Unite NY Poll Finds One in Three New Yorkers are Considering Leaving the State

Conducted by John Zogby Strategies, the Poll Kicks off an Ongoing Index on Voter Sentiment on Pro-Democracy Reform;

Finds Hochul with Commanding Lead, Zeldin and Giuliani Neck and Neck

Albany, NY – A new poll done by the non-partisan organization Unite NY and John Zogby Strategies revealed the shocking finding that more than one-third of New Yorkers are so frustrated with New York’s broken political system they are considering leaving the state. For far too long, we have seen New Yorkers fleeing the State, but this poll dives into the reasons why – and the results are staggering.  Nearly half of voters (46%) say New York is on the wrong track and more than one third are so frustrated with the broken system, they’re considering moving out of State.

The poll kicks off Unite NY’s new monthly index designed to track voter sentiment towards important political reform in the state, especially as it relates to the upcoming 2022 elections. This index will be conducted monthly by Unite NY and John Zogby Strategies and measure voter sentiment on political reform and how it changes over the course of the election cycle. The initial poll found that voters overwhelmingly support political reforms such as an open primaries, term limits, ballot initiatives, and campaign finance reform.

The poll surveyed 1,000 likely New York State voters on both reform issues and the upcoming Governor’s race.  Results of the poll found that Governor Kathy Hochul has a commanding 42-point lead in the Democratic primary over New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. On the Republican side, Lee Zeldin (28%) and Andrew Giuliani (26%) are neck and neck and in a two-way horse race for the general election, Hochul leads Zeldin 51% to 33%.

One of the most shocking findings of the poll was that more than a third of those surveyed (34%) said they have considered leaving New York State, with high taxes, government regulations and the political climate as the most common reasons why. When asked about their satisfaction with New York’s election system, again more than one third of voters said either the current system is broken and major reforms are needed, or that the situation is so hopeless they are considering leaving New York.

Unite NY Founder Martin Babinec said, “New Yorkers voting with their feet is what led to loss of one (and nearly a second) congressional seat as our state has the highest level of outmigration per capita of any in the country. This poll demonstrates that our state’s approach to public policy is at the heart of both outmigration and the lack of confidence in the political system. These issues cut across party lines and state geography with New Yorkers clamoring for more say in how their government operates, who will represent them, and for how long.”

Babinec continued, “While this initial poll is revealing, Unite NY will continue efforts in highlighting how attitudes about empowering voters are growing in volume and strength across the state. Starting with next month’s poll, we’ll announce our Voter Empowerment Index so we can track these voter attitudes over the course of the 2022 election cycle – encouraging candidates who are running for public office to start paying heed to these changing voter sentiments.”

John Zogby, Founder and Senior Partner, Zogby Strategies said, “While Governor Hochul appears to be in the drivers seat in both the primary and general elections, there is an across-the-board sentiment for major political reform that needs to be addressed.”

Key initial findings include:

  • A surprising two-thirds of New Yorkers want open primaries, which is especially noteworthy as this reform has only recently emerged into the public discourse.
  • More than three-quarters of New Yorkers support term limits and campaign finance reform.
  • Nearly half of voters (46%) believe New York State is on the wrong track, versus a mere 37% who believe New York is on the right track.
  • More than one-third think the current political system either needs major reform or they will leave the state.
  • Nearly two-thirds of those considering leaving cite high taxes, government regulations and the  political climate as the reasons why.
  • Between one-half and two-thirds of New Yorkers would be more apt to vote for a candidate seeking to reform the system.
  • Nearly one in five surveyed (17%) have left their political party in recent years and are now independent, nonaffiliated voters.

The poll also measured the current gubernatorial race in New York and found:

  • Governor Hochul holds commanding lead over her nearest competition, Jumaane Williams (54-12%).
  • Congressman Lee Zeldin and Andrew Giuliani are neck and neck (28-26% with 21% undecided).
  • Governor Hochul holds an18-point lead head-to-head against Zeldin.
  • When a three way race is considered, 50% of New Yorkers support Hochul’s election, compared to 29% for Zeldin and 6% for Libertarian Larry Sharpe.
  • The top two issues for voters are crime and public safety (37%) and lower taxes (36%). Next, 25% of voters want the economy kept open despite COVID-19.

Details are available on the Unite NY website at www.UniteNY.org, with crosstabs available here.

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 are advocating bi-partisanship and reforms that empower more voters to become engaged in the democratic process.  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