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Poll: Support For Casino Ballot Measure Grows, But Cuomo's Slips Slightly



(WBEN)  New  poll numbers show that Governor Andrew Cuomo's ballot initiative for new non-Indian casino gaming across New York State enjoys stronger support, even though his own popularity has slipped slightly in recent months.

The Siena College Research Institute survey also finds that a large majority of New Yorkers are against hydraulic fracturing- or hydrofracking- as a means to extract natural gas from Marcellus Shale formations across the Southern Tier

The poll of  807 registered voters says the pro and anti casino forces are dead even at 46 percent each-- until you ask them about the specific ballot wording that will appear before voters in November.  Once the state's language about taxes and funding for education are read, support for the measure rises to 55 percent in favor.

  Exclusive WBEN Audio
Hear More on the Ballot Wording
from Hardline, The WBEN Politics Program

Blair Horner, New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG)
“Clearly, the wording on the ballot for the casino amendment matters. When voters are asked a generic casino gambling amendment question they are evenly divided, with New York City voters opposed and downstate suburban voters and upstaters mildly supportive. However, when voters were provided the specific wording they will see on the ballot, a majority of voters from every region and from every party say ‘yes,’ they would approve the casino amendment,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

And while his favorability numbers are much higher than many politicians nationwide, the Siena poll says Cuomo has seen a slight drop in both his favorability and re-elect numbers. He's at 49 percent in favor now, with 59 percent against.
READ THE ENTIRE POLL- Every Question, Each Answer


This Siena College Poll was conducted September 22-26, 2013 by telephone calls to 807 New York State registered voters. It has an overall margin of error of + 3.4 percentage points. Data was statistically adjusted by age, party, region and gender to ensure representativeness. Sampling was conducted via random digit dialing to landline and cell phones weighted to reflect known population patterns. 
 

"Governor Cuomo still remains very popular. He's got a 2 to 1  favorability rating, whiohc is down a tick from last month... on the re-elect number 52 % of voters across the state say they are ready to re-elect him," Greenberg says, adding that for the first time in nearly 2 years, new Yorkers have begun to go negative on the "right track-wrong track' question, with 46 percent negative.

"Upstaters have turned even more negative, now saying the state is headed in the wrong direction by an almost two-to-one margin.” he says.

Forty seven percent of New Yorkers surveyed are against hydrofracking while only 37 percent support the method, which is currently under a de-factor moratorium while state enviromental and health officials study regulations that could evenutally permit the procedure.


VERBATIM from Siena, Here's the announcement of their latest poll results


New York Voters Support Casino Gaming Constitutional Amendment with the Language that Appears on the Ballot

By a Small Majority, Voters Believe the Ballot Wording is Fair

Cuomo Slips a Little with Voters; Has His Lowest Job Performance Rating

Advice from New Yorkers to Spitzer: Don’t Run for Another Office in 2014


Loudonville, NY. When asked whether they “support or oppose passing an amendment to the state constitution to allow non-Indian, Las Vegas style casinos to be built in New York,” voters are evenly divided, 46-46 percent, down from 49-42 percent support last month, according to a new Siena College Poll of New York voters released  today. However, when given the specific wording of the amendment on the ballot in November and asked whether they would vote yes or no to approve an amendment to “allow the Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos in New York State for the legislated purposes of promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated,” 55 percent said yes they would approve it, compared to 42 percent who say no they would not.

A majority of voters, 51 percent, says the language on the ballot for the proposed amendment is fair – “it describes the amendment, highlighting the benefits for New Yorkers” – while 43 percent say it is unfair – “it only includes arguments in support, ignoring arguments in opposition.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo saw a slight drop in his favorability rating, a small drop in his ‘re-elect’ number, and a small drop in his job performance rating, bringing him to his lowest level, 49-50 percent (down from 52-46 percent in August) since he’s been governor. More than two-thirds of voters say they do not want former Governor Eliot Spitzer (with a 30-64 percent favorability rating) to run for any political office in 2014.

“Clearly, the wording on the ballot for the casino amendment matters. When voters are asked a generic casino gambling amendment question they are evenly divided, with New York City voters opposed and downstate suburban voters and upstaters mildly supportive. However, when voters were provided the specific wording they will see on the ballot, a majority of voters from every region and from every party say ‘yes,’ they would approve the casino amendment,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

“Is the way the amendment is described on the ballot fair? A small majority says it is. But it largely depends on  whether voters support or oppose the amendment. More than two-thirds of amendment supporters say the wording is fair, while two-thirds of opponents say it is not,” Greenberg said. “A majority of Democrats, Republicans, downstaters, and men think the wording is fair. Independents, upstaters and women are closely divided.

“While more voters support the amendment and think it’s fairly worded, there is more intensity on the opposition side,” Greenberg said. “Only seven percent of supporters say they will be very upset if the amendment fails, while 22 percent of opponents say they will be very upset if it passes. Overall, 40 percent of supporters will be at least somewhat upset if it fails but more than two-thirds of opponents will be at least somewhat upset if it passes.”

