Cuomo’s gun plan polls strong across NY

The Siena Research Institute released its new poll today, showing Governor Andrew Cuomo still polling at 71% favorability, despite a series of controversial moves — including clashes with public employee unions, his apparent willingness to allow hydrofracking in central New York, and his push for toughest-in-the-nation gun control laws.

Siena asked voters in particular about the gun control plan Cuomo pushed through the legislature.  They found that 73% of New Yorkers favored the ban on assault rifles and large capacity magazines.

The National Rifle Association, meanwhile, has approval ratings of just 36%, with 57% of New Yorkers unfavorable.  Those are pretty grim numbers.

While two of the Governor’s gun proposals – banning assault weapons and increasing penalties for illegally
purchasing guns or using guns on school grounds – are strongly supported by voters, another measure – not
proposed by the Governor nor in the new law – to have armed security guards in all schools closely divides voters
with 52 percent opposed and 46 percent in support. By better than two-to-one, voters strongly oppose training
and arming teachers.

It’s worth noting, however, that Cuomo’s poll numbers are far lower in Upstate New York — though still relatively strong at 61% favorability.  And in this part of New York, the NRA polls much better, with 50% favorable and 45% unfavorable.

Still, the survey found that 60% of Upstate residents surveyed approved the assault weapons ban, compared with 39% who oppose it.  Read the full “crosstabs” here and add your comments below.


124 Comments on “Cuomo’s gun plan polls strong across NY”

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  1. Kathy says:

    And yes, when I pay hundreds of dollars a year — via taxes — to subsidize the emergency room visits of people who are morbidly obese because of unregulated and omnipresent high-fructose corn syrup, it affects me.

    And if someone who has an assault weapon breaks into my home or office or on the street, that affects me, and I have the right to defend myself with more than a .22 or a 7 bullet limit hand gun.

  2. JDM says:


    You could say that in NYS, 12% who rated Cuomo favorably were Republican.

    You could say that among the unfavorable ratings, 11% who rated Cuomo unfavorably were Republican.

    As you can see, the “sample” doesn’t contain very many Republicans.

    You cannot compare the 12% to the 11% and make any kind of statistical statement.

  3. Kathy says:

    Kathy, good luck eating that side of venison with thirty slugs in it.

    Rights, especially when supported by a law, is just that – a right.

    If someone wants to abort 10 babies that’s their business.

    If someone wants to marry their gay lover that’s their business.

    If someone wants to shoot a deer with a high powered rifle that’s their business.

  4. Brian Mann says:

    There are all kinds of legitimate arguments against the Cuomo gun control plan, but these efforts to discredit Siena’s polling are silly.

    Clearly, right now New Yorkers just aren’t hearing or responding to the arguments being made by gun rights activists.

    The 55-point margin in favor of banning assault rifles among Republicans is a statistically significant margin.

    Siena also reached the generally accepted spread of Republicans vs. Democrats in NY — there’s no bias there.

    Gallup estimates that Dems outnumber Republicans by 21 points in NY. This survey gave a Democratic lean of roughly 23 points.

    That’s well within the range of acceptable random variability.

    The bottom line is that a lot of this anti-polling chatter echoes the goofy stuff we heard during the election last November.

    There is one point here, however, that is worth mentioning. Support for Cuomo’s gun plan is obviously lower among Republicans and lower, too, among people Upstate.

    When you combine those two variables, it may well be — this is speculation on my part — that there is a small lean toward opposing the gun control plan among Republicans in upstate NY.

    Even so, however, it’s noteworthy that support for gun control appears to be reasonably solid even among New Yorkers who identify with the GOP.

    That’s not a good sign for groups like NRA.

    –Brian, NCPR

  5. The Original Larry says:

    “In here, we only have high-fructose corn syrup rarely, we don’t need a bushmaster or blathering idiots like jdm or Dick Morris to “unskew” our polls.”

    Well, good for you, wj. In fact, I agree with you in principle, but for my part I don’t want to subsidize abortions for idiots who can’t practice birth control. Sounds like a plan to me.

