Forty percent of voters support creating a system of public campaign financing in New York and 36 percent oppose it, according to a Siena College poll released this morning. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed said they didn’t have enough information to make a decision and 2 percent said they didn’t know about the issue or had no opinion.
More Democrats than Republicans polled by Siena want such a system — 46 percent of Democrats compared to 29 percent of GOP voters. Upstate voters are less likely to support public financing — 31 percent — than those in New York City (46 percent) and its suburbs (43 percent).
Voters are more united on the issue of increasing legislators’ base salary, which has been $79,500 since 1999. Sixty-five percent oppose hiking pay and 21 percent support it, the poll found. Thirteen percent of those surveyed said they didn’t have an opinion or didn’t know, and just 1 percent were undecided.
Republicans and voters who are independent or enrolled in minor parties were more likely to oppose higher pay than Democrats. Siena found that 72 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of unaffiliated or other voters are against the measure. Sixty-one percent of Democrats had that opinion. More men than women think raising it would be a good idea — 24 percent compared to 18 percent of women.
“When it comes to public campaign financing, Democrats say yes, Republicans say no and independents are evenly divided,” Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement. “However, when it comes to increasing the pay of state legislators, Republicans, Democrats and independents all agree – by a large margin – and the answer is no.”
Most voters said they would be in favor of a $200 million package of tax cuts and credits for small businesses, which is aimed at spurring job creation. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed said they are in favor of the measure and 13 percent were against it. The rest either didn’t have enough information or didn’t have an answer. The support was consistent across political parties, regions, religion and income levels.