Support for ending cash bail for many criminal charges in New York has collapsed among voters in less than a year, a Siena College poll released on Tuesday morning found.
The poll found voters by a margin of 49 percent to 37 percent believe the law is bad for the state. That's a switch from April, when most voters, 55 percent to 38 percent, were in support of the law, which ended cash bail requirements for those with misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges.
Opposition to the bail law is especially stark among key demographics:
- 56 percent of independent voters say it's bad for the state
- 64 percent of suburban voters oppose the measure
- 57 percent of voters over age 55 are also in opposition
The poll comes as some lawmakers have proposed altering the measure to include the ability for judges to determine whether a person is too dangerous to be released from custody. The provision — commonly referred to as judicial discretion — is opposed by criminal justice advocates who worry the move would keep people of color behind bars.
Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not been affected by the controversy surrounding the bail law.
Cuomo, who gave his 10th State of the State address this month and is due to release his budget plan for the 2020-21 fiscal year today, has seen an increase in both his favorability and his job performance ratings since November, the poll found. Cuomo's favorability rating stood at a negative 44 percent to 49 percent in November. The new poll shows that's flipped to a 49 percent to 45 percent favorability rating.
His job performance also has increased, though still remains under water. He stood at 35 percent to 65 percent negative in November. The spread is now at 41 percent to 56 percent.
There is also broad support for top-line proposals in the governor's agenda this year:
- 81 percent support requiring businesses to give employees at least 5 paid sick days
- 79 percent support reducing the corporate tax rate for small businesses by 2.5 percent
- 76 percent back an Equal Rights Amendment in the state constitution
- 75 percent say workers in "gig economy" jobs should have basic employee protections
Nineteen percent of voters say taxes is their top issue in 2020, with 14 percent calling education the main priority, the poll found.
The Siena College poll of 814 registered voters was conducted from January 11 to January 16. It has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.