A new survey by Siena College reveals that most voters in New York consider the recent spike in immigrants to be a significant issue. The state-wide rise in asylum seekers is perceived as a substantial hurdle for the local government.
Key Poll Findings:
- Concerns about migrants: 82% of the polled voters view the migrant situation, which has intensified since May, as a severe issue, with 54% considering it “very serious.”
- Relocation of migrants: Voters by a margin of 50-40% support relocating new migrants from temporary New York City housing to permanent accommodations across the state.
- Impact on the state: 46% believe migrants resettling in New York over the past two decades have been a “burden” rather than a “benefit.”
- New York’s response: 58% of voters feel that the state has done enough and should now take measures to slow the flow of incoming migrants.
- Government ratings: Regarding the migrant issue, Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams have been given disapproval ratings of 51-35% and 47-31%, respectively. The Biden administration also received a 59-34% disapproval rating concerning handling the situation.
- 2024 Presidential Election: As the next presidential election looms, President Joe Biden holds a 46-50% favorability rating, indicating a dip from June’s statistics. A hypothetical matchup between Biden and former President Donald Trump in the state stands at 47% to 34% in favor of Biden.
Mr. Steven Greenberg, the Siena College pollster, remarked, “New Yorkers from diverse backgrounds concur on the seriousness of the migrant issue. Many residents seem to be united in their concerns regardless of political affiliation.”
State Leaders and Their Declining Popularity
The poll’s findings also highlight the challenges that top Democratic leaders, including President Joe Biden, Mayor Eric Adams, and Gov. Kathy Hochul, face in their approval ratings. While the recent migrant surge might not be the sole cause, it appears to be a significant factor contributing to the shifting perceptions:
Democratic Leaders’ Ratings:
- Gov. Kathy Hochul: Her overall favorability has dipped slightly at 40-46%, a decline from previous polls. Greenberg points out that “Hochul’s job approval rating has fallen in five consecutive Siena College polls since January.”
- Mayor Eric Adams: Holds a statewide favorability of 29% to 37%. Although these numbers are relatively stable in recent months, his city ratings are more favorable at 45% to 42%.
- President Joe Biden: His favorability in New York has declined, with more New Yorkers now viewing him unfavorably at 50%, as opposed to 46% who view him favorably.
As the 2024 elections approach, the issue of migrants is expected to become a significant campaign matter, especially for state legislative and congressional seats. Republicans are likely to leverage the situation and the declining popularity of key Democratic leaders to their advantage.
Greenberg suggests, “With the Democrats’ numbers sagging and the migrant issue being of prime concern, the political dynamics of New York could witness substantial shifts in the coming years.”
The Siena College poll was conducted between August 13-16, with a participation of 803 registered voters. The study holds a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.