Most of the news coming out of New York State lately hasn’t been very good (to put it mildly). Whether it’s the botched distribution of vaccines, crazy liberal regulations, quickly rising violent crime rates, or the inability to certify a congressional election, things have been a hot mess. Now, a recent poll from Sienna appears to explain why things keep getting worse. It’s not just the incompetence of the municipal and state elected leaders, though there’s plenty to complain about there. It’s the people who keep electing the same clown-car occupants over and over again and who apparently have no intention of changing their habits.
The primary focus of the poll dealt with the level of “vaccine hesitation” in New York, of which there is more than the state government would like to see. More than a quarter of the state’s residents say they have no intention of getting vaccinated. In the upstate area outside of New York City, almost one third will decline when they become eligible. That’s never going to get the state to the magical 90% herd immunity level that Dr. Fauci loves to talk about. But Sienna included a number of other questions about New Yorkers’ attitudes toward the people and policies in the government, as they usually do. Some of the answers they received should leave a sane person wondering how they manage to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. (Syracuse News, emphasis added)
Among those polled, 55% say they think the worst of the pandemic is yet to come. Cuomo gave a similar dire prediction on Monday. Since March, the state has reported 33,052 have died of the pandemic.
Two-thirds of those polled say they approve of the way Cuomo is handling the pandemic, the poll found. Among Republicans, 41% approve of the Democratic governor’s actions to combat Covid-19.
And 53% say that Cuomo should hang onto the extraordinary powers state lawmakers gave him last spring — such as shuttering businesses or emergency purchasing of medical equipment.
The same people who have railed against the lockdowns and school closures for months on end still don’t think Governor Cuomo and Gotham Mayor Bill de Blasio have things under control and believe the pandemic will get worse. But two-thirds of them are still giving Cuomo a thumbs up for how he’s handling the pandemic. Keep in mind that Cuomo is the same guy who arguably killed off more nursing home residents than Jack the Ripper.
On top of that, more than half of them believe that the Governor should keep the extraordinary executive powers he inherited at the start of the pandemic permanently. That basically removes the legislature from most major decisions and places almost all power in the hands of one autocrat. And they’re apparently happy about it.
Sienna tries to generate a bit of buzz by pointing out that “only” 48% say they are ready to give Cuomo another term next year, but that’s something of a distraction. That’s roughly the same percentage who said the same thing in 2018. The party line split shows that 28% percent of Democrats and 67% of Republicans would rather have a new governor in 2023, but that only supports the reality that Cuomo remains virtually unbeatable in the primary. And since Democrats enjoy a nearly two-to-one registration advantage in the state, what the Republicans think about the question is mostly meaningless.
Oh, and despite everything we just summarized here, 50% say New York is headed in the right direction. Seriously?
There’s plenty of blame to legitimately lay at the feet of New York’s state and municipal officials to be sure. But why in the world should we have any sympathy for New Yorkers if they can look at all that’s going on and the exodus of their neighbors from the state and declare that they plan to just keep things the way they are? This is literally like that popular meme with the little dog saying “this is fine” while sitting in a house that’s burning down. Or perhaps more appropriately, we can recall the prophetic words of H.L. Mencken, who might have been foreseeing the future of New York State when he famously said, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.“