New Poll Claims WNY Disagrees With Bills/NFL About Protests

From the Morning Memo:

The Buffalo Bills organization may have alienated its fans in supporting player protests on Sunday, according to a recent poll.

The survey was commissioned by Western New York Republican consulting firm Big Dog Strategies, run by Chris Grant, a former aide to Rep. Chris Collins, who still has close ties to the congressman.

Grant partnered with Remington Research Group, a pollster that made its name, in part, by predicting a Donald Trump in 2016 win when others wouldn’t.

Following Monday night’s game, the pollsters said, they surveyed 1,390 likely 2018 general election voters at random via robocall.

“Anytime the president decides to devote a portion of his prime-time rally speech to talking about a cultural issue like this and any time the president devotes as much Twitter column inches, for a lack of a better phrase, as he has over the weekend, clearly it’s an issue that’s important and resonating,” Grant said.

Grant said he had a hunch that Americans, and Republicans in particular, agreed with the president’s statements about protesting during the national anthem, and the data beared that out.

Although Remington also did a nationwide poll, Grant said he specifically wanted to know what people thought in sports-crazed Western New York.

“Buffalo is a unique place in America,” he said. “It’s Democratically-aligned in terms of its politics, but culturally it’s a little bit more Conservative.”

According to the poll, only 23 percent of Western New Yorkers – which in this case includes parts of the greater Rochester area and the Southern Tier – support the protests.

Furthermore, about half of them said they’d be less likely to watch Bills games as a result of players taking a knee.

Grant said that while this issue is generally partisan, with more Republicans than Democrats agreeing with president, members of both parties and unaffiliated voters also would prefer to see less politics in sports.

Grant acknowledged people might question his motives, given his ties to well-known Trump supporters like Collins and Erie County Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy, but insisted the numbers speak for themselves.

“At the end of the day, we let the data tell us the story, we don’t tell the data what to say,” he said.

One anonymous industry insider disagreed, arguing the survey was meant to elicit the response the pollster wanted, not gain actual insight.

For instance, the person questioned why it was weighted to match demographics, leading higher percentage of Republicans questioned from an electorate chosen by the firm in the first place.

The insider also said the questions were filled with loaded language designed to direct people to the “right answer.” Another example, the choices for whether voters supported the protest were: Support, There is a more appropriate place to protest, or No opinion.

Still, Grant stood by the poll’s results. He pointed to the fact that more voters actually had an unfavorable view than favorable view of Trump, but nevertheless seemed to agree with the president on this issue.

“There’s no tougher critic of political consultants than ourselves,” he said. “We take special pains to make sure that our data’s accurate because if it’s not accurate and we lose, then we don’t get clients anymore and so we spend a lot of time making sure that the methodology and the data’s correct.”

The next step, he said, will be to see if the poll’s results actually play out in reality for the remainder of the Bills’ season, but he believes the organization should be concerned.

Buffalo Voters Talk About Their Siena Poll Answers

From the Morning Memo:

As part of the most recent Spectrum News/Siena poll of the Buffalo Democratic mayoral primary, some of those questioned said they would be willing to discuss their answers.

Spectrum News spoke with a supporter of each candidate – incumbent Byron Brown, current city Comptroller Mark Schroeder, and current Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant – about why they plan to vote for their respective first choices at the ballot box today.

With nearly half of those surveyed saying they plan to back Brown, the mayor heads into today as the prohibitive favorite.

Voter Tito Malec said he didn’t always support the three-term incumbent, but he has come around, largely because he thinks crime is they city’s biggest issue and Brown is in the best position to fix it.

“You can do a lot of talking, but talking doesn’t mean it’s going to get done,” Malec said. “I don’t want to take a chance with other people that we get somebody in and in the next four years, nothing gets done.”

Adrian Rogers is among the 11 percent of poll participants who said they’d vote for Grant. Rogers said he doesn’t think Brown understands what all his constituents want, while Grant has been a community leader for decades.

“There are issues where he says he’s in touch with the people where he couldn’t be more out of touch, especially when it comes to environmental issues like testing with lead,” Rogers said. “Lead is a very big thing on the East Side right now, and he doesn’t focus on it.”

Conventional wisdom is that Comptroller Mark Schroeder’s base is largely in the traditionally Irish area of South Buffalo. That’s indeed where Schroeder supporter Joe Chisholm lives.

“Mark has walked our neighborhoods, he cares about our neighborhoods, he knows where people are. The other people – you don’t see them at all,” Chisholm explained. “I’m sorry but, we’re part of Buffalo. Gotta remember that part.”

The winner of the primary will still have to compete in the general election in November, but with a strong Democratic majority in the city and no Republican candidate on the ballot, will be the favorite to win the seat.

