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Hochuls favorability drops in new poll

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(The Center Square) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s approval rating has dropped, according to a new poll, which shows a plurality of voters think she’s out of touch with average New Yorkers.

The Siena College survey of likely New York voters found Hochul’s favorability rating at 41-46%, down from 45-42% last month, while her job approval rating, 48-47%, down from 52-43% in the previous month.

Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said after recording her best favorability and job approval ratings in nearly a year last month, Hochul saw both fall by net eight points this month, “with her favorability rating slipping back into negative territory, where it spent most of 2023.”

“Whether it was her budget proposals, her efforts on issues of importance to voters, or perhaps the recent attention-grabbing special election in Queens and Nassau, both Hochul’s favorability and job approval ratings fell the most with downstate suburban voters and Democrats,” Greenberg said.

Meanwhile, pollsters said the survey showed that many voters don’t think the first-term Democrat understands the concerns of the state’s voters.

“A plurality of voters, including a majority of Republicans and a plurality of independents, think Hochul is out of touch with average New Yorkers,” Greenberg said. “Even Democrats are closely divided.”

Greenberg said there is “good news” for Hochul, with polling data showing that a strong majority of voters – including a majority of independents and a small plurality of Republicans – think she is hard-working, and 49% say she is not corrupt – although Republicans are closely divided.

“A plurality of all voters and a majority of Democrats also think Hochul is honest,” he said. “While Democrats think she is an effective and strong leader, overall voters are closely divided.”

Hochul became the first woman elected governor of New York in 2022 after overcoming a tighter-than-expected race and defeating Republican challenger Lee Zeldin. She served as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s second-in-command for seven years before she took over the reins when he stepped down amid sexual harassment claims.

The Siena poll, which was conducted between Feb. 12-14, found that New York’s high cost of living is among the top issues that voters want Hochul and state lawmakers to address, followed by migrants, crime and the shortage of housing. But those issues rank differently depending on voters’ political party affiliations.

“The top three issues for Democrats are cost of living, housing and migrants,” Greenberg said. “For Republicans it’s migrants, cost of living and crime. Independents say cost of living, migrants and crime.”