A Siena College/Newsday poll asked hundreds of LI’s registered voters about hot-button issues, including the presidential election and policies from local lawmakers. NewsdayTV’s Macy Egeland reports. Credit: Anthony Florio

Long Islanders strongly favor a proposed “Equal Rights Amendment” to the state constitution but also support a Nassau official’s attempt to bar transgender athletes from girls sports.

They also support restricting addictive social media feeds to minors, oppose hiking deposits on cans and bottles and paying higher power bills to support energy transition, and say the outcome of former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial won’t change their opinion of him one way or another.

They also strongly oppose the notion of making gun owners deputies in Nassau County in emergency situations.

Those were some of the findings in a survey Siena College conducted in conjunction with Newsday. The survey of 504 registered voters was conducted May 13-15 and answers has a margin of error of 5.9 percentage points, meaning answers could be that much higher or lower.

The Equal Rights Amendment would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution, as well as establish bans on discrimination based on several factors, including ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Overall, Islanders support the proposal, 52% to 33% — but that is a smaller margin than Siena found statewide, 59-26. Plus, Siena’s survey shows lawmakers’ decision to include other issues besides abortion drags down support.

For example, 64% of Islanders said they favored protecting abortion rights in the constitution, equal to the statewide average, Siena pollster Don Levy said. Democrats and independents strongly favored it, while Republicans were split.

Asked about protecting transgender rights, 46% of Islanders favored it, while 36% opposed; statewide, it was 48-32.

Asked about supporting an amendment to protect abortion rights and transgender rights, Islanders favored it 52%-33% — but that was a smaller margin than the 59-26 Siena found statewide.

“The decision to blend abortion rights and transgender rights in the ERA is going to weigh down the ERA,” Levy said. By enrollment, Democrats and independents strongly favored the proposal, while Republicans overwhelmingly opposed.

Tahira Abdullah, a Greenlawn Republican, said she favored the amendment because abortions should be available in cases of rape or when the mother’s health is at risk. Asked about transgender rights, she said: “Whatever they want to be, let them be. I’m not God. I can’t judge.”

The amendment’s ballot status is unclear. Earlier this month, an upstate judge said it should be stricken because the Democratic-led State Legislature skipped a constitutionally mandated step to get the amendment to a statewide vote.

Attorney General Letitia James is appealing the ruling. The outcome not only will impact the amendment, but also could influence congressional contests as Democrats were hoping the referendum might motivate more of their supporters to the polls. The Democrats acted after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned federal abortion rights.

While supporting the amendment, Islanders also favored Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman’s attempt to ban transgender athletes from competing in girls’ sports at county venues. A judge recently overturned the ban because Blakeman tried to do it through executive decree rather than go through the county legislature.

Still, residents support the idea, 53%-34% in Nassau County and 53-31 in Suffolk County.

Jay Boorman, 57, an Oceanside independent, illustrated the nuance in poll responses. He supports the amendment because of abortion rights but “not particularly transgender rights.”

“If you ban abortion, you are not going to stop abortion,” Boorman told Newsday. “You are going to have young ladies go to extreme measures, and some will die.”

But he said he opposes allowing transgender athletes compete in girls’ sports “because I have a daughter who was a competitive athlete at one time.”

Kathleen Bass, 68, an Old Brookville Republican, also supported Blakeman’s proposal, saying it’s about fairness for female athletes. Referring to the landmark civil rights act that propelled investments in women’s sports, she added: “I remember Title IX and all the movement that got scholarships for women so women could compete. I remember the struggles.”

She opposes the amendment — in part because of its combination of issues.

“I would say let’s vote on a particular issue and not vote on all these things together,” Bass said. “I think it’s a fundamentally unfair way to do” combined issues.

Another controversial Blakeman idea generated the opposite reaction from Islanders: By 52%-32%, they oppose his bid to allow gun license holders to apply to be deputies in emergencies. Nassau residents alone opposed it 49%-35%.

“Horrible, horrible, horrible idea,” said Robert Shanahan, 68, a Wantagh Democrat. “First, it’s totally not needed. We live in one of safest counties in the world. It has no purpose but for him to call up his own militia. It’s a totalitarian move.”

Bass said she could support the idea if these deputies received mandatory training.

“If you are a volunteer fireman, they don’t just put you on the truck. You have to have training,” Bass said, adding that in becoming a deputy, “you can’t just say show up with your gun and shoot.”