Spectrum News/Siena Poll: Miner Popular, But Loses To Cuomo In Syracuse

Democratic voters in Syracuse have a favorable opinion of outgoing Mayor Stephanie Miner, but she would lose in the city to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a hypothetical gubernatorial primary, a Spectrum News/Siena College poll found.

The poll released on Wednesday found Miner holds a strong job performance rating of 58 percent to 41 percent. Her favorability rating is even higher, 69 percent to 26 percent, among Democratic voters in the city.

But Cuomo out polls Miner in the city 47 percent to 38 percent in a potential primary, with 11 percent of voters not holding an opinion.

Miner has said she is interested in running for governor next year. She has been a critic of Cuomo after having a falling out with him over local government and pension policy after briefly serving as the state Democratic Committee co-chair.

In the race to replace Miner as mayor, Juanita Perez Williams, a regional director for the Department of Labor, is locked in a virtual tie with Councilor-at-large Joe Nicoletti, 36 percent to 34 percent. City Auditor Martin Masterpole received support from 8 percent of voters polled.

The poll of 497 likely Democratic primary voters has a 4.6 percent margin of error and was conducted from Aug. 9 through Aug. 13.

AlbanyMayor0817 Crosstabs (1) by Nick Reisman on Scribd

Siena Poll: NY Voters Want To Keep Obamacare

Most New York voters want to see the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, kept in place and improved upon, according to a Siena College poll released on Thursday.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s favorable rating edged up slightly in New York, though remains low in his home state.

The poll found 65 percent of voters want to keep the Affordable Care Act in place, while 32 percent supporting repealing and replacing it. Not surprisingly, voters on partisan lines disagreed, with 83 percent of Democrats supporting keeping the law in place and 68 percent of Republicans backing the repeal option.

Among independents, support for keeping the law stands at 60 percent, the poll found.

Only 12 percent of voters believe the U.S. Senate should pass a similar bill to what was approved in the House of Representatives in May. The Senate bill remains up in the air after key Republican lawmakers said they could not support its current version.

Trump, the first New Yorker elected to the presidency since Franklin Roosevelt, is viewed favorably by 34 percent of New York voters, a slight uptick from a negative 30 percent to 65 percent rating in May.

When it comes to alleged Russian meddling in the presidential campaign last year, voters by a margin of 64 percent to 35 percent cay they are concerned, down slightly from a 68 percent to 31 percent spread in May.

The poll of 793 registered voters was conducted from July 9 through July 13. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

SNY0717 Crosstabs 072017 by Nick Reisman on Scribd

Siena: Clinton Maintains NY Lead, Loses a Little Ground to Trump

Though polls across the country have been tightening to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s disadvantage, she still maintains a comfortable lead over her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, in the candidates’ shared home state of New York, according to a new Siena poll.

Clinton is ahead of Trump by 21 percentage points – 51-30 percent – which is down a little from a 25-point, 50-25 percent lead last month, the poll found, with eight percent of voters saying they support Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and three percent backing Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

Clinton is maintaing support with her base better than Trump holds his, according to Siena poll spokesman Steve Greenberg. She leads with Democrats 75-10 percent, while Trump has a 67-16 percent lead with Republicans.

Independents, meanwhile, are closely divided, with 39 percent supporting Clinton and 37 percent backing Trump. ?Clinton leads by a whopping 52 points in New York City and six points upstate; but the two candidates are running virtually even in the downstate suburbs.

?The gender gap has narrowed, and Clinton now leads Trump by 22 points with women, down from 36 points last month. She’s ahead 18 points with men, up from 10 points.

While the two run virtually even with white voters, Clinton has the support of 85 percent of black voters and 86 percent of Latinos,? Greenberg said. ?She leads by 26 points with voters under 35, and by 16 points with those 55 and older. She leads by eight points with Catholics, 14 points with Jews and 21 points with Protestants.?

Clinton’s 52-46 favorability rating is virtually unchanged, while Trump’s negative 29-68 percent rating has worsened to 24-72.

On some key issues, New York voters overwhelmingly (by more than three to one) back a party to citizenship for those who are here illegally, and also believe that climate change is a significant threat to the planet. By smaller margins, they want to keep and improve Obamacare (18 points), consider themselves gun control supporters more than 2nd Amendment rights advocates (15 points), and want the federal government to do more – not less – to stimulate the economy (9 points).

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer continues to widen his lead over his little-known Republican challenger, Wendy Long, who is hewing very closely to Trump in hopes of grabbing on to his coattails – assuming he has any. The Democratic senior senator is beating Long by 46 percentage points, up from 39 points last month.

Also some good news in this poll for the state Legislature, which has seen its numbers improve at a time when all of its seats are up for grabs in the November elections.

The Senate has a 48-41 percent favorability rating -? the best it?s ever been, and up from 41-45 percent last month. By a 51-38 percent margin, voters say they?re inclined to re-elect their local senator, up from 46-39 percent last month.