  6. Paul says:

    “It is sad to hear that you do not.” Take a deep breath people. Of course RC fears another Newtown, we all do. Dave, that doesn’t mean that there is only one solution. Or that only one “side” has the answers.

  7. The Original Larry says:

    The majority of New Yorkers may favor a ban on assault rifles, no argument there, but why isn’t anyone concerned about how this has been accomplished? The government of NY already legislates many aspects of daily life. Will they continue on and pass a law requiring us to eat our vegetables? Think about it before you laugh.

  8. Paul says:

    If someone wants to take their high powered rifle with a high capacity clip into a school and start shooting that is EVERYONE’S business. At least I think it should be. How do we prevent it?

  9. hermit thrush says:

    You’ve made my point, too, Hermit Thrush.

    The same measure the left uses for their agenda should be used for all.

    sorry but this makes no sense, kathy.

    from what i can tell, you seem to be opposed to gun safety measures because they violate ironclad “principles” of “freedom.” but you’re just bs-ing yourself. you’re a social conservative. you want to use the government to advance and promote your social conservative agenda. if you were really all about “freedom,” then you’d be arguing just as vigorously for gay marriage as for gun rights. i read almost all of the comments here, and i can assure you that hasn’t been the case.

    on the other hand, you seem to have a very poor understanding of the principles behind progressivism. in saying that, i don’t mean to put myself forward as a spokesbird for all progressives. but i do think it’s safe to say that “do whatever you want” is not a progressive principle. something much closer to what people like me think is that individuals should be free to do something, unless there’s a particularly good reason or reasons that they shouldn’t.

    it’s a pragmatic way of looking at the world. and it’s messy. but the world is messy!

    so gay people should be free to marry because there’s no good reason that they shouldn’t. on the other hand, it’s ok to have some gun control measures because guns are really dangerous. what we mean by “good” reasons, or where we draw the lines on these things — that’s precisely what we debate about.

  10. Two Cent says:

    “And your freedom ends at my nose — meaning that you can do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t affect me.”

    wrong – MY freedom ends at MY nose, YOUR freedom ends at YOUR nose. the rest of the statement is correct.
    subtle but there is a difference, imo

  11. Walker says:

    “And if someone who has an assault weapon breaks into my home or office or on the street, that affects me, and I have the right to defend myself with more than a .22 or a 7 bullet limit hand gun.”

    Kathy, find me a news story where a homeowner needed more than seven bullets to defend their home.

  12. The Original Larry says:

    “That’s what government is supposed to do…regulate what it believes best for its citizens.”

    That’s the kind of thinking that produces Bloombergs, Cuomos and Obamas. I’ll repeat myself: sheep!

  13. wj says:


    You don’t subsidize abortions, in any way — because of the Hyde Amendment.

    A large percentage of women who get abortions are married mothers who don’t want another kid. Yeah, maybe they didn’t use birth control. Who cares? It doesn’t affect your money, your property value, etc.

    It’s getting to the point when people can’t avoid high fructose corn syrup, even if we try. In that case, it’s time to regulate it — or ban foods and drinks that contain it.

  14. JDM says:

    Brian Mann :”That’s not a good sign for groups like NRA.”

    I’m not sure what the concern over the NRA is. The membership increase has been off-the-charts.

    If not GOP, then it must be Independents and Dems as well.

    Also, we seem to have picked up some name-callers, who think that name calling is a substitute for having a measurable thought.

  15. hermit thrush says:

    Also, we seem to have picked up some name-callers, who think that name calling is a substitute for having a measurable thought.

    again: this from a guy who’s been going on and on about “low information voters.”

  16. JDM says:

    hermit thrush: we certainly have some “low information” commenters.

  17. myown says:

    or a bazooka or better yet, a grenade. Oh boy when will it end :(

  18. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I’ve learned a couple of things through this whole debate.

