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Siena Poll: Voters Angry At State Senate

by on July 20, 2009

Unlike many New York Republicans, I was not a supporter of the coup in the State Senate, which ultimately lead to a month-long stalemate, and gave Governor Paterson something to distract the voters on just how much he sucks.

A new Siena Poll shows that New York voters are very much angry that the Senate wasted so much time, and they vow vengeance in 2010.

More than three-quarters of New York voters say they are “angry” that the Senate wasted a month “accomplishing nothing,” and 62 percent said that most voters will remember the Senate fight on Election Day 2010, according to a new Siena (College) Research Institute poll of registered voters. A majority of voters believe Governor David Paterson acted appropriately in appointing a Lieutenant Governor, although they do not have the same level of support for Richard Ravitch as the Governor does.

“Voters from every party and every region overwhelmingly reject the notion that it was good that Senators took the time to resolve their differences,” said Siena New York pollster Steven Greenberg. “Rather, there is real anger at senators – regardless of the voters‟ party affiliation or region. Although voters have long demonstrated particularly short memories, most feel that their fellow voters will remember the Senate fight next November and a plurality are already prepared to vote out incumbent senators.”

By a 78-11 percent margin, voters say the Senate fight will make it harder to pass important legislation this year. Voters do not believe, by a 36-55 percent margin, that the Senate fight will lead to significant reforms to the way the Senate conducts business.

Now, some might think, great, people are ready to throw the bums out. Well, maybe they are… But, as a conservative, I am concerned about an overwhelmingly liberal state merely throwing out Republicans, thinking somehow that will improve things. Obviously, giving Democrats total control doesn’t help the state at all… but, even after Democrat incompetence and the nasty coup, the crosstabs of the poll still give Democrats an edge that worries me. For starters, when asked “Which political party would you rather see in control of the State Senate?” here were the numbers:

Despite everything that has happened… despite Paterson’s poor approval ratings, Democrats have a strong advantage amongst the voters on which party they’d like to see in control.

Worse yet, when asked “Which of the two major political parties in the State Senate do you think is more committed to reforming and improving the way the State Senate operates?” Democrats once again lead 40 percent to the Republicans 25 percent. This isn’t a bad joke. This is the poll. Obviously, the coup did nothing to improve the Republicans image when it comes to the issue of reform and the State Senate — regardless of what Senator Maziarz cites as progress in reform as a result of the coup.

I still believe that had Republicans let the Democrats fail on their own, the voters would have seen very clearly that full Democrat control is just a recipe for disaster. But now, the coup has both sides blaming and scapegoating each other… and in one of the nation’s bluest states, I don’t like how that position the New York Republican Party for 2010.

UPDATE: Rus Thompson weighs in.

Will we all remember? I would say no, either that or like too many people in this state that say, Albany is bad, corrupt and dysfunctional but my guy is doing a good job. They are all the problem and all have to be replaced, problem is finding candidates, raising money to run against them in a Primary. One cannot beat an incumbent in most general elections. The primary is where 99% of all elections are won or lost. Key word here is gerrymandering of districts. I hope people do remember but history tells us a different story.

UPDATE: My latest blog for American Issues Project: The State Senate Coup In New York Helps Paterson, Not Reform

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