Poll: Hochul’s Not Preferred in General Election, Approval Rating Falls

NEW YORK

With low approval ratings across the board, most voters would vote for an alternative to Governor Kathy Hochul, according to polling data released Monday by the Siena College Research Institute.

Only 36% of respondents approve, and 57% disapprove of the job Hochul is doing as Governor, down from 43% and 53% last month respectively. In a hypothetical election where Hochul is the Democratic nominee, 45% of voters would choose ‘someone else’, in contrast to 40% who would want to see her remain in her position.

The polls did not pit her directly against specific Republican candidates. Lee Zeldin is the favorite for the GOP nomination in a field that also includes Andrew Giuliani, Rob Astorino and Harry Wilson.

One bright spot in this month’s numbers for Hochul is her “favorability” rating. between 42% and 46% of those surveyed have said they have a favorable opinion of her in each month since September. Her unfavorability rating was 34% this month. Among Democrats, her favorability rating was 60%, with 16% unfavorable.

In line with every month of the Governor’s tenure, Republicans continue to decidedly disapprove of her performance, with only 12% responding positively.  Independents also continue to give her a decidedly negative rating, with 26%. Democrats remain positive, at 55%, yet that’s down from 63% last month.

On two top-of-mind concerns for voters – crime and economic issues – voters give Hochul even lower grades. On fighting crime, only 24% of all voters and 37% of Democrats give her a positive rating, compared to 69% and 58%, respectively, who rate her as doing only a poor or fair job. Despite her low approval rating on the issue, 67% of New York voters approve of Governor Hochul and the Legislature’s efforts to amend the controversial 2019 bail law, which eliminated cash bail for misdemeanors and crimes classified as non-violent. In contrast, only 32% say that changing the law will reduce the increasingly high crime rate in New York, especially in New York City.

Addressing economic issues, 63% of all voters and 48% of Democrats give her a negative rating.

Zeldin cheered the poll’s findings.

“As I travel across the state, New Yorkers are telling me they are hitting their breaking point and seriously thinking about fleeing New York permanently,” Zeldin said in a statement. “Today’s Siena College poll further confirms what I’ve been hearing on the ground, especially with regards to their strong disapproval of Kathy Hochul’s job performance, as well as crime and public safety being the number one issue voters are most concerned about. New York voters want a Governor in New York who will reverse the attacks on wallets, safety, freedom, and kids’ education. They are desperate for balance and common sense to finally be restored to Albany.”

The Hochul campaign declined to comment.

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