WXXI AM News

Biden leads among New York Democrats 

Nov 21, 2019

A new poll finds Joe Biden is the front-runner in the race for president among Democrats in New York.
Credit WXXI News file photo

A new poll finds Democrat Joe Biden is in the lead in New York among challengers to President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, support for the president among independents is up slightly, while Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s popularity has slipped.

The Siena College poll finds that the former vice president has a 10-point lead among New York Democrats in the race for president, with 24% saying Biden is their first choice.

He’s ahead of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is at 14%, down from 21% one month ago. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders comes in third at 13%, down three points from a month ago.

Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg says it’s still early in the race, though, and many Democrats are not locked in on any one candidate. The poll shows that 29% remain undecided about who they would support.

“We’re still two months away from Iowa (caucuses), we are five months away from the time when New York Democrats go to the polls,” said Greenberg. “This is very much a race in fluctuation.”

The New York presidential primary is April 28.

Meanwhile, the survey finds that most New Yorkers still support impeaching Trump and removing him from office, with Democrats solidly for it and Republicans firmly against it. But opposition to impeachment has grown among independent voters in recent weeks. Last month, independent voters were evenly divided on impeachment, but they are now against it, 59% to 37%.

“Democrats are largely locked in, Republicans are largely locked in. I think it’s going to take something really major to move the partisans,” Greenberg said.

But the independents are a different story, he said.

“They are movable depending on what they learn, hear and then feel about how President Trump acted and whether impeachment is warranted,” Greenberg said.

The poll was conducted before this week’s public impeachment hearings and the new information revealed by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and others.

The president is still very unpopular in New York, but his favorability rating edged up two points, from 30% in October to 32% in November.

Cuomo’s ratings slipped a bit, with fewer New Yorkers viewing him favorably than unfavorably, at 44% to 49%. Last month, 49% said they had a positive opinion of the governor.

Greenberg says Cuomo’s numbers have remained relatively consistent for the past several months. He says the governor is in his third term in office, and the public’s opinion of Cuomo seems set.  

“Andrew Cuomo has been governor now for nine years. The views people have about him are pretty locked in,” said Greenberg.

He noted, though, that the slight drop for Cuomo “interestingly” came from Democrats, where his rating slipped by nine points.

Cuomo’s rating among Democrats was 68%-29% in October and dropped to 59%-34% in November.

The governor’s job approval rating also decreased. Just over one-third of New Yorkers say he’s doing an excellent or good job in office.