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LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (WROC) — Most New Yorkers want more data before lifting school mask mandates, and they also still support an indoor public mask mandate, according to a new Siena College poll released Tuesday morning.

Mask mandates

According to the poll, 58% of New Yorkers say the state should wait for early March data before deciding to lift the school mask mandate while 30% say the mandate should have already been lifted.

“While nearly two-thirds of voters without children at home support waiting for March data to decide on the school mask mandate, state and school officials face a ‘lose/lose’ proposition with their constituents most closely affected by this decision – regardless of the decision – since voters with children under 18 in their household are closely divided between waiting for data to decide and masks should have been off already,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

Additionally, 45% of New Yorkers polled say the indoor public mask mandate, which was recently lifted, should have remained in place, while 31% of those polled say it should have ended earlier than it did. According to the poll, 20% of New Yorkers believe the indoor mask mandate ended at the right time.

“There is no clear consensus on mandating masks in indoor public spaces. Half of voters want the mandate finished – 20% said February 10 was the right time to end it and 31% said it should have ended earlier,” Greenberg said. “Still, a plurality of voters, 45%, say the indoor mask mandate should remain in place.”


On crime, 60% of New Yorkers polled say the issue is a “very serious” problem across New York state while 31% say it’s “somewhat serious.” By a 65% to 27% margin, voters say “the so-called bail reform law should be amended to give judges more discretion to keep dangerous criminals off the street” versus “the law shouldn’t be amended to give discretion on bail back to judges because it could once again lead to people of color being disproportionately denied bail.”

“Nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers – including strong majorities of Republicans, independents and Democrats, upstaters and downstaters – support amending the 2019 bail reform law and giving judges more discretion to keep dangerous criminals off the streets,” Greenberg said. “Voters of color and young voters are more closely divided. Young voters favor amending the law by 12 points, Latinos by seven points and Black voters by four points.”

State politics

Gov. Kathy Hochul maintains a big lead among Democrats in the race for governor. According to the poll, the governor has the support of 46% of Democrats, compared to 17% for New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, 9% for Rep. Tom Suozzi, and more than 25% of those polled remain undecided.

“While Williams has a narrow 39-32% lead over Hochul with Black voters and he’s within three points of Hochul with younger voters, Hochul has a large to commanding lead with virtually all other demographic groups, with large double-digit leads in every region,” Greenberg said.

Meanwhile, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s favorability, 33% to 60%, remains unchanged since October and 58% to 21% of those polled say they think he did sexually harass multiple women, compared to 56% and 20% in September. By a margin of 80% to 13%, voters polled say Cuomo made the right decision to resign.