NPR poll: Conservative New Yorkers trust Cuomo more than Trump on state reopening

April 29, 2020

When President Donald Trump designated the state governors as the decision-makers on COVID-19 testing, treatment, PPEs, and lockdowns, he hoped to avoid blame—not invite comparisons.

But for the American public, it has been hard to avoid seeing the disparities between the president’s approach to the pandemic—one largely of self-interest—and that of the state leaders; many of whom are resolved to save as many of their constituents as possible.

And that divergence is evident from the result of a recent poll by Sienna College Research Institute, according to an April 27 NPR report.

In fact, New York State voters overwhelmingly trust Governor Andrew Cuomo more than they do President Donald Trump to decide when to reopen their state, according to the new findings. Specifically, respondents said they trust Cuomo over Trump by a 78%-16% margin.

In the poll, Republican and conservative voters also said they prefer the Democratic governor’s judgment on the issue to Trump’s, with 56% and 57%, respectively, favoring the governor.

“When it comes to whom New Yorkers trust more to make decisions about reopening the state and its economy—the President or the Governor—it’s not even close,” said Sienna College pollster Steven Greenberg in a press release.

The poll finds broad support for two of Cuomo’s executive orders. The governor’s extension of non-essential business closures until at least mid-May gets an 87% overall approval rating among New Yorkers. Even higher, the order that residents must wear protective masks in public has an approval rating of 92%.

“While you cannot find a single issue that would generate unanimous support from all 12 million New York voters, Cuomo’s order that face masks or coverings must be worn in public…comes as close as any issue Sienna College has ever plled, Greenberg said.

What’s more, NPR notes, Cuomo’s favorability rating is currently up to an all-time high of 77%, according to the poll.

The governor’s daily press briefings have attracted national attention, especially in contrast to those of the president. Cuomo’s briefings garner a mixed bag of reactions on social media, but one common praise point is the New York governor’s frankness in presenting harrowing facts.

“Cuomo’s daily briefings are a case study in transparency and truth to build trust,” wrote Linda Peek Schatch, a former Carter administration official, in a piece for the Brookings Institution. “Unlike Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men,” Cuomo believes the American people can handle the truth.”

In contrast, Trump has been criticized for his performance at daily White House briefings—and on Monday, there was confusion over whether the president would continue to hold future briefings.

As NPR’s Ayesha Rascoe reports:”Trump has faced criticism from opponents about the way he’s handled these briefings—spending much of his time sparring with reporters and often contradicting his own medical experts. Even some of the president’s supporters have complained that the briefings detract from the administration’s message.”

Research contact: @NPR

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