More than two months after replacing disgraced New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Democrat Kathy Hochul is fairly popular among voters in the Empire State, according to new Morning Consult Political Intelligence tracking. But as she faces a competitive primary next year, Hochul has work to do to cement her standing with the party’s base, even if New York Democrats like what they see so far.
After More Than 2 Months in Office, Hochul Has Backing From Half of New York Voters
The latest numbers
- According to the Oct. 29-Nov. 7 polling, 50 percent of New York voters approve of Hochul’s job performance, up 6 percentage points from responses gathered during her first 10 days in office.
- Hochul’s approval rating among New York voters is just below that of President Joe Biden (54 percent) and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (52 percent), and just above Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (47 percent).
- Three in 10 New York voters (29 percent) disapprove of how Hochul has handled her job, up 14 points over the course of about 11 weeks, as voters who developed opinions about her tended to view her negatively.
- The increasing disapproval has been driven by independents, who are now split about evenly on Hochul’s job performance (34 percent approve versus 35 percent disapprove), and Republicans, who are 31 points more likely to disapprove than approve of her (58 percent compared with 27 percent).
Hochul’s standing in New York is almost the inverse of how the state’s voters viewed Cuomo before he left office in disgrace amid two scandals involving allegations of sexual misconduct and an underreporting of COVID-19 deaths in the state’s nursing homes.
But while New Yorkers are more likely than not to give her good marks, this hasn’t stopped her from facing challenges in her own party, with New York Attorney General Letitia James already launching a 2022 gubernatorial bid and others still waiting in the wings. The impending contest raises the stakes of her standing among Democrats.
1 in 3 New York Democrats ‘Strongly’ Approves of Hochul
The Democratic dynamics
- Three in 4 Democrats (74 percent) approve of Hochul’s job performance, while just 9 percent disapprove. One-third of Democrats “strongly approve” of her job performance, putting her on solid ground but leaving some opportunity for a challenger.
- Hochul has secured the endorsement of EMILY’s List, an influential liberal group that helps elect Democratic women who support abortion rights, but her intraparty standing is strongest among Democratic men: 81 percent of male Democrats in New York approve of her job performance, compared with 68 percent of female Democrats.
- Schumer, who is up for re-election next year and has been keeping an eye on his left flank, has a 78 percent approval rating among Democratic voters, including 39 percent who strongly approve.
The latest survey was conducted Oct. 29-Nov. 7, 2021, among 3,968 registered voters in New York, including 1,821 Democrats, with a 2-point margin of error for both samples.