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Biden’s ratings sink, and Hochul’s are stagnant in new Siena poll

Wearing a blue suit and purple tie, pollster Steve Greenberg talks to a journalist next to a TV camera.
Karen DeWitt
New York Public News Network
Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg is seen talking to the media in this March 27, 2023, file photo.

A new Siena College poll finds that President Joe Biden’s approval ratings have reached historic lows in blue New York, but he still narrowly leads former President Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential race.

Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg said half of all registered voters in New York are Democrats, and just under a quarter are Republicans. No GOP presidential candidate has won the state since the reelection of Ronald Reagan nearly 40 years ago.

Nevertheless, Biden’s numbers are falling.

“What we see right now is Joe Biden has the worst favorability rating he's ever had in a Siena poll,” Greenberg said. “45% of voters view Joe Biden favorably, 52% unfavorably.”

Greenberg said Biden’s job approval rating is also at an all-time low, with 46% approving of the job he’s doing in office, and 51% disapproving.

“And when we asked Democrats, ‘Do you want to see Joe Biden be your party's nominee for president next year? Or would you prefer another candidate?’, only 41% of Democrats say they want to see Biden as their nominee,” Greenberg said. “52%, a majority of Democrats, say they would like to see a candidate other than Biden.”

Biden still is ahead of Trump by 9 points, 46% to 37%. But when the poll added two independent candidates, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornell West, Biden’s lead is just 7 points.

Greenberg said there is more alarming news for Democrats: Only 25% of New Yorkers think the country is going in the right direction, while 65% say it’s going in the wrong direction.

New Yorkers remain concerned about the influx of migrants to the state and say the flow of migrants needs to be slowed, according to the poll. And 59% of respondents believe crime remains a serious problem. More than half support aid to Ukraine and Israel in their military struggles.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s job approval and favorability numbers remain stagnant, with only 40% viewing her positively and just 45% saying she’s doing a good job in office. Greenberg said that’s not a good trend.

“In two years as governor, Hochul has never had 50% of the voters in the state say they view her favorably,” he said. “That's a problem for her.”

Hochul still has time to turn things around. The next election for governor in New York is not until 2026.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for the New York Public News Network, composed of a dozen newsrooms across the state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.