Dude, what if they make this idiot governor?
Actually, scratch that last one. I dislike Gillibrand enough that I’m basically agnostic about a death match between her and AOC.
This new poll of New York State from Siena is newsy because it’s a sequel to a newsy poll they published in March. That was one of the first surveys to test Ocasio-Cortez’s popularity back home after she’d joined Congress and become a national figure, and the early verdict was chilly: She polled at just 34/41 in terms of favorability statewide and did only a bit better, 43/37, in her hometown of New York City. For all the hype about AOC being a political phenomenon, the people who knew her best seemed sour on her.
That was March. Five months later, the sourness has turned to — well, not sweetness, exactly, but certainly sweeter than it used to be:
In March she stood at 47/30 among Democrats and a garish 22/51 among independents. As of today she’s at 35/46 among indies, a net gain of 18 points, and a robust 62/21 within her own party, a net gain of 22. In New York City she’s up to 53/28, a net improvement of 19 points. Unquestionably she’s gotten more popular. How come?
Two simple factors, I think, one of which is basic name recognition. The reason early polls about AOC had her negatives higher than her positives is because she was an omnipresent figure in right-wing media from day one and a well-covered but not quite ubiquitous figure in other media. He unfavorables piled up quickly thanks to Republicans; then it was a simple matter for her to wait until more Democrats and left-leaning indies got to know her for her favorables to catch up. We’ve now reached that point. The second factor is connected to that: Doubtless Trump did her a favor in her home state by singling out her and the Squad for “go back where you came from” criticism a few weeks ago. That attack helped introduce her to some casual voters who hadn’t paid her attention before, I assume, and produced a circle-the-wagons effect among Democrats upon seeing four of their young congresswomen get dinged by POTUS. Combine all of that with the fact that New York leans heavily blue and dislikes Trump and it was a cinch that her numbers would be better today, after tangling with Trump, than they were before.
Speaking of which, Trump’s own favorable rating in the March and August polls of New York is essentially unchanged, from 36/60 this spring to 35/62 now. There is, however, one prominent pol from New York whose numbers have taken a major hit over that period. Guess who:
In March the mayor of New York City was at 46/47 in his hometown and at 34/50 across New York State. After several months of running for president and being AWOL during minor city crises to do it, he’s now 19 points underwater in NYC and 31 points underwater statewide. In terms of raw and net favorability, Donald Trump is a more popular figure in New York State than Bill de Blasio is.
Remember how everyone warned de Blasio not to run for president? Well, there you have it.
By the way, the other presidential candidate from New York hasn’t suffered the same hit in popularity but she hasn’t done herself any favors either. Kirsten Gillibrand was 43/33 statewide in March and stands at just 41/36 now; her rating of 54/24 within her own party is actually a bit weaker than AOC’s. Lefties like to chatter about Ocasio-Cortez potentially primarying Chuck Schumer because they think he’s a squish who won’t stand up to McConnell, but Schumer’s one of the more popular politicians in New York — 53/39 overall and 72/21 among Democrats. Voters won’t lightly unseat someone who’s poised to be Senate majority leader either. It’s Gillibrand who seems like a riper target for Ocasio-Cortez, as she’s charmless on the trail and operates under (perfectly justified) suspicions that she has no true ideological core. AOC would need to wait five years before getting a crack at her, but given their current trajectories and the trajectory of the party, there’s no reason to think she wouldn’t be competitive in a primary.
She told an audience in Brooklyn yesterday, by the way, that Trump is “directly responsible” for the shooting in El Paso. Exit question via Guy Benson: Ignoring the fact that she doesn’t understand what the word “directly” means, shouldn’t her logic about “concentration camps” at the border make her “directly” responsible for that Antifa nut attacking an ICE facility in Tacoma?