A new Siena College poll out has some surprising results on two big issues plaguing New York State right now: masks in schools and former Governor Andrew Cuomo.

"A majority of New Yorkers, 58%, says that we should wait for early March data before deciding whether to lift the school mask mandate, compared to 30% who say the school mask mandate should have ended already, and 10% who want to see it end after this week’s school break," according to the Siena College Research Institute.

"You might be surprised by these numbers," said pollster Steve Greenberg, especially when breaking down the numbers upstate versus downstate. 58% of those polled in New York City say Governor Hochul should wait for data in March following February break in schools before lifting the mandate. Surprisingly people polled in Upstate New York felt the same way, with 56% of those polled approving the Governor's decision to wait on the data. The poll comes amid several protests at school board meetings across the state, urging for districts to ignore the Governor's mask mandate in schools.

credit: Siena College Research Institute
credit: Siena College Research Institute

Another surprise in the poll results involved former Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has been rumored recently to be considering a step back into politics.

“New Yorkers are not ready to forgive and forget when it comes to Cuomo. By two-to-one, they view him unfavorably. By more than two-to-one, voters say both that he has committed sexual harassment against multiple women, and, despite there being no criminal charges, he has not been vindicated,” Greenberg said in their official press release. “By a 20-point margin, they believe (Attorney General Letitia) James’ description of Cuomo as a ‘serial sexual harasser’ more than they believe Cuomo’s description of a ‘political hit job’ against him. Bottom line: 80% say he made the right decision to resign.”

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The poll also showed that voters in New York are overwhelmingly worried about crime. This on the heels of several violent attacks in New York City and the fact that Democrats pushed through what now seems to be a very unpopular bail reform.

Governor Kathy Hochul continues to hold a strong lead among Democrats in the state's gubernatorial race. Hochul holds a 46% lead over other Democratic contenders, according to the poll.

Siena's poll also scored the lowest so far for President Joe Biden, whose approval ratings dipped down to their lowest spot since taking office a year ago. "His favorability rating is 48-48%, down from 52-42% last month, and 65-29% in February 2021. His job performance rating is negative 36-63%, down from 39-60 percent last month, and 55-37% in February 2021," according to the poll.

See the complete Siena Poll here: part 1. Mask Cross Tabs

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