Archive for the tag 'polls'

Source: sincerelyhiten via flickr

Source: sincerelyhiten via flickr

A new poll suggests that a majority of New York City residents support changing the amendment to add seven new casinos somewhere in New York State, but don’t want to see it in the five boroughs, the New York Times reports.

The poll, conducted by the New York Times/Siena College, found that six in 10 likely New York City voters said they would vote for the amendment, when asked using the rosy, skewed language that highlights unproven benefits of casino gambling, such as job growth and funding for education. But 50 percent were opposed to seeing a full-scale casino in New York City, with only 42 percent in favor.

The ballot measure that would amend the constitution will lead to three new Las Vegas-style casinos to be created upstate as part of “first phase.” The second phase, which will roll out seven years later, will see four more casinos – at unspecified locations. Most observers believe a New York City casino is likely.

The poll also found that voters are fairly well informed about both the positives and the drawbacks of expanded casino gambling:

In the new poll, New York City residents said they expected both positive and negative effects from expanded casino gambling.

Seven in 10 said they thought it was quite likely that the casinos would bring in significant new revenue for government.

“Just in my apartment building alone, twice a month they have buses come and take people to Atlantic City,” Albert Perrotto, 55, from Far Rockaway, Queens, said in a follow-up interview. “If they take them to upstate New York instead, it would be a shorter ride, and people would go upstate, and the revenue would come here instead. It makes a lot of sense to me.”

At the same time, six in 10 city residents said they thought it was most likely that new casinos would increase societal problems such as crime and compulsive gambling

Quin Stratton, 23, who works for a credit-card processing center and lives in the Bronx, said she supported the amendment but would not want to see a full-scale casino developed in New York City. “If it’s in the city, it will attract people who don’t have a lot of money, and they will blow their whole paycheck,” she said.

“If the casinos are upstate, or far away, it’s harder,” Ms. Stratton added. “They would have to actually get into a car and would have to make that decision. If it’s in the city, then someone who gets off work will walk by and say, ‘Hey it’s a casino!’ and blow everything they just made.”

Still, the numbers are a good sign for Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is closely linked with the initiative. As much as 40 percent of the state’s voters live in New York City, and the five boroughs are expected to have higher turnout due to the mayoral elections.

Good government advocates, including the Public Interest Research Group and Common Cause NY, continue to oppose the language and politicking of the ballot measure, although a lawsuit to have it reworded has failed.

A Times Union report notes that PIRG is urging media to use neutral language when describing the proposal. Common Cause NY, meanwhile, has put out a bulletin pulling back the veil on the larged pro-casino PAC – NY Jobs Now – which is funded almost entirely by gambling companies.

Source: Rob Bourdon via Flickr

Source: Rob Bourdon via Flickr

A majority of New Yorkers indicated that they would support the upcoming ballot measure that would allow for the development of seven casinos. The New York Times is reporting that the poll, conducted by Siena College, found that responders were influenced by the loaded political language crafted onto the measure.

Earlier in the month, we reported that the language present in the referendum was written in exceedingly glowing terms, promising job growth and lower taxes:

“The proposed amendment to section 9 of article 1 of the Constitution would allow the Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos in New York State for the legislated purposes of promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated. Shall the amendment be approved?”

When presented with this question posed on the ballot, people polled responded favorably as 55 percent said they would support it. The Times described the importance of the wording in the analysis of the numbers:

The poll suggested that the wording of the question is significant. When voters were asked the question in a different way, without a list of casino development’s intended purposes, they were evenly divided.

The numbers also presented contrasting findings of people thinking that building casinos would both be a positive and a negative:

The poll found that voters agree with arguments both in favor of and against expanding casino gambling.

Seventy-four percent agreed that allowing the development of casinos would create thousands of jobs, and 65 percent agreed that more casinos would generate significant new revenue for the state and for local governments.

