Kathy Hochul

Siena College poll: New Yorkers cool to Hochul, worry about cost of living

The governor saw a dip in favorability, with many seeing her as out of touch.

Gov. Kathy Hochul is coming down from a polling high.

Gov. Kathy Hochul is coming down from a polling high. Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s favorability and job approval took a dip in a new Siena College poll released Tuesday, and a plurality of people polled consider her out of touch with everyday New Yorkers. The dip comes after Hochul hit her highest numbers in almost a year last month. According to the recent poll, conducted Feb. 12 to Feb. 14 including 806 registered voters, 41% of people in the state have a favorable view of Hochul, compared to 46% who have an unfavorable view. She maintained a net positive job approval rating, with 48% of New Yorkers saying she’s doing a good job compared to 47% who think she is not. But last month, Hochul had a net positive favorability of 45%-42%, and a slight majority – 52% – gave her job performance a thumbs up. “Whether it was her budget proposals, her efforts on issues of importance to voters, or perhaps the recent attention-grabbing special election in Queens and Nassau, both Hochul’s favorability and job approval ratings fell the most with downstate suburban voters and Democrats,” Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement.

The survey asked a series of other questions about Hochul, who took office in the summer of 2021. A majority of New Yorkers, 56% according to the poll, believe that she is hard-working, including a majority of Democrats and independents, and a plurality of Republicans. New Yorkers are more closely split – 40%-37% – over whether she is an effective leader. However, a plurality of of those polled said that Hochul is out of touch with everyday New Yorkers

Heading into the budget season, cost of living is the top issue for most New Yorkers, with 29% listing it as their No. 1 concern. That number rose even higher in the suburbs, where several key congressional battles will take place, with 38% there calling cost of living their top concern. It was also the second biggest concern for 20% of those who listed another issue as their biggest issue. After affordability the migrant crisis was the top issue for 23% of those polled, and 15% said crime. But even though crime does not seem to be top of mind for many New Yorkers anymore, 56% still say crime has gotten worse in the past year.