Islanders were in tune with the rest of New York when it comes to clamping down on social media feeds to minors, but not so much on increased environmental spending.

Siena found Islanders favored, 62%-22%, a bill in Albany to ban social media platforms from providing addictive, algorithm-based feeds to minors without parental consent. This mirrored statewide numbers, 63%-20%.

But whereas the state seems divided (43% favor, 46% oppose) on another Albany proposal to double the nickel deposit on cans and bottles to boost recycling, Islanders overwhelmingly opposed: 55%-32%.

Similarly, residents statewide were slightly opposed to the state taking action to reduce use of fossil fuels if it hiked energy bills (36% favor, 45% oppose). But on the Island, opposition runs 2-1: 54% oppose, 28% favor.

Levy said the results jumped out as “meaningfully different.”

“On the Island, the [opposition] is enormous,” he said.

Islanders, as they have been since 2020, are split relatively on President Joe Biden and ex-President Donald Trump, with the latter holding a 43-40 edge.

But 69% overall said their opinion of Trump won’t be impacted even if he’s found guilty in an ongoing criminal trial alleging he falsified business records to cover up hush money payments to a porn star to try to influence the 2016 presidential election. That included 68% of Democrats and 66% of Republicans.

Among local leaders, Suffolk County Executive Edward P. Romaine fared better on his home turf than Blakeman. In Suffolk, 35% said they have a favorable opinion of Romaine, 19% unfavorable. In Nassau, voters were split on Blakeman, 31-30.

Age, not party affiliations, was the “largest divider” on how respondents viewed the violence in Israel and Gaza and related U.S. college campus protests, Levy said. He said this was true on the Island and statewide.

For example, 74% of Islanders between 18 and 34 support an immediate cease-fire, compared with 59% of those between 35 and 54, and 55% of those 55 and older.

When asked if they supported police shutting down campus protests, 85% of those 55 and older said yes, compared with 67% of those 35 to 54 and 46% of those 18 to 34.

Long Islanders strongly favor a proposed “Equal Rights Amendment” to the state constitution but also support a Nassau official’s attempt to bar transgender athletes from girls sports.

They also support restricting addictive social media feeds to minors, oppose hiking deposits on cans and bottles and paying higher power bills to support energy transition, and say the outcome of former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial won’t change their opinion of him one way or another.

They also strongly oppose the notion of making gun owners deputies in Nassau County in emergency situations.

Those were some of the findings in a survey Siena College conducted in conjunction with Newsday. The survey of 504 registered voters was conducted May 13-15 and answers has a margin of error of 5.9 percentage points, meaning answers could be that much higher or lower.

The Equal Rights Amendment would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution, as well as establish bans on discrimination based on several factors, including ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Overall, Islanders support the proposal, 52% to 33% — but that is a smaller margin than Siena found statewide, 59-26. Plus, Siena’s survey shows lawmakers’ decision to include other issues besides abortion drags down support.

For example, 64% of Islanders said they favored protecting abortion rights in the constitution, equal to the statewide average, Siena pollster Don Levy said. Democrats and independents strongly favored it, while Republicans were split.

Asked about protecting transgender rights, 46% of Islanders favored it, while 36% opposed; statewide, it was 48-32.

Asked about supporting an amendment to protect abortion rights and transgender rights, Islanders favored it 52%-33% — but that was a smaller margin than the 59-26 Siena found statewide.

“The decision to blend abortion rights and transgender rights in the ERA is going to weigh down the ERA,” Levy said. By enrollment, Democrats and independents strongly favored the proposal, while Republicans overwhelmingly opposed.

Tahira Abdullah, a Greenlawn Republican, said she favored the amendment because abortions should be available in cases of rape or when the mother’s health is at risk. Asked about transgender rights, she said: “Whatever they want to be, let them be. I’m not God. I can’t judge.”

The amendment’s ballot status is unclear. Earlier this month, an upstate judge said it should be stricken because the Democratic-led State Legislature skipped a constitutionally mandated step to get the amendment to a statewide vote.

Attorney General Letitia James is appealing the ruling. The outcome not only will impact the amendment, but also could influence congressional contests as Democrats were hoping the referendum might motivate more of their supporters to the polls. The Democrats acted after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned federal abortion rights.