At the same time, 57 percent agreed that the state already has enough outlets for gambling and did not need more casinos. And 55 percent agreed that developing casinos would only increase societal problems, like crime and compulsive gambling.

As we argued in an editorial, studies reveal that casinos do not guarantee positive economic impact, and that any benefits may be counterbalanced by the destructive effects that gambling addiction has on families, communities and taxpayers. We also questioned why politicians were rushing to push this legislation through, crafting the language surrounding its potential approval as a no-brainer.

Still, it should be noted that 51 percent of the people polled in the survey found that the question itself, as worded, was fair.

Anthony Weiner. Source: Facebook

As the hype grows over Anthony Weiner’s possible return to New York politics, analysts far and wide are weighing in on the question of what the chances really are for the former congressman. While early polling has Weiner running in second place behind City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and some analysts speculate that Weiner’s entry will damage other contenders’ campaigns, polling Svengali Nate Silver is predicting that Weiner’s chances to actually win are remote, according to a New York Times report.

In tracking Weiner’s first steps in his attempt to recover politically from the texting scandal, the outward signs look good. He has currently leapfrogged the other contenders in the Democratic field, polling in second place with 15 percent. He only trails Quinn, who is leading the field with 26 percent. And, let’s keep in mind, he’s not even in the race yet. (Veteran political reporter Errol Louis, who recently conducted the first television interview with Weiner since his resignation, said a Weiner run is “all-but-certain.”

Looking beyond the numbers, the New York Daily News speculates that Weiner’s long history in representing moderate to conservative Democrats in Southern Brooklyn could undermine Quinn’s strong attempts at making inroads in this area. The Daily News also threw cold water on Republicans who think that Weiner’s entry will only weaken Democrats and bring embarrassment to the party. The Daily News highlighted Weiner’s undeniably detailed and comprehensive list of policy plans that indicate a lead in the race for new ideas:

None of them has developed the kind of policy proposals — some quixotic, others intriguing — that Weiner released in his 64-point “Keys to the City” paper this week.

Weiner’s call for stepped-up ferry service to Rockaway, Sheepshead Bay, Riverdale and Harlem is an idea that should have been tried long ago in our city of islands. His call to build new federally subsidized senior housing on hospital parking lots seems sensible. And his idea of making food stamps carry double the value when spent on fresh fruits and vegetables takes New York toward better health using an incentive rather than a punitive tax.

If Republicans don’t start promoting their own, distinct policies, they could easily end up playing catchup in the battle of ideas. And I doubt that anything in the lives of first-time candidates Joe Lhota, John Catsimatidis and George McDonald has prepared them for the kind of withering verbal tirades Weiner used to launch, night after night, on TV and in the well of the House of Representatives.

Despite the positive press Weiner is currently basking in, according to the country’s most famed statistician, Nate Silver, Weiner’s chances to actually win the race for mayor are remote. If you don’t remember, Silver was the guy who was practically flawless in calling the 2012 Presidential election, humiliating naysayers who doubted him with accurate predictions of all 50 states in the weeks leading up to the election. According to Silver, while it’s true that Weiner is currently polling in second place, he also has a big lead among Democratic voters who view him unfavorably, coming in at 41 percent. By contrast, Quinn is polling at 23 percent when it comes to voters who view her unfavorably. This is bad news for Weiner:

This is the most problematic category for Mr. Weiner, because 41 percent of Democrats view him unfavorably, far more than for any of the other candidates. In general, it is extremely difficult for a candidate to flip voters into being supporters once they have already established a negative view of him — especially in the midst of what is likely to be a nasty and contentious primary. Thus, the more Democrats fall into this category, the harder it will be for a candidate to add support.

Silver’s analysis predicts that Weiner, who is the most familiar to all voters, is also a big detriment as well. Unfamiliarity can be a strength for a candidate looking to make an impression on undecided voters in coming debates and media blitzes. With the slim margin of only 15 percent of likely voters not recognizing Weiner, he has the smallest potential for growth, especially considering the amount of voters who view him unfavorably.

