By Tom Precious
ALBANY – Want to feel good about the direction New York state is heading? Move to New York City.
The Siena College poll out this morning found New Yorkers split -– at 44 percent apiece -– on the overall direction of the state. But when broken out geographically, upstaters are quite bearish.
In a response to a poll question that seeks to quantify the overall mood of the electorate, 57 percent of registered voters from upstate areas believe the state’s direction is not good. Forty-three percent of downstate suburban county residents gave a negative answered while 32 percent of New York City residents said the state is heading in the wrong direction.When asked to rate Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s performance on job creation, which he has said is his No. 1 one goal in office, voters statewide give a thumbs down, with upstaters the least impressed. Sixty-six percent of voters statewide gave him a negative grade when asked to judge him on job performance.
Broken down, 74 percent of upstaters gave him a sour job creation performance rating, while 60 percent from the downstate suburbs and 61 percent from New York City gave him a negative grade. The job creation performance numbers continued across breakdowns, including Democratic, Republican, independent, conservative, moderate, liberal, union and non-union households, as well as along racial, gender, age and income lines.
The numbers come after numerous trips throughout upstate by the governor during the summer and fall, with many events to make economic development announcements.
Cuomo’s overall job performance in the new poll stands at 52 percent positive to 47 percent negative, up from 49 percent to 50 percent last month.
Brian Sampson, executive director of Unshackle Upstate, a business group, said the poll's results show "bold ideas'' are needed to help upstate communities.
"It's easy to understand why 57 percent of the upstate New Yorkers feel that the state is headed in the wrong direction. An overwhelming tax burden and lack of good-paying jobs are forcing families and businesses to leave the state in search of real economic opportunity,'' he said. The group is pushing its New ERA plan, which includes calls for a 25 percent cut in state income taxes for upstate residents making under $50,000 a year and a cur in the corporate franchise tax for upstate businesses.