The Assembly, meanwhile, has a 44-40 percent favorability rating, which is within one point of its best ever rating, and up a little from 41-40 percent last month. Voters say they are inclined to re-elect their local Assembly member by 46-38 percent margin, up slightly from 42-36 percent last month.

As for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, he has a 57-39 percent favorability rating, which is up a little from 53-40 percent last month, and his job performance rating is a negative 41-57 percent, down a little from negative 43-55 percent last month.

If Cuomo runs for re-election in 2018, 45 percent of New York voters say they?re prepared to re-elect him, compared to 49 percent who would prefer ?someone else,? down a little from 46-47 in August.

Crosstabs for the latest poll appear below. Greenberg will be joining us on Capital Tonight this evening to review the numbers.

Crosstabs for Siena poll, Sept. 20, 2016 by liz_benjamin6490 on Scribd

Siena Poll: Clinton Expands Lead Over Trump In New York

From the Morning Memo:

Democrat Hillary Clinton leads Republican rival Donald Trump among New York voters in the race for the presidency, 57 percent to 27 percent, a poll released Monday by Siena College found.

In a four-way race between Clinton, Trump, Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson, the former secretary of state still receives 50 percent of the vote, with Trump earning 25 percent.

The poll comes after a Clinton-Trump matchup in a June survey found her leading 54 percent to 31 percent and after weeks of missteps from Trump himself, including a feud with a gold star family who spoke at the Democratic National Convention and claiming President Obama is “the founder” of the Islamic State terrorist group.

Obama is viewed favorably by 62 percent of voters in New York, the poll found.

New York has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1984 when Ronald Reagan won a landslide second term. The poll underscores a not wholly surprising fact: Despite claims from some Republicans the deep blue state could be competitive for Trump, the numbers do not bear that out.

Clinton is viewed as more qualified to be commander in chief than Trump among New York voters by a 40-percentage point margin. At the same time, Clinton is viewed as more likely to be able to work with Congress than Trump.

“Despite Trump’s claims to carry New York, the Empire State seems firmly planted on the blue side of the map, as Clinton holds a commanding 30-point lead in a head-to-head matchup and a similarly strong 25-point, two-toone lead in a four-way matchup,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

“New Yorkers have voted Democratic in the last seven presidential elections and there does not appear to be a real threat to end that streak.”

Nevertheless, most voters in New York view both Clinton and Trump as untrustworthy: Only 37 percent of voters believe Clinton to be trustworthy, while 28 percent hold that view of Trump.

Upstate, where Trump is expected to do well, Clinton still out-polls him there, 48 percent to 37 percent in a two-person race. In a four-way race, Clinton defeats Trump upstate, 42 percent to 34 percent.

A majority of voters across every demographic in New York expected Clinton to defeat Trump in November.

The poll of 717 voters in New York was conducted from Aug. 7 through Aug. 10. It has a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points.

SNY0816 Crosstabs081516 by Nick Reisman on Scribd

Siena Poll: Voters Says Ethics Top Issue For Albany

As corruption investigations seep into the governor’s office as well as City Hall in Manhattan, a plurality of voters say state lawmakers should tackle ethics reform in the remainder of the legislative session, a Siena College poll released on Tuesday morning.

The poll found that among a list of issues ranging from enhancing access to cancer screenings, combating heroin addiction and making housing more affordable, passing new ethics and anti-corruption measures was deemed by voters in the poll to be the most important.

The poll found 82 percent rate the issue as “very important” following a year in which scandal and corruption plagued the Capitol. Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is scheduled to be sentenced later on Tuesday after he was found guilty on all counts of fraud and extortion. His former counterpart in the Senate, ex-Majority Leader Leader Dean Skelos, is due to be sentenced later this month following his conviction on corruption charges in December

Meanwhile, the offices of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have been issued subpoenas in separate corruption cases.

De Blasio’s fundraising practices in 2014 in aid of the Senate Democrats is facing scrutiny for its use of funneling money through party county committees in an effort to aid individual candidates. Joe Percoco, a former top aide to Cuomo is under investigation for payments he received from companies with millions of dollars in business before the state.

A whopping 82 percent of voters say combating corruption through the passage of new ethics laws is “very important” — eclipsing other issues such as Common Core, the controversial education standards.

But while most voters agree corruption needs to be tackled, there are varying levels of support for individual remedies, the Siena poll found.

A broad majority, 77 percent, back a constitutional amendment that would strip those convicted of corruption of their pension benefits, with voters saying that should apply to all state employees, not just elected officials.

A plurality, 48 percent, oppose capping lawmakers’ outside pay at 15 percent of their base income, currently $79,500.

A similar plurality, 47 percent, believe the recent spate of scandals at the Capitol makes it less likely for them to support their individual incumbent state legislator, though 39 percent do not believe that will have an impact on their vote.