By a 74-24 percent margin, voters agree that legalizing casinos will create thousands of jobs. They agree casinos will generate new revenues for the state and localities, 65-31 percent. They agree, 57-42 percent, New York has enough gambling outlets already. And they agree casinos will increase societal problems, 55-44 percent.

“Although a majority of voters agree with two arguments against casinos, they more strongly agree with two arguments in support of casinos – jobs and new revenues,” Greenberg said. “Given the importance voters place on jobs and revenues, it’s no surprise that tying them to the amendment increases support and overcomes meaningful concerns about the sufficiency of existing gambling outlets and potential societal problems from casinos .”

Cuomo Ratings Slip a Little; Still Viewed Favorably Two-to-One; Lowest Job Performance Rating for Him

Cuomo is viewed favorably by 64 percent of voters and unfavorably by 32 percent (down slightly from 65-30 percent in August). He has a 49-50 percent job performance rating (down from 52-46 in August). Fifty-two percent say they are prepared to re-elect him, while 39 percent would prefer someone else (down from 55-35 percent last month).

“Cuomo, with a two-to-one favorability rating statewide, is viewed favorably by three-quarters of Democrats and a majority of Republicans and independents. Three-quarters of New York City voters view him favorably, as do two-thirds of downstate suburban voters and 50 percent of upstaters,” Greenberg said. “And while he is seen as doing an excellent or good job as governor by more than 60 percent of Democrats and New York City voters, his job performance is rated as only fair or poor by at least 60 percent of Republicans, independents and upstaters. It is the lowest his job performance rating he has had been since becoming Governor.

“More than 60 percent of Democrats and New York City voters are prepared to re-elect Cuomo, as are a majority of downstate suburbanites. However, a plurality of Republicans and independents and a majority of upstaters would prefer ‘someone else,’ ” Greenberg said.

Two-Thirds of Voters Say Spitzer Should Refrain from Running for Political Office Next Year

“An overwhelming majority of voters do not want to see Spitzer run for office again next year,” Greenberg said.

“On the heels of his political comeback attempt earlier this month, narrowly losing a Democratic primary for City Comptroller, voters are urging Spitzer to eschew any new comeback attempts in 2014. Only one-quarter of voters want to see him run for statewide office next year, nearly evenly divided among State Comptroller and his previous positions of Governor and Attorney General. At least 62 percent of voters from every region and party agree, although more than 40 percent of African American and Latino voters think he should run.”

If It Becomes Either/Or, Voters Prefer Increased Spending on Education Over Income Tax Cut

By a 53-41 percent margin, voters say they would rather see ‘an increase in state spending in areas such as education’ in the 2014 state budget rather than ‘a broad based tax cut, such as the income tax.’ However, threequarters of voters say that a state income tax cut in next year’s budget is at least somewhat important. “Democrats and New York City voters overwhelmingly prefer spending increases to tax cuts in next year’s budget, as do a clear majority of independents. Republicans are the virtual mirror-image of Democrats, strongly supporting tax cuts, along with a majority of downstate suburbanites. Upstaters are closely divided,” Greenberg said.

“At the same time, at least 70 percent of voters from every party and region say a state personal income tax cut is important, with more than one-third of statewide voters saying it’s very important. Good luck, Governor and Legislature, in reconciling the voters’ views as you craft the next state budget.”

Largest Plurality Ever Says ‘No’ to Fracking

“Forty-five percent of voters oppose fracking and 37 percent support it, up from 42-41 percent opposition last month, the largest anti-fracking sentiment ever in a Siena College poll,” Greenberg said. “A majority of upstaters and Democrats, and a plurality of independents and New York City voters oppose fracking, which is supported by a plurality of Republicans and downstate suburbanites. Men narrowly support it; women more strongly oppose it.”

More Voters Say State is Headed in Wrong Direction for First Time in Nearly Two Years
By a 46-43 percent margin, voters say New York is headed in the wrong direction rather than on the right track. Last month right track beat out wrong direction 47-40 percent.

“For the first time since November 2011, more voters now say the state is headed in the wrong direction,”
Greenberg said. “Downstaters continue to see the state on the right track, however, upstaters have turned even more negative, now saying the state is headed in the wrong direction by an almost two-to-one margin.”

This Siena College Poll was conducted September 22-26, 2013 by telephone calls to 807 New York State registered voters. It has an overall margin of error of + 3.4 percentage points. Data was statistically adjusted by age, party, region and gender to ensure representativeness. Sampling was conducted via random digit dialing to landline and cell phones weighted to reflect known population patterns.  SRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices.

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Locations : DemocratsLas VegasLoudonvilleNew YorkNew York City
People : Andrew CuomoEliot SpitzerSteven Greenberg
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