Siena poll: Voters oppose permits for Nazi rallies, back Confederate statues

Voters in New York narrowly oppose giving neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups permits to hold marches, but largely support keeping Confederate statues in place, according to a Siena College poll released Wednesday morning.

The poll also found President Donald Trump, the first New Yorker elected to the presidency since 1932, with a 29 percent favorability rating in his home state.

The poll found a plurality of voters, 49 percent to 45 percent, believe groups such as self-described white nationalists and neo-Nazis should not be able to have permits to stage rallies. But a wider majority, 59 percent to 35 percent, believe Confederate statues and other memorials should stay up.

The poll comes weeks after violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in which white supremacists clashed with counter protesters over the removal of a statue honoring Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

New York has few notable Confederate memorials, but lawmakers in New York City and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are pushing the federal government through the U.S. Army to change street names in Brooklyn named after Confederate generals Lee and Stonewall Jackson, part of Fort Hamilton.

Trump remains deeply and increasingly unpopular in Democratic heavy New York. Half of voters, 50 percent, gave him an “F” grade for his handling of the Charlottesville events. When it comes to making race relations better in the U.S., 68 percent give him a poor grade.

His overall favorability stands at a 29 percent to 66 percent spread among New York — now viewed more unfavorably than any time he’s been in office and his worst standing since a month before his election.

Overall, 59 percent of New Yorkers believe he’s doing a poor job as president. Only 22 percent back his job performance as president, with 77 percent holding a negative view.

Trump’s strongest support comes from Republican and conservative voters, with 60 percent holding a favorable view of the president, the poll found. But he’s suffered a net 20 percentage point decline among voters from his own party since July.

Upstate, where Trump largely bested Democrat Hillary Clinton last year, Trump garners a 36 percent favorable rating.

Sixty-two percent of New Yorkers believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.

The poll of 771 registered New York voters was conducted from Aug. 26 through Aug. 30. It has a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.

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