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Poll: New Yorkers lack faith in survival of U.S. democracy; Hochul strengthens lead over potential primary opponents

In a new poll, Siena College recently asked New York voters an existential question: Do they think it likely that the United States will still be a democratic republic in 2030?

The responses surprised pollster Steve Greenberg.

"I think if we would have asked this question 10 years ago," he said, "I don't think we'd have found answers like this."

According to the poll, only three in 10 New Yorkers think it's very likely that the U.S. will remain the world's oldest continuing democracy, including one-third of Democrats and a quarter of Republicans and independents.

"I don't think 10 years ago most Americans were questioning whether this country was going to remain a democracy," Greenberg said. "Now we have people talking about it. We have Democrats scared about it; we have Republicans scared about it."

Hochul's popularity and agenda items

The latest Siena poll also identified which of Gov. Kathy Hochul's agenda items are most popular among New York voters.

Her plan to expand job training programs for people who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated had strong support across the political spectrum.

Among respondents, 89% of Democrats, 63% of Republicans, and 76% of independent voters said it was a good idea.

"I think people recognize that society is better if people in prison, coming out of prison, have the skills necessary to get jobs to support themselves and their families, that that's good for society as a whole," Greenberg said.

According to the poll released on Monday, Hochul's proposal to allocate $4 billion to support wages and bonuses for health care workers also has broad bipartisan support, as does her plan to impose two-term limits for governor, state comptroller and attorney general.

The latest poll has Hochul leading her potential opponents in this year's Democratic primary for governor by 30 points.

Hochul has the support of 46% of Democrats. That's up 10% from last month, before Attorney General Leticia James dropped out of the race.

Far behind in second place, with 12% support, was former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who dropped out of the race on Monday, followed by public advocate Jumaane Williams (11%), and Rep. Tom Suozzi (6%).

Twenty-four percent of those who answered the poll were either unsure of their choice or named another candidate.

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.