Credit: AP/John D. Simmons

To put it bluntly, Long Islanders are in a lousy mood. Like many voters across the country, they’re deeply divided over almost everything political and ideological, from which party and candidates they support to what positions they take on particular issues. Regardless of whether they’re “red” or “blue” or moderately “purple,” however, Nassau-Suffolk residents are overwhelmingly united on two points: their unhappiness about the way things are going on Long Island and the U.S. and their lack of confidence in state and federal governments.

nextLI/Newsday and Hofstra University conducted a public opinion poll from August 3 to September 1, 2022. An unusually large sample totaling 2,910 residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties participated and answered on a broad range of topics. Full results will be available by the end of the year.

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Ahead of the 2022 election we are releasing relevant results on the political mood of the region. Respondents were sourced from an online panel, face-to-face intercept interviews in both counties, and QR codes made available to the public. The survey was administered by ProductionsPlus, and the standard error for this poll is +-2%. Data were weighted to represent the adult populations of these counties.

Satisfaction with Long Island and the United States

Results
  • Long Islanders are dissatisfied with the direction of the country, but are less unhappy with the way things are going on Long Island.
  • Overall, most Long Islanders are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States (84%)and on Long Island (67%) today.
  • For both the US and Long Island, Democrats are less dissatisfied (74% and 57%, respectively) than those in other parties (Republicans 91% and 74%; Independents 87% and 71%, respectively), but remain more dissatisfied than not.
  • Self-identified registered voters are more dissatisfied in the way things are going in the U.S. (86% vs. 72%) and Long Island (69% vs. 33%) than self-identified non-registered voters.

Confidence in institutions

Results
  • Local police elicit the highest level of confidence from LI residents, with local public schools close behind.
  • Those registered to vote are more likely to report no confidence in the federal government (27% vs. 18%) and the NY State government (27% vs. 13%) than those not registered to vote.
  • Republicans report far less confidence in the federal and state governments with about half (48% and 53%, respectively) reporting no confidence and fully eight in ten (81% and 80%, respectively) reporting low to no confidence. More than six in ten Democrats on the other hand report some or a lot of confidence in the federal (63%) and state (77%) governments.
  • Confidence in the federal and state governments is low, but Long Islanders have more confidence in their county and local governments.

How willing are you to spend time discussing political or current issues with someone who has very different political, religious or social views than you have?

Results
  • While two-thirds of Long Islanders (66%) are at least somewhat willing to spend time talking with another person with very different political, religious, or social values, one-third are not willing.
  • While most Long Islanders are willing to talk to others with very different ideas, one-in-three respondents is not willing.
  • Democrats report being more willing to engage in this activity, with 72% being at least somewhat willing, compared to 66% of Republicans and 65% of Independents.

Likelihood to vote and political ideology

Results
  • Overall, 93% are likely (very or somewhat) to vote for Governor of New York and 90% are likely to vote for New York Congressperson or Senator this year.
  • The majority identify as moderate, with around 24% conservative and 26% liberal.

Other opinions expressed by LIers

Results
  • Personal finances are a concern to most Long Islanders, with not much hope for change in the coming year. Only 11% of Long Islanders feel they are in excellent shape, while 18% feel they are in poor shape.
  • Most Long Islanders expect their finances to stay the same over the next year (28%) or improve a little or a lot (39%), but one quarter (26%) still believe it will get a little or a lot worse.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of Long Islanders believe that the government should focus on enacting new laws to reduce gun violence, but this opinion is strongly divided by political party.
  • Nearly 70% said there were no guns in their home or on their property, 16% said yes and 15% preferred not to answer.

Those are some of the key politically related findings of an in-depth survey by Newsday’s next/LI and Hofstra University’s National Center for Suburban Studies. The poll of nearly 3,000 residents, which probed a range of issues affecting the quality of their lives, was not intended to gauge support for particular candidates or parties, nor cover all relevant issues in this election cycle. But as voters decide their choices for governor, attorney general, comptroller, members of Congress and the State Legislature and other offices, their overall sense of dissatisfaction looms as a potentially powerful force in determining the outcome.

Find more analysis on election-rated issues below.

nextLI/Newsday + Hofstra Survey by nextLI on Scribd

Contributors:

  • Newsday: Rita Ciolli, Amanda Fiscina-Wells, Coralie Saint-Louis, Kai Teoh
  • Hofstra: Stephanie Bushey, Melissa Connolly, Lawrence Levy, Christopher W. Niedt
  • ProductionsPlus: Amy Emmatty

Survey funding was provided by Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge.

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