Poll finds overwhelming support for governor’s signature issues, gun safety and abortion rights
WSKG — A new poll shows strong support for recent actions by Governor Kathy Hochul and the legislature to strengthen state gun laws and provide additional protections for people seeking abortions.
Earlier this month, Hochul and the Democratic-led Senate and Assembly responded to the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, and endorsed a number of gun safety measures. They notably prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from buying a semi-automatic rifle in New York and require that anyone over the age of 21 needs a license to do so.
Hochul spoke at a recent bill signing ceremony.
“No 18-year-old can come in on their birthday and leave with an AR-15,” Hochul said June 6. “Those days are over.”
Siena College polls spokesman Steve Greenberg said the majority of voters, including Republicans and gun owners, supported the measures.
“We’ve seen these issues where there are huge partisan divides, that’s not one,” said Greenberg, who said 83% of Democrats, 73% of independents and 67% of Republicans are in favor. of the new law.
Greenberg says more than three-quarters of New Yorkers also don’t want the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down New York’s decades-old law that requires a license to carry a concealed handgun, including 79% of Republicans and 72% of gun owners. This decision is now before the court.
Hochul and the legislature also approved measures to protect access to abortion for patients in New York and states where the procedure would be banned, should the U.S. Supreme Court, as expected, overturn Roe v. Wade.
The governor aired campaign ads highlighting the measures.
The poll finds most New Yorkers support the new abortion laws and 60% think Roe should be respected, including 41% of Republicans. 39% of GOP voters say it should be rescinded.
Perhaps because of new gun and abortion laws, Hochul’s job approval ratings, which plummeted in March and April during state budget talks, rose, and 46% of all voters view it favorably.
Greenberg says Hochul, who has far better notoriety than his opponents, looks set to win the Democratic primary on June 28.
“Hochul is definitely the favorite,” Greenberg said. “She is expected to win the primary. The question is what the margin will be.
With many Republican voters backing recent actions against guns and abortion, the four GOP candidates in the Republican primary may seem out of step with the electorate right now. But Greenberg says Republicans, like Democrats, appeal to their base in the primaries. He predicts each party’s primary winners will move to the center for the general election and focus on pocket issues like inflation and high gas prices.
“And we’ll see a run on the issues that matter to the majority of New Yorkers,” Greenberg said. “Not just the most liberal Democrats and the most conservative Republicans.”
The Siena poll finds that among Republican voters, the party’s gubernatorial nominee, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, is unknown to nearly half of GOP respondents. They also don’t know about candidates Rob Astorino and Harry Wilson. But most have heard of Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York mayor and former Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani, and 50% view him favorably.