Clinton still holds big lead over Trump in New York
A new poll shows that Hillary Clinton is still far ahead of Donald Trump among New York voters — but she has some weak points.
Clinton holds a 21-point lead over Trump among likely New York voters in the Siena College poll, down from a 25-point lead one month ago.
But Clinton has some weaknesses. She is viewed unfavorably by just over half of voters and does not have much support beyond registered Democrats, said Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg.
“She’s winning right now pretty much by party enrollment,” said Greenberg, who added independents are “evenly divided” at 39 percent for Clinton and 37 percent for Trump.
Clinton also has lost some support among female voters, though she’s still ahead with women by 22 points.
Trump’s supporters in New York, including Republican Party Chair Ed Cox, say the GOP presidential candidate can win the state.
“He can do very well here, like Ronald Reagan in 1980,” Cox said. “Ronald Reagan was not expected to carry New York.”
Trump backers say if he does well enough in the suburbs and upstate, then he would only have to win just over one-third of New York City voters. Greenberg said for that to come true, Trump would need to make some pretty substantial gains in blue New York City, where Clinton is ahead by 60 points.
“The notion that Donald Trump can carry 30 percent of the vote in Brooklyn and Manhattan seems a little bit unrealistic,” Greenberg said.
And Greenberg said since Reagan won the state more than 30 years ago, the number of Republican voters has dwindled, while the number of Democratic voters has strengthened.
Trump is viewed unfavorably by nearly 70 percent of New Yorkers.
The first debate will be held in New York, at Hofstra University on Long Island, on Monday. Greenberg said the debate could potentially be a game-changer for the race, but he said Clinton is in an “extraordinarily strong position” to win New York in November.
Will presidential politics affect the races for the state Legislature, where all 263 Senate and Assembly seats are up for election? Greenberg said perhaps not. He said most New Yorkers say they’ll likely re-elect incumbent lawmakers. That’s even though both former leaders of the Legislature face jail time for corruption.
In fact, the state Senate has scored its highest approval rating in the history of the poll, at 48 percent, with the Assembly at 44 percent.
“I don’t know why their ratings are as good as they are right now,” said Greenberg. “It bodes well for incumbent legislators.”
No lawmakers have been arrested in more than a year, and the Legislature has been out of session since June.
Senate GOP Spokesman Scott Reif said the public is reacting to the Senate’s recent accomplishments, including record school aid and a tax cut for the middle class.
The Senate also approved two traditionally non-Republican but popular items, as did the Democratic-led Assembly — raising the state’s minimum wage and enacting partial paid family leave.