    1) Conservative gun-rights types apparently DO need to use more ammunition at the practice range because they don’t think they can shoot an intruder in their own home with 7 shots. Let’s hope the dog sleeps outside and the kids are locked in bullet proof bedrooms with all the stray bullets flying around.

    2) the best way to get conservatives to start talking about health care issues is to talk about gun control. Pretty soon the NRA is going push a mandate for federal mental health insurance.

  19. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Well, JDM got one thing right.

  20. JDM says:

    Here’s an interesting survey:

    “Sixty percent of high school and college students say they plan on owning guns at a later stage in life, an academic study from American University revealed on Monday. ”

    In response, Jennifer Lawless, professor, had this to say:

    “Lawless told Campus Reform on Tuesday that in her view the findings were proof that President Obama should move swiftly, and without the permission of Congress if necessary, in order limit the availability of firearms.”

    Well, now.

    Very revealing.

  21. Walker says:

    I don’t think any of you gun-rights supporters (except Rancid, with machine guns) have chosen to comment about the insufferable intrusion on your gun rights posed by the 1934 National Firearms Act– it has prevented you through your entire lifetime from owning machine guns, silencers, sawed off shotguns (handy in repelling intruders at close range), grenades, bombs and other high-power arms. So how about it? Intolerable intrusions on your precious freedoms? Or perfectly reasonable? Somewhere in between?

  22. Kathy says:

    Walker, an interesting perspective from a former CIA officer:

    Also interesting is, what’s the government going to do to round up the assault weapons that are out there? Because of the Sandy Hook shooting, perhaps people are thinking about purchasing a gun to protect their family. So if a criminal has an assault weapon (because they are out there and criminals don’t follow the law), a revolver with a 7 bullet limit is sufficient?

  23. Kathy says:

    If someone wants to take their high powered rifle with a high capacity clip into a school and start shooting that is EVERYONE’S business. At least I think it should be. How do we prevent it?

    Armed guards. PA and a few other states are doing it.

  24. The Original Larry says:

    The reason nobody besides you comments on the 1934 Act is that it’s not relevant. You like to cast gun rights people as unreasonabe but we aren’t.

  25. Ken Hall says:

    Paul says: “”Any possibility that the reality is y’all continue to harbor hatred towards black folks?”

    This is probably the saddest comment I have see on this blog and there has been some sad ones.”

    Paul do you take umbrage with my question or with the fact that I directed the question towards conservative/republican leaning Americans?

    I have lived the majority of my life north of the Mason Dixon line or in CA (68-78) primarily in the North Country of NY; however, I lived in Maryland just north of Baltimore for about 15 years (87-2002) and in the deep South La, Fl, Tx for more than 2 years. I lived in the deep South during some of Civil Rights campaign years 64, 65, 66. I saw the deep South as she struggled to hang onto her “principled” old ways and it was not pretty. I saw no outright violence perpetrated upon black folks, as they were charitably called back then, but I saw plenty of the squaller they were forced to live in. Yes I said “forced”. One of my African American friends with whom I was stationed at England AFB, La had an older Cadi that he was having trouble getting running so I told him I would give him a hand. His response was ,paraphrasing here, “you won’t come to where I live when you find out where it is”. As an E4 in the USAF living off base with his family he was constrained by local “white mans” regulations to live in a ghetto slum which at that time and place (65) the USAF would not say to the locals “you cannot force people to live like that”. He was astounded when I pulled up in front of his house/shack and even happier when we had his Cadi humming in no time. Where am I going with this?

    I have seen the outright hatred of whites in the deep South and the veiled hatred of whites disguised as disdain for “their” lifestyle in Maryland, New York and California. Yes right here in downtown North Country, NY, at this time, one can hear the veiled and outright comments from locals who are of the belief that you, me are one of them and they let their guard down and say what they think not what they think they ought to say.

    I’ll let my question stand and await your honest answer.

  26. Walker says:

    “…the 1934 Act is that it’s not relevant.”

