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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Poll: NY voters strongly support term limits; also back convention

Exterior view from the plaza of the New

Exterior view from the plaza of the New York state Capitol during a special legislative session at the Capitol on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, in Albany, N.Y. Credit: AP / Hans Pennink

ALBANY — New Yorkers narrowly support a constitutional convention that could revamp how state government is run, although opposition is rising as undecided voters choose a side, a poll released Friday showed.

Most New Yorkers -- 73 percent -- who were polled had still heard nothing or very little about the constitutional convention referendum that voters will decide Nov. 7. Friday’s poll found 49 percent of voters said they heard nothing at all about the convention. In September, 58 percent said they had heard nothing about the convention referendum offered to voters every 20 years.

The Siena College Research Institute poll, however, asked all voters who responded about their view of the convention even if they hadn’t heard much or anything about it. The poll found 44 percent of registered voters support holding a convention, while 39 percent opposed it. That divide is statistically unchanged from a month ago when the divide was 45-33 percent. However, as undecided votes make a choice more voters oppose a constitutional convention, sometimes referred to as “ConCon.”

“As half of New Yorkers continue to have heard or read nothing about the upcoming ConCon -- down from two-thirds in July -- support for ConCon continues to wane,” said Steven Greenberg of the Siena poll.

Voters, however, overwhelmingly support landmark changes in the state constitution that the convention could recommend. The convention’s recommendations would require subsequent voter approval in a statewide referendum.

Siena found more than 80 percent of voters support term limits for governor, attorney general and comptroller as well as legislators; and protection from discrimination over gender identity; while 69 percent want to prohibit “unreasonably restricting” abortion rights.

A majority -- 53 percent -- of voters oppose restricting collective bargaining by unions and by a 49-43 percent margin oppose allowing more economic development in the Adirondack State Park.

The poll questioned 789 registered voters Sept. 25 through Monday, Oct. 2, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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