Unite NY Monthly Index Finds Deep Voter Dissatisfaction, More New Yorkers Ready to Leave

Nearly Half of Voters Say NYS is Headed in the Wrong Direction and Partisan Politics are Worse than Two Years ago, Nearly 40% Planning to Move Out of State, Race for the Republican Nomination for Governor is Wide Open

Syracuse, NY – The second edition of Unite NY‘s Voter Empowerment Index (VEI) was rolled out in an exclusive event in Syracuse today. The sobering results of the Index paint a picture of New Yorkers more disillusioned with state government than they were just last month, with nearly 40 percent of New Yorkers now saying they are considering leaving the state, citing high-taxes and a broken political system as the primary reasons why. This is an increase of five points over last month’s initial findings. The VEI, conducted by respected independent research firm John Zogby Strategies, is a monthly index that tracks New York voters’ attitudes towards political reform, along with the race for Governor.

The 2022 Governor’s Race

The index found that Governor Hochul has solid lead to secure the Democratic nomination with the support of 57% of likely voters, versus 16% for Tom Suozzi and 14% for Jumaane Williams. Support for Hochul and Williams are consistent with last month’s findings, while Suozzi has gained ground.

Coming out of the New York Republican convention, the race for the party’s nomination is a dogfight, with Andrew Giuliani taking the lead at 31%, followed by endorsed GOP candidate Lee Zeldin at 23% and 2014 Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino at 21%. While he has secured 85% of party leadership’s support, Zeldin actually lost ground among primary voters to Giuliani and Astorino among likely Republican voters.

In head-to-head races, Governor Hochul beats Zeldin 50-35%, beats Giuliani, 49-35%, and beats Astorino 50-34%. In a three-way race, both Hochul and Zeldin’s numbers shrink to 47-33% and Libertarian Larry Sharpe secures 6% support.

Unhappy Voters

The electorate is clearly dissatisfied with the current state of affairs in New York, with nearly half (47%) of voters saying the state is on the wrong track, versus only 37% who think New York is on the right track. Meanwhile, two-fifths (39%) of respondents now say they are planning to move out of state, citing high taxes (37%), better economic opportunities (15%) and politics that puts party over voter (14%) as the reasons why. This is an increase from last month’s shocking 34% looking to move.  More than half of survey respondents (51%) think partisan politics has gotten worse since 2020 and the same number think current executive powers to address COVID-19 have gone too far. The top issues the next Governor must address are high crime 48%, and high taxes 43%.

The Strong Case for Reform

The VEI once again found voters strongly supporting necessary reforms to a broken political system. Nearly two thirds want to see voters more empowered than Party leaders, with 60% wanting it to be easier for third parties to get on the ballot, 59% wanting to abolish dark money in politics, and only one-third (35%) supporting the new plan rolled out by Albany for public financing of political campaigns.

According to the poll, candidates supporting key political reforms can expect to earn the support of more voters. Nearly two-thirds (60%) of respondents saying they are more likely to support a candidate who supports term limits, and nearly half are more likely to support candidates seeking ballot referendums (49%), and candidates calling for open primaries (43%). Among likely voters in the upcoming 4-way GOP primary, 42% indicated they’d be more likely to vote for the candidate voicing support for opening primaries to unaffiliated voters.

Further, more than half of respondents (51%) support Ranked Choice Voting, 52% support no-excuse absentee ballots (including 37% of GOP voters), 53% support automatic absentee ballots and 40% believe redistricting was drawn up to favor one party over the other.

For links to horse races and the Governor’s approval click here; and for the issues click here.

Unite NY Founder Martin Babinec said, “The second edition of our Voter Empower Index sends a clear message that New Yorkers are not pleased with the direction of the state. Voter sentiment is headed in the wrong direction, to the point that now two in five New Yorkers are now looking to relocate. For two months in a row, these same voters have told us they are more likely to support candidates who advocate for reforms like increased ballot access, open primaries, and ranked choice voting. This sends a clear message that voters want reform, the question is, will elected officials listen?”

John Zogby, Founder and Senior Partner, Zogby Strategies said, “While Governor Hochul is posting impressive numbers and the GOP candidates may draw blood before their primary, New Yorkers are in a sour mood this year. No lead is in the bag.”

About Unite NY

Unite NY is a new political home in New York State for Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, and independents to come together to seek common sense solutions.  Focused on a non-partisan approach to fixing real problems in our government, democracy, and economy, Unite NY supports candidates who understand working together is the only way we can succeed.  Learn more at www.UniteNY.org.

About John Zogby Strategies

The world-renowned firm provides a wide range of research and advisory services to clients across the globe. It was founded by pollster, author and trend-spotter John Zogby and his sons Jeremy and Benjamin. Learn more at https://johnzogbystrategies.com.