    Don’t be ridiculous, Larry. If the 1934 law isn’t an infringement on gun rights, then no law is, period. It defines what weapons are illegal, exactly like Cuomo’s law does. So why is it no problem.

    BTW, Rancid is on record here somewhere as saying that he’s fine with law abiding citizens owning machine guns. How about you?

  27. Marvel says:

    I don’t think it is any big surprise that new Yorkers are in favor of tighter gun control. I guess I am surprised that it would be surprising? Also given this is nys we need new laws that create new regulatory abencies and systems.

  28. Walker says:

    “If someone wants to take their high powered rifle with a high capacity clip into a school and start shooting that is EVERYONE’S business… How do we prevent it?

    –Armed guards. PA and a few other states are doing it.”

    Movie theaters? Malls? Parking lots? Beaches? Basketball games? Subway and train stations? Supermarkets? Home Depots? Parades? Thruway rest areas? Ballgames? Restaurants?

    It’s gonna be a real growth industry. (Of course, with corporations vying with each other to provide the lowest possible cost guards, there’s bound to be a few slip ups on the background checks.)

  29. The Original Larry says:

    Ken Hall,
    I can only speak for myself, and as an older, conservative, primarily rural white man, I can honestly say that my dislike for Obama is limited to his political orientation. I may be atypical, but I grew up never hearing a racist comment (about any group) from either of my parents who were themselves children of the Depression era. How that happened I don’t know but I am glad of it and it informs my approach to people who are different from me. That’s my honest answer.

  30. Kathy says:

    Walker, that’s like saying there is no point in armed guards in other places and for other people.

    It’s not the gun that has caused our world to be as it is. It’s the person behind the gun. Because they will us whatever they can to do the job.

    Banning takes the assault weapon out of the good guy’s hands. The bad guys are still going to get them.

  31. Kathy says:

    When Bush was president, there were plenty on the left who nailed him and everything he did.

    We have a problem. Two world views. And somehow we have to come together. But I think it’s virtually impossible.

    Perhaps we’re all low information voters. Because it takes some real time and effort to educate yourself.

    For example, a few months ago the debate here was about church and state. We weren’t there 240 years ago but we can learn from other writings to grasp what the Framers were thinking and what their world view was. I pointed out every state constitution was filled with looking to God for guidance, provision, etc. That is one example of doing your homework which I believe sheds light on the subject.

    Bottom line is both camps should be looking for truth to wade through the complexities of these issues. Opinion alone is not good enough. We need truth and yes, imo, we need guidance from above to find that truth.

  32. The Original Larry says:

    I am no expert on the 1934 Act but I am certain that the debate about it didn’t begin with the anti-gun folks accusing their opponents of being in favor of mass murder. Oh, that could mean that reasonable people worked together to come up with a reasonable law. Nowadays, it’s just so much easier for you to demonize those who don’t agree with you. I’m sick of being cast as someone who is callous about the death of children or paranoid about personal safety or dead set against compromise. I’m also sick of being accused of having a hidden agenda, when in fact, it’s the anti-gun folks who keep pushing the envelope beyond what they say. Anyway, what is your point about the 1934 Act? Do you want to tag me as some crazed machine-gunner because I believe in Constitutional rights? Go right ahead if it makes you feel better.

  33. Walker says:

    No, Larry, I want to know why this gun law is an insufferable infringement of your constitutional rights, but somehow the 1934 law is OK.

  34. Walker says:

    Kathy, you don’t get it.

    “Banning machine guns keeps machine guns out of the good guy’s hands.”

    “Banning grenades keeps grenades out of the good guy’s hands.”

    “Banning sawed-off shotguns keeps sawed off shotguns of the good guy’s hands.”


  35. hermit thrush says:

    But if the secular progressives resist God/religion/Bible, then it’s easy to understand why they would not value America’s founding documents in the context of how the Framers wrote it – and why the wrote it.

    i have to say, that’s a really incredible slur against nonreligious people. you should be ashamed, kathy.