In summation, Silver sees the latest polling as bad news for Weiner, attributing his second place status to name recognition alone. Still, he predicts that Weiner will receive a disproportionate amount of press attention. If Weiner is clever enough to turn all the publicity to his advantage, it’s possible he can improve his standing with the demographic that currently has no desire to vote for him. Silver also notes that he is currently building a database of polling from every previous New York mayoral election. His current analysis is based on trends from presidential and congressional races, different animals than New York mayoral elections. This database should allow Silver to more accurately compare and contextualize Weiner’s chances once it is completed.

It was just a matter of time before former Congressman Anthony Weiner reappeared in politics. It was clear from the day of his resignation in 2011 that the man who could have easily been the textbook definition of “career politician” – knowing nothing else in his adult life but the political arena – would make a return to service. If not as an elected official, then as an appointed one. If not as an appointed one, then perhaps a consultant, or cable channel talking head, a la Eliot Spitzer.

Weiner is not back, at least not publicly, but one “mysterious pollster” is calling around to gauge Weiner’s chances at citywide elected office.

According to Capital Tonight, which broke the story, the pollster is sizing Weiner up against the other Democratic mayoral candidates:

This poll respondent said the call came from Mountain West Research (which I believe is an Idaho-based call center), but with a 212 area code.

The questions included favorable/unfavorable feelings for Weiner as well as for the five Democrats already running or assumed to be running for mayor – NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, NYC Comptroller John Liu and former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson.

Also, the pollster read a series of negative statements on each candidate, and then asked the “horserace” question. According to the UWS Dem, who took notes during the call, the negatives on each were as follows:

- Quinn: Rubber stamp for Mayor Bloomberg, voted to extend term limits, involved in a slugh fund scandal, known for “backroom” deals.

- de Blasio: Will say anything at any time, flip flops on key issues like term limits.

- Liu: Subject of a federal investigation, his campaign treasurer was arrested, he was subpoenaed to testify.

- Thompson: The NYC schools failed when he was in charge, ran a lackluster campaign for mayor in 2009, failed to pay his taxes for five years.

- Weiner: Was disgraced for sending lewd pictures and then lying about it, is a career politician who some say doesn’t have the temperament to be mayor.

Capital Tonight also notes that another call from a pollster – perhaps the same one – pits Weiner against Scott Stringer for the city Comptroller seat. If the mayoral race is out of the question, the comptroller’s position is often seen as a stepping stone for a future mayoral run.

Weiner resigned in 2011 after it was revealed that he was “sexting” with women other than his wife. Before his resignation, the pol was widely considered to be a front runner to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg and put together a warchest of $4 million – which he still maintains today and exceeds many of the current mayoral contenders’ campaign cash. When asked in July about his future plans, he refused to rule out a run for public office.

Weiner’s ambitions before he resigned were hardly a secret, and he famously told Mayor Bloomberg, “When I become mayor, you know what I’m going to spend my first year doing? I’m going to have a bunch of ribbon-cuttings tearing out your fucking bike lanes.”

Source: Mephell/

According to a report by, a research and consulting organization, 64 percent of Americans are woefully unprepared for a major natural disaster, even after the events of Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, and a series of other major natural disasters smacking us around in recent years.

The report finds that people making disaster-readiness plans has slightly increased from 31 percent to 36 percent since 2011, showing that the majority of Americans have failed to adequately prepare themselves in the event of another major disaster. This is the breakdown of YouGov’s numbers,

Of the 36 percent who said they were equipped for natural disasters, their preparations included the following:

  • Emergency supplies (for example, flashlights or first-aid kits): 89 percent
  • Food stocks: 74 percent
  • Creating an evacuation or an emergency plan: 50 percent
  • Disaster insurance: 22 percent

Of the 89 percent who had emergency supplies, their supplies included the following:

  • Flashlights:  97 percent
  • Water:  92 percent
  • First-aid kits or medicine:  92 percent
  • Sleeping bags or blankets:  83 percent
  • Face masks: 18 percent
  • Iodine pills:  15 percent

While general preparedness is low, concern and fear over another natural disaster has increased, especially across the Northeast, where 31 percent report that they are “very concerned” following Hurricane Sand, doubled from the previous year’s report of 17 percent concern in polling done after Tropical Storm Irene, the highest percentage in the country.

