs
 
Yes                  42%    50%    45%
No                   45     35     45
DK/NA                12     15     11
 
 
17. Do you think the legislature will cooperate in fixing New York State government or not?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Yes                  33%    25%    44%    26%    30%    35%    30%
No                   57     63     44     66     64     51     62
DK/NA                10     12     12      8      5     15      7
 
                     UpStat NYC    Suburbs
 
Yes                  28%    38%    32%
No                   64     49     58
DK/NA                 8     13     10
 
 
18. The most powerful legislator is Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Do you think he is part of the problem or will he cooperate in fixing New York State government?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Part of problem      57%    67%    45%    62%    64%    49%    60%
Will cooperate       19     14     26     16     20     19     17
DK/NA                24     19     29     23     16     32     22
 
                     UpStat NYC    Suburbs
 
Part of problem      62%    46%    62%
Will cooperate       16     26     16
DK/NA                22     28     22
 
   
19. Who do you think should draw the district lines by which members of the state legislature and Congress are elected, the state legislature or a commission that has no connection to the state legislature?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Legislature          20%    21%    24%    16%    16%    23%    15%
Commission           69     71     64     76     75     64     74
DK/NA                11      8     12      8      8     13     11
 
                     UpStat NYC    Suburbs
 
Legislature          19%    25%    15%
Commissionn          73     60     78
DK/NA                 9     15      6
 
TREND: Who do you think should draw the district lines by which members of the state legislature and Congress are elected - the state legislature or a commission that has no connection to the state legislature?
                     Dec 08  Dec 16  Aug 18  Jun 22
                     2010    2009    2009    2009
 
Legislature          20      16      21      22
Commission           69      73      70      66
DK/NA                11      11       9      12
 
 
20. If a commission drew the district lines from which legislators and members of Congress are elected, would that make for more competitive elections or not?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Yes                  71%    71%    72%    72%    75%    68%    74%
No                   14     16     13     14     15     13     12
DK/NA                15     13     15     15     10     19     13
 
                     UpStat NYC    Suburbs
 
Yes                  67%    75%    73%
No                   17     12     11
DK/NA                16     13     16
 
TREND: If a commission drew the district lines from which legislators and members of Congress are elected, would that make for more competitive elections or not?
                     Dec 08  Dec 16  Aug 18  Jun 22
                     2010    2009    2009    2009
 
Yes                  71      69      69      65
No                   14      12      16      14
DK/NA                15      19      14      22
 
 
21. Who would you like to control the state senate, the Democrats or the Republicans?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Democrats            46%     5%    85%    31%    37%    54%    42%
Republicans          35     87      5     33     40     30     38
DK/NA                19      9     10     36     23     16     20
 
                     UpStat NYC    Suburbs
 
Democrats            37%    59%    41%
Republicans          39     24     45
DK/NA                24     17     14
 
TREND: Who would you like to control the state senate - the Democrats or the Republicans?
                     Dec 08  Feb 04  Jun 22
                     2010    2010    2009
 
Democrats            46      47      50
Republicans          35      33      30
DK/NA                19      20      20
 
 
22. There are still some state legislative elections that haven't been decided. How concerned are you that these elections won't be decided by the time the legislature convenes on January first; very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not concerned at all?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Very concerned       23%    24%    23%    20%    19%    26%    24%
Smwht concerned      38     45     37     35     35     40     38
Not too concerned    25     21     27     30     28     23     24
Nt at all concerned  13      9     12     14     16      9     12
DK/NA                 2      1      2      1      2      2      2
 
                     UpStat NYC    Suburbs
 
Very concerned       19%    26%    24%
Smwht concerned      38     36     39
Not too concerned    26     25     25
Nt at all concerned  15     11     10
DK/NA                 1      2      1