  36. Paul says:


    I find the questions troubling, it doesn’t matter who it is directed at. To boil down these things to some kind of racial bias when there does not appear to be any, in my opinion, is sad.

    Others, You all should really listen to tonight’s Freakonomics on podcast it is very interesting. It talks about how folks with strong opinions (let’s face it that is most of us) tend to look more for information that supports their point of view, so they further push themselves to the extremes. We are even asking each other here to do it all the time right? “Hey show me some data to back that up!!”.

  37. Kathy says:

    Interesting read. Thanks, Walker. ( I had this before your post Paul ; )

    Comments anyone?

  38. The Original Larry says:

    Kathy should not be ashamed of putting forth a reasonable hypothesis. We’re very touchy tonight, aren’t we?

  39. Paul says:

    “If someone wants to take their high powered rifle with a high capacity clip into a school and start shooting that is EVERYONE’S business. At least I think it should be. How do we prevent it?

    Armed guards. PA and a few other states are doing it.”

    Kathy, yes, that is one idea. I personally wish this wasn’t a possible solution. My question is WHY are armed guards now necessary at schools in an effort to prevent this kind of thing when they have not been required in the past???

  40. hermit thrush says:

    compare this:

    Kathy should not be ashamed of putting forth a reasonable hypothesis. We’re very touchy tonight, aren’t we?

    with this:

    I’m sick of being cast as someone who is callous about the death of children or paranoid about personal safety or dead set against compromise.


  41. Rebecca Smith says:

    And the emergency room visit for those who picked up a gun because it was near by? To shoot themselves or someone else?

  42. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Kathy, I thoroughly enjoyed your link from the former CIA officer.

    “Jason Hanson is a former CIA officer. He’s also an NRA Certified Instructor, a Utah Concealed Firearms Permit Instructor and an Eagle Scout.”

    Repeat, “and an Eagle Scout”, because being former CIA, NRA Certified instructor and Utah Concealed Firearms Permit Instructor just isn’t enough credibility.

    But he does have a good imagination about particular scenarios that just might happen. I always enjoy the intruder whacked out on PCP, such a retro 70’s touch to the story. Uh-oh, wait! What is that noise in the bushes outside my house? Someone is breaking in the back door and me sitting here in my pj’s at the computer without a weapon at hand. What to do, what to do? I hear him rustling around in the mudroom and the kids are in the basement. No time to wait, I’m jumping in my car and driving to the Walmart to purchase a gun. Kids down there in the basement, lock the door and stay quiet I’ll be right back!

  43. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Whew! I’m back. Good thing wandering into Walmart in your PJ’s is perfectly acceptable or I might not have passed the background check!

    To the basement…hey, kids? You okay? What? Why did I run out the front door and drive away when you came up through the mudroom? Oh, no reason…just felt like a drive. Nice night out. A little chilly though.

  44. Paul says:

    KHL, what in teh world are you talking about? Get a grip.

  45. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    My point exactly!

  46. Paul says:

    I just saw a story from the TSA about how this year they have confiscated, in carry ons, mortar shells and chainsaws! wow.

  47. Paul says:

    An F’n chain saw? Carried onto an airplane. What is going on?

  48. Paul says:

    Rebecca, Is that an assault weapons issue or a large capacity magazine issue? Let’s be clear about what the issues are?

  49. scratchy says:

    tootightmike says:
    January 17, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    The Governor, and the President did well to move fast, before the NRA could mount a giant fear campaign. They both deserve credit for forming careful, and not-too-aggressive proposals that actually stand a chance of passing. The NRA will not see it as such, and will dig themselves in with the teabaggers. The rest of us will move on…there are many other problems, and much more to accomplish.

    What’s so bad about committee hearings where members of the public can comment on proposed legislation? Municipalities are required to have a public hearing (as well as they post an advertisement notifying people of the hearing) before they approve a local law. Why shouldn’t the state follow the same path. Give the public a chance to read and comment on legislation before it is voted on. All too often, things are approved through backroom deals.

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