In the sole statewide election this year, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer continues to hold a wide lead over his Republican opponent, Wendy Long, 57 percent to 32 percent. That’s down a little from February, when Schumer led the little-known Long 60 percent to 29 percent. At the moment, 52 percent of voters plan to re-elect Schumer, who is poised to become the Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate next year.

Cuomo’s favorability and job performance reviews saw a slight bump, he poll found.

Cuomo’s favorability rating stands at 54 percent to 41 percent, up slightly from 52 percent to 43 percent in February. His job performance rating remains under water, 43 percent to 56.

The poll of 802 registered voters was conducted from April 24 through April 27. It has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.

SNY42416 Crosstabs by Nick Reisman

TWC News/Siena College Poll: Akshar Holds 52-Point Lead

sd52Republican Fred Akshar has a broad, 52-percentage point lead over Democratic candidate Barbara Fiala in the special election fill a vacant state Senate seat in the Southern Tier region, according to an exclusive Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll released this evening.

The poll found Akshar, the Broome County undersheriff, leads Fiala, a former county executive and cabinet member in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, 72 percent to 20 percent.

The gap is nearly double the 28-percentage point difference in Akshar’s favor in a poll released in late September.

The difference is an unusually large one for what was, during the summer, shaping up to be a potentially competitive race to fill the seat left open by the ouster of Republican Tom Libous, who was forced to leave office in July when he was found guilty of lying to the FBI.

A day after the verdict in Libous’s trial, Cuomo endorsed Fiala, who had served his commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles during his first term.

At the time, Cuomo had pledged to help Fiala’s candidacy and raise money for the effort. Cuomo earlier this month contributed $11,000 to her campaign from his re-election account. But Fiala has struggled to raise money elsewhere, while Akshar’s coffers have been flooded with money from Senate Republicans in Albany and rank-and-file members. More >

Siena Poll: $15 Minimum Wage Backed By 59 Percent

New York voters strongly approve of a $15 minimum wage by a 59 percent to 38 percent margin, a Siena College poll released on Thursday found.

The poll found virtually the same spread — 58 percent to 38 percent — agree with arguments made by supporters of the wage increase opposed to those against the measure, the poll found.

Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s favorability and job performance ratings are largely flat from July and voters are skeptical the controversial Common Core standards have had a positive impact on education.

The poll comes as Cuomo begins a concerted push for the minimum wage increase to $15 staggered over the next several years. The current wage in New York is $8.75, and it’s due to increase to $9 by the end of the year.

Fast-food workers are due to receive a $15 minimum wage after the Cuomo administration moved to do so through a Department of Labor wage board.

Cuomo told business leaders on Friday indicated he would potentially link the minimum wage increase to an unspecified tax cut. At the same time, Cuomo will likely use the phase-in period as a potential bargaining chip with Senate Republicans, who are wary of the second wage hike since 2013. More >

Q-Poll: Schumer And Gillibrand Approval Falls

Sen. Charles Schumer’s approval rating among New York voters has fallen to its lowest level since 2000, a Quinnipiac University released on Tuesday found.

Schumer’s approval is still robust, given that his fellow statewide elected officials, chiefly Gov. Andrew Cuomo, have seen their approval numbers steadily decline.

The state’s senior senator has an approval rating of 54 percent to 32 percent, his lowest score since May 2000, when his approval was at 52 percent to 18 percent, the poll found.

The state’s junior senator, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, fares little better: She has a job approval of 49 percent to 25 percent, her lowest rating since February 2012, when she polled at 47 percent.

Still, voters back Schumer’s decision to oppose a multinational agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities in exchange for a lifting of some economic sanctions.

Voters in New York oppose the Iran agreement, 59 percent to 32 percent. Voters also believe by a margin of 57 percent to 31 percent the agreement will make the world less safe.

“New York State voters agree with Sen. Charles Schumer’s opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, but that doesn’t stop the drop in his job approval rating,” said pollster Mickey Carroll. “Most voters still think Schumer has earned re-election and his likely elevation to U.S. Senate Democratic leader will be good for the state.”

Geographically, Schumer draws his strongest support among suburban and New York City voters, who each give him a 57 percent approval rating. His support upstate stands at 49 percent. His support his highest among Democrats, 69 percent to 17 percent.

And despite the fall in approval, Schumer still stands to be re-elected next year: 56 percent of voters say he deserves to win another term for the seat he has held since 1998. A large majority of voters — 61 percent — also believe it will be good for New York state should Schumer ascend to the leadership of the Democratic caucus in the U.S. Senate.

Since defeating incumbent Republican Al D’Amato, Schumer has never faced a serious Republican challenge.

President Obama, whose administration helped craft the Iran agreement, has an approval rating of 51 percent to 46 percent, the poll found.

The poll of 1,366 New York voters was conducted from Sept. 10 through Sept. 15. It has a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points.