Decision 2022

Hochul Ratings Sink, Voters Strongly Oppose Bills Stadium Deal: Poll

The governor's overall performance rating dropped 11 points in a month, as a strong majority of voters oppose her $600 million stadium deal for the Buffalo Bills

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Gov. Kathy Hochul’s performance ratings are at their lowest ever, with voters overwhelmingly opposed to her massive stadium deal for the Buffalo Bills and nearly half saying they’re ready to elect someone else in November, according to a new Siena College poll released Monday.

The results are likely to raise eyebrows in the camp of former governor Andrew Cuomo, whose resignation last August amid a sexual harassment scandal made Hochul governor. Cuomo, who has been running an ad campaign and speaking at churches around the state, passed on the Democratic primary but has until the end of May to launch an independent bid for the general election.

Hochul’s net job performance rating stands at -21 (36%-57%), versus -10 in a poll a month ago and -2 at the start of the year. Republicans and independents overwhelmingly disapprove of her performance, and while she has a positive rating (+13) among Democrats, even that is down substantially from March (+30).

The governor gets "fair" or "poor" ratings from 63% of voters on her handling of the economy, 69% on her handling of crime and 65% on restoring trust in government.

Some 45% of voters in the poll said they were ready to elect somebody else in November, versus 40% who said they would be prepared to elect Hochul to a full term. More than a quarter of Democrats and nearly half of independents said they'd prefer someone else.

The governor may already be feeling the blowback of her push to put $600 million in state funds in this year's budget for a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills. About 63% of voters said they disapproved -- including 68% of upstate voters in the heart of Bills country.

In fact, of 26 different demographic splits in the poll -- gender, age, politics, region, religion, union affiliation and more -- not a single group expressed more than 33% support for the stadium deal.

The poll was conducted after the indictment and resignation of Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, though it did not seem to reflect on the governor -- about two-thirds of voters surveyed said they didn't have an opinion of him one way or another.

The phone and online poll of 806 registered voters was conducted April 18-21 and has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.

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