More Time Needed To Fight Virus; Return To Normalcy Remains Elusive, Say New Yorkers

Business Industry Real Estate

New Yorkers Overwhelmingly Support Extending NY “Pause”

By a 92-8 percent margin, voters support Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order requiring face masks or coverings in public and by 87-11 percent they support extending New York ‘On Pause’ until May 15.

“When it comes to whom New Yorkers trust more to make decisions about reopening the state and its economy – the President or the Governor – it’s not even close. Only 16 percent of voters – and only 36 percent of Republicans – trust Trump, compared to 78 percent of all voters – and 56 percent of Republicans – trust Cuomo. Even self-identified conservatives trust Cuomo more, 57-34 percent,” said Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg.

“While you cannot find a single issue that would generate unanimous support from all 12 million New York voters, Cuomo’s order that face masks or coverings must be worn in public – when social distancing cannot be maintained – comes as close as any issue Siena College has ever polled. It has support from at least 86 percent of voters from every party, region, gender, race, or religion,” Greenberg said.

“Similarly, the Governor’s decision to extend New York ‘On Pause’ – keeping schools and non-essential businesses closed – through the middle of May is supported by at least 81 percent of voters from every party, region, gender, race, or religion.”

One-Third of NY Households Include Someone Laid Off & Half Have Someone Working from Home

Fourteen percent of voters have been laid off, with another 13 percent having someone in their household laid off, and five percent who have been laid off in addition to someone else in their household. Forty-eight percent are working from home and/or have a household member working from home who normally works outside the home.

Thirty-two percent of voters say they and/or someone they live with is continuing to work outside the home.

“To say the coronavirus has had a tremendously detrimental effect on New York’s workforce – upstate and downstate – is a gross understatement. Nineteen percent of voters have themselves been laid off and another 13 percent say someone in their household has been laid off. While the layoffs have hit upstate and downstate nearly the same, 48 percent of Latino voters say that they and/or someone in their household has been laid off, compared to 30 percent of both white and black voters affected by layoffs,” Greenberg said.

“More than half of downstate voters and 41 percent of upstaters live in a household with at least one person working from home who usually works outside the house. While 66 percent of people earning $100,000 or more annually have someone working from home who usually does not, only 26 percent of people earning less than $50,000 have someone newly working from home,” Greenberg said. “About one-third of voters upstate and downstate have someone in their household continuing to work outside the house, including 43 percent of voters from union households, compared to 27 percent from non-union households.”

Voters Agree on Need for Widespread Testing, Divided on Whether It’s a Federal or State Responsibility

By a 69-26 percent margin, voters say New York cannot start to reopen without widespread coronavirus testing. When asked which level of government should have ultimate responsibility to ensure appropriate testing, voters split with 49 percent saying the Federal government, 41 percent state governments and seven percent both.

“About three-quarters of Democrats and independents and half of Republicans say widespread coronavirus testing is needed before New York can begin to reopen, a view held by at least 64 percent of voters from every region,” Greenberg said. “While 55 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of independents say the Federal government has the ultimate responsibility to ensure adequate testing, 57 percent of Republicans say it’s the job of the states.”

Two-Thirds of NYers Think Large Public Gatherings Unlikely by Summer

Thirty-two percent of voters think it very (seven percent) or somewhat (25 percent) likely large public gatherings – like sporting events, concerts or graduations – will resume this summer, and 67 percent think it is not very (40 percent) or not at all (27 percent) likely. Similarly, if such events were to resume this summer, 69 percent say it is not very (30 percent) or not at all (39 percent) likely they would attend, compared to 31 percent who say it is very (10 percent) or somewhat (21 percent) likely they would attend.

“New Yorkers are not optimistic that concerts, sporting events and other large public gatherings will resume by this summer. Republicans are a bit more optimistic but they are only evenly divided,” Greenberg said. “And if large public gatherings do resume this summer, seven in ten New Yorkers – including 72 percent of downstaters, 62 percent of upstaters and 81 percent of those 55 and older – say it’s unlikely they’d attend.”

A Majority of NYers Now Say they Are Not Confident America “Will Be Back to Normal Anytime Soon”

“While 43 percent of voters think ‘things will be back to normal sometime soon,’ down from 53 percent last month, a majority, 56 percent say they’re ‘not confident America will be back to normal anytime soon,’ up from 44 percent last month,” Greenberg said. “Republicans are optimistic, 61-39 percent, while 55 percent of independents, 63 percent of Democrats and at least 53 percent of voters from every region are more pessimistic.”