Almost 60 percent of upstate voters are sour on Trump

Only 29 percent of New Yorkers surveyed by Siena College for a poll released this week had a favorable view of President Trump, a sourness that was nearly as bad in the upstate region that Trump largely won in 2016 as in heavily Democratic New York City.

The split between favorable and unfavorable views upstate – an area in which Siena includes Ulster and Sullivan counties but not Orange – was 36 percent to 59 percent. By comparison, the divide was 34 percent to 61 percent in the suburbs – including Orange – and 21 percent to 73 percent in New York City.

Even a third of Republican voters had an unfavorable opinion of Trump.

Respondents rated the president poorly on several specific topics, but none worse than his handling of race relations. Half flunked him for his response to the white supremacists’ rally in Charlottesville last month, a melee that featured chanting neo-Nazis and left one counter-protester dead, and 68 percent said he has done a poor job improving race relations.

A possible consolation for Trump and his supporters is that New Yorkers hold Congress members from both parties in even lower esteem than him. Only 11 percent of the voters Siena surveyed thought Republicans were doing an excellent or good job, and 21 percent said the same of Democrats. Twenty-two percent said Trump was doing an excellent or good job.

Trump beat Hillary Clinton in most counties further upstate than Rockland and Westchester counties in 2016. He won Orange County by 6 percentage points and Sullivan by 14 points – both counties that Barack Obama won in the 2012 election. Clinton beat Trump by 9 points in Ulster.

The House Democrats’ campaign arm seized on Trump’s poor standing in the Siena poll as evidence of trouble on the horizon for Republican incumbents in 2018.

“Democrats clearly have the wind at their backs as we head into 2018,” Evan Lukaske, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a press release.

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    Chris McKenna covers Orange County government and politics for the Times Herald-Record. He has been a reporter at the newspaper since 1999. Read Full

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