Kathy Hochul

Hochul’s favorability up in new poll

New York’s view of the governor has improved as she attempts to help Democrats win back the House.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has some new numbers to celebrate.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has some new numbers to celebrate. Office of Gov. Kathy Hochul

New Yorkers are feeling best about Gov. Kathy Hochul in nearly a year, according to a new poll from Siena College. 

The poll found that 45% of New Yorkers have a favorable view of Hochul, while 42% have a negative view. That’s up from November, when polling had her favorability at 40%-43%. It’s also the first time since February last year that more New Yorkers viewed her favorably than viewed her poorly. Notably, Hochul’s favorability is also up in the suburbs, where 46% of those polled have a positive view of her, while 41% have a negative one. That’s up from November, when just 39% of those in the suburbs viewed her well, and September, when her favorability was even lower at 34%. 

That’s good news for Hochul, who is tasked with helping Democrats win back the House in November in a variety of suburban swing districts. She underperformed in her 2022 gubernatorial election in most of the suburbs surrounding New York City where competitive House seats are located, and her housing plan got panned by suburbanites last year. 

This latest poll of 807 registered New York voters was taken from Jan. 14 to Jan. 17, following Hochul’s State of the State address that took place Jan. 9. Her State of the State address avoided bold and potentially controversial proposals and focused on issues that will resonate with the suburbs. Just days ago, Hochul also kicked off a statewide tour to highlight her executive budget on Long Island, where she made sure to speak about the ways she has improved suburban life since taking office.

But that’s not to say that New Yorkers have confidence that Hochul will deliver on the promises she made in her State of the State and budget plan. Only 39% of those polled thought Hochul will make New York safer, while 49% said she would not. Just 33% believed she would make living in the state more desirable, while 54% believed she wouldn’t deliver. They similarly expressed relatively little confidence that she would increase the housing supply, make New York the AI capital of the world and fix the state’s mental health system.

Meanwhile, the migrant crisis continues to be a top-of-mind issue for New Yorkers. A total of 85% of those polled considered it a serious problem, with 61% calling it very serious. And they’re unimpressed with how Hochul has handled the issue. A plurality of New Yorkers polled – 32% – said the governor has been least successful in tackling the migrant crisis compared to other issues. And 59% of respondents strongly or somewhat disapproved of her handling of the issue.