Gov. Kathy Hochul has now been in office for more than 50 days and during that time, her approval rating has shot up 18 percentage points, according to a new Marist Poll released Tuesday.
Hochul was given a 49% approval rating, but at the same time, one in five New Yorkers (20%) say they are unsure about the job she’s doing.
“Governor Hochul is doing well among New Yorkers in terms of her performance in office and is the frontrunner among Democrats in her primary prospects for the nomination,” says Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.
In contrast, 77% percent of New Yorkers say they do not want former Gov. Andrew Cuomo to run again for office, including 74% of Democrats.
“I think it says Cuomo’s political base is on a ship that sailed,” Luke Perry, a political science professor at Utica College, said. “He may run just for ego or because he has the money to do so, but I don't think he has a serious chance of gaining the nomination.”
The poll also matched up Hochul in two hypothetical Democratic primaries and in each one, Hochul was leading the 2022 race.
Out of New Yorkers polled, Hochul in a three-way race with Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams gained about 44% of the vote compared to 28% for James, 15% for Williams and 13% saying they were unsure.
If Cuomo were to jump in the race, Hochul would still be leading with 36% of the vote, James with 24%, Cuomo with 19%, Williams 9% and 12% unsure.
But James and Williams have yet to officially declare that they are running in the gubernatorial primary next year.
Williams has launched an exploratory committee and James is still just openly considering a run.
Perry says while both candidates could see a bump in favorability if they officially declare their candidacy, it is unclear how long that would be sustained.
“I think the question is whether challengers to Hochul from downstate, particularly New York City, want to get into a tough primary and try to grind out a victory through the city turning out their base, or if they think that's too disruptive to their own personal standing in the Democratic Party,” Perry explained.
The poll also showed that New Yorkers have a negative view of the “current direction of the state.” A total of 54% say the state is going in the wrong direction and 39% say it is going in the right direction.
“Even though Hochul’s numbers are relatively good, most New Yorkers think the state's headed in the wrong direction,” Perry said. “They don't attribute that to her at this point, but if this sentiment continues that may be an issue for her moving forward.”
There were 822 New Yorkers polled on Hochul’s favorability rating with a plus or minus 4.8% margin of error.
On the Democratic primary questions, 389 New York Democrats were polled with a plus or minus 6.9% margin of error.