Most New Yorkers support vaccine, mask mandates, Siena poll finds

New York

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Most New Yorkers are in favor of vaccine and masking mandates, according to a new Siena poll released Tuesday morning.

Voters polled showed strong support for public schools requiring teachers and staff to be vaccinated (69-26); businesses like gyms and restaurants requiring proof of vaccination (66-32); and employers requiring employees to be vaccinated (65-31).

Additionally, the poll found that support for school districts requiring teachers, staff, and students to wear masks is supported 78-18 and government requiring masks in indoor public facilities is supported 74-21.

“Three different vaccine mandates – employees generally, school employees specifically and customers of certain businesses – each has the support of at least 65 percent of voters,” aid Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

“Each has support from more than three-quarters of Democrats and a majority of independents. Although a majority of Republicans support two of the mandates, they are divided on employers mandating their employees.”

Mask mandates have even greater support among New Yorkers. A mask mandate for schools is supported by 89 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of independents and 57 percent of Republicans.

“While 40 percent of voters think the worst of the pandemic is over, 44 percent say the worst is still to come, a major change from May, when by a 69-19 percent margin, voters thought the worst was over,” Greenberg said.

The same poll found that Gov. Kathy Hochul is viewed favorably by 42 percent and unfavorable by 17 percent, with 41 percent reporting that thery either don’t know who she is or don’t know enough to have an opinion.

“While still largely unknown to a wide swath of New Yorkers, Governor Hochul begins her tenure with a lot of good will from voters,” Greenberg said. “Among those with an opinion about her, she is viewed strongly favorably, although two in five New Yorkers don’t yet have an opinion. Among all voters, Hochul has a 44-37 percent job performance rating after only a few weeks in office.”

By a 52-18 percent margin, those polled said Gov. Hochul has a more collaborative approach to to government leadership than her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo. A wide margin, 74-16, said it’s exciting to have New York’s first female governor.

“Voters overwhelmingly say it’s exciting to have New York’s first woman governor, including 84 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of independents and 59 percent of Republicans,” Greenberg said. “A strong 52-18 percent majority, including majorities of all parties, say she will be more collaborative than Cuomo. Voters reject the notion, 48-28 percent, that Hochul doesn’t have enough experience to lead New York.”

Meanwhile, the majority of those polled (67-26) said Cuomo made the right decision to resign, including Democrats (55-25). Cuomo left office with his worst-ever favorability rating of 34-55, down from 45-47 in June. Still, a plurality (39-27) say Cuomo left New York a better place to live and work.

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