A lot of people have prognosticated in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy that this was finally the storm that got everyone’s attention, and that in the future, people will be more prepared for the advent of another natural catastrophe. I’m not so sure. While Sandy’s devastation was massive and destabilizing, only time will tell how New Yorkers will prepare and respond, both personally, and politically, should another superstorm come to wreck our city.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz celebrating during an election night party at the Turkish Cultural Center of Brooklyn. (Photo: Erica Sherman)

By now, the whole world knows that the American people chose to send Barack Obama back to the White House for another four years. But how did your local elected fare on election day? In short, Southern Brooklyn will see little if any change, with all incumbents but one returning for another term. Here’s the roundup.

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The deal to move the Nets to Brooklyn was a high-profile, high-stakes battle that played out in front of the public. The NHL’s New York Islanders, however, seem to have signed on overnight, and will call Barclays Center home beginning in 2015.

Now, after half a century without professional sports in Brooklyn, we have two major franchise teams and a brand-spankin’-new sports arena.

The Islanders deal became public yesterday, first from a few news outlets citing “sources,” and then from the grand poobah of Brooklyn cheerleaders, Borough President Marty Markowitz.

“Today is another great day for Brooklyn,” Markowitz said in a statement. “When I first campaigned for borough president, I made the promise that I would bring a major league sports team to Brooklyn.  But never, in my wildest dreams, did I think we would be home to both the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Islanders. It won’t be a long journey for the Islanders; after all, Brooklyn is where Long Island begins, and Nassau County is just a short Zamboni ride away from the big stage of Brooklyn and the Barclays Center. With the Nets and the Islanders, Brooklyn is beginning a dominant power play.”

Cue the grumbling. Right when complaints about traffic and parking around Barclays seems to have fizzled, the Islanders present a whole new challenge: suburbanites!

“An Arena in Brooklyn Faces Suburban Traffic Test” declares the Wall Street Journal:

Sam Schwartz, the engineer who prepared traffic plans for arena developer Bruce Ratner, sought to reassure local elected officials in the months before the arena opened that the vast majority of concertgoers and sports fans would travel via mass transit. It was an assumption based on studies projecting that fans of the Brooklyn Nets, the basketball team that relocated from New Jersey, would hail from Brooklyn and Manhattan.

… But those projections didn’t account for the arrival of the Islanders, a team whose fans hail from car-centric suburbs.

There are other concerns, of course. One is simply cultural. Do we want Brooklyn to become a “bro-town” with subway cars and local streets packed with jersey-donning drunks, blowing out their terrorist fist jabs and singing Chumbawamba hits? I don’t. I spent four years in New Jersey, and I’m so over that.

Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny speaking in front of Brighton Beach’s Shorefront Y (Source: Brook-Krasny’s office)

A new report in The Jewish Week finds increasing generational voting differences between older and younger Russian voters in Southern Brooklyn.

The report, which centers around a study by Sam Kliger, a Russian-born sociologist who analyzes the community, indicates that while older and elderly Russians vote predominantly Republican, the younger voting slice of the Russian block is more likely to be undecided and consequently, more open to the Democratic alternative.

While on a whole Kliger’s numbers show that the 350,000 strong Russian community based in New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, and Northern and Central New Jersey are likely to vote for Republican Mitt Romney by a margin of 4-1, younger voters in this block (ages 18-35) are evenly split in the upcoming election.

In explaining the staunch loyalty of older Russians towards the Republican Party and Mitt Romney, the report indicates two main issues of vital importance; the support of Israel and the idea of “redistribution,” one of the loaded buzzwords central to the 2012 race.