While supporting the amendment, Islanders also favored Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman’s attempt to ban transgender athletes from competing in girls’ sports at county venues. A judge recently overturned the ban because Blakeman tried to do it through executive decree rather than go through the county legislature.

Still, residents support the idea, 53%-34% in Nassau County and 53-31 in Suffolk County.

Jay Boorman, 57, an Oceanside independent, illustrated the nuance in poll responses. He supports the amendment because of abortion rights but “not particularly transgender rights.”

“If you ban abortion, you are not going to stop abortion,” Boorman told Newsday. “You are going to have young ladies go to extreme measures, and some will die.”

But he said he opposes allowing transgender athletes compete in girls’ sports “because I have a daughter who was a competitive athlete at one time.”

Kathleen Bass, 68, an Old Brookville Republican, also supported Blakeman’s proposal, saying it’s about fairness for female athletes. Referring to the landmark civil rights act that propelled investments in women’s sports, she added: “I remember Title IX and all the movement that got scholarships for women so women could compete. I remember the struggles.”

She opposes the amendment — in part because of its combination of issues.

“I would say let’s vote on a particular issue and not vote on all these things together,” Bass said. “I think it’s a fundamentally unfair way to do” combined issues.

Special deputies

Another controversial Blakeman idea generated the opposite reaction from Islanders: By 52%-32%, they oppose his bid to allow gun license holders to apply to be deputies in emergencies. Nassau residents alone opposed it 49%-35%.

“Horrible, horrible, horrible idea,” said Robert Shanahan, 68, a Wantagh Democrat. “First, it’s totally not needed. We live in one of safest counties in the world. It has no purpose but for him to call up his own militia. It’s a totalitarian move.”

Bass said she could support the idea if these deputies received mandatory training.

“If you are a volunteer fireman, they don’t just put you on the truck. You have to have training,” Bass said, adding that in becoming a deputy, “you can’t just say show up with your gun and shoot.”

Internet, environment

Islanders were in tune with the rest of New York when it comes to clamping down on social media feeds to minors, but not so much on increased environmental spending.

Siena found Islanders favored, 62%-22%, a bill in Albany to ban social media platforms from providing addictive, algorithm-based feeds to minors without parental consent. This mirrored statewide numbers, 63%-20%.

But whereas the state seems divided (43% favor, 46% oppose) on another Albany proposal to double the nickel deposit on cans and bottles to boost recycling, Islanders overwhelmingly opposed: 55%-32%.

Similarly, residents statewide were slightly opposed to the state taking action to reduce use of fossil fuels if it hiked energy bills (36% favor, 45% oppose). But on the Island, opposition runs 2-1: 54% oppose, 28% favor.

Levy said the results jumped out as “meaningfully different.”

“On the Island, the [opposition] is enormous,” he said.

National, local leaders

Islanders, as they have been since 2020, are split relatively on President Joe Biden and ex-President Donald Trump, with the latter holding a 43-40 edge.

But 69% overall said their opinion of Trump won’t be impacted even if he’s found guilty in an ongoing criminal trial alleging he falsified business records to cover up hush money payments to a porn star to try to influence the 2016 presidential election. That included 68% of Democrats and 66% of Republicans.

Among local leaders, Suffolk County Executive Edward P. Romaine fared better on his home turf than Blakeman. In Suffolk, 35% said they have a favorable opinion of Romaine, 19% unfavorable. In Nassau, voters were split on Blakeman, 31-30.

Israel, Gaza, protests

Age, not party affiliations, was the “largest divider” on how respondents viewed the violence in Israel and Gaza and related U.S. college campus protests, Levy said. He said this was true on the Island and statewide.

For example, 74% of Islanders between 18 and 34 support an immediate cease-fire, compared with 59% of those between 35 and 54, and 55% of those 55 and older.

When asked if they supported police shutting down campus protests, 85% of those 55 and older said yes, compared with 67% of those 35 to 54 and 46% of those 18 to 34.

USMMA sexual assaults … Man dies in Baldwin fire … What's up on LI Credit: Newsday

Shortage of HS refs ... USMMA sexual assaults ... Dementia spikes among WTC first responders ... 

USMMA sexual assaults … Man dies in Baldwin fire … What's up on LI Credit: Newsday

Shortage of HS refs ... USMMA sexual assaults ... Dementia spikes among WTC first responders ... 

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