For older Russians, many of them World War II veterans and Holocaust survivors, the perceived notion that the Republican Party is more staunchly loyal to Israel and tough on terrorists is of paramount importance. Also, the conjuring of any reminders of their days in the oppressive Soviet regime with talk of “redistribution of wealth” enlivens fears of a shift back to bleaker days.

In an interview, Republican State Senator David Storobin echoed these sentiments,

Older Russians — the ones who remember Soviet times — tend to be more conservative.” In light of those memories, he added, those elderly Jews view government as inefficient, corrupt and unresponsive.

What concerns or frustrates older Russian Jews, Storobin said, are terms like redistribution — “any slogan that’s the same as one used in the [former] Soviet Union.”

The emerging split of younger Russian voters from these hardline viewpoints seems to stem from a number of delicate factors brought on by fresher experiences and more open world views.

A discussion in the article with Democratic Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny illuminated this point,

Interviewed by phone, Brook-Krasny said he’s long predicted a 50-50 split among younger Russian-speaking Jews when it comes to presidential elections, followed in the near future by a majority of that population voting Democratic.

“The more educated people [in the community] get, the more liberal they vote,” the lawmaker said.

Whether or not Brook-Krasny’s belief that the majority of the voting block will eventually shift Democratic remains to be seen, but the local voting trends of the upcoming 2012 race might serve as an early indicator for future elections.

Well, I just got back from casting my vote in today’s primary election, and, as of 9:15 a.m., only five other people had voted at my polling station.

Let’s pick it up, Sheepshead Bay! Let’s prove to New York City and New York State that our area has a voice and we will use it!

For many in our coverage area, the only races going on are the primary battles between sitting Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and his upstart opponent Ben Akselrod, as well as the race for male district leader, between incumbent Mike Geller and challenger Ari Kagan.

Polls will be open to 9:00 p.m.

To find out if you’re eligible to vote, where your polling station is, and what races are in your district, use New York City’s Poll Site Locator & Sample Ballot Display tool.


Around 24 members of the City Council proposed a bill on Wednesday that would produce an office of the inspector general to oversee the New York Police Department and “conduct independent reviews of the department’s policies, practices, programs and operations,”according to The New York Times.

The New York Times said that police departments of other large cities, like Los Angeles and Chicago, are monitored and inspected, as are the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency. Likewise, the council members feel that there should be an increase in supervision of the activity of the New York Police Department. This program is meant to refine the New York Police’s use of stop-and-frisks, as well as their scrutiny of Muslims.

The bill has been sent to the Committee on Public Safety. Aside from Jumaane Williams, who helped author the bill, no councilmembers from Sheepshead Bites’ coverage area are among the 24 co-sponsors of the bill.

The amount of power that the inspector general would posses is still unknown. He would be chosen by the mayor and would have subpoena power, but that the office’s finances and workers will be decided by the City Council.

“This kind of independent oversight can act as an early-warning system for a very large agency,” said Richard M. Aborn, president of the Citizens Crime Commission, to the New York Times.

The New York Times believes that Mayor Michael Bloomberg, being that he has defended the actions of the NYPD in the past, will probably not support the institution of such a bill. Therefore, 34 votes in the City Council will most likely be needed for this proposal to actually become law. This bill has been sponsored by Councilmembers Jumaane Williams and Brad Lander.

The Police Department responded to the proposal, and said that this additional oversight of the police department is not necessary.

“The department is probably under more scrutiny than any other police agency, probably in the world,” said Paul J. Browne, the NYPD’s chief spokesman, to the New York Times. “It may sound good to the sponsors on paper, but it appears to the department to be just redundant.”

Browne said that the police department is already overseen by United States lawyers, five district attorneys, the Civilian Complaint Review Board and the Commission to Combat Police Corruption. He feels that additional oversight would be a waste of resources.

Do you think residents would benefit by an additional layer of oversight for the NYPD?


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