The New York State
Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse
Information Related to New York's Nov. 7, 2017 Constitutional Convention Referendum
Constitutional Convention Polls
November 1, 2017
Siena College Poll: By a wide margin, 57-25 percent, likely voters say they will vote ‘no’ on the Constitutional Convention proposal on next week’s ballot. By a similar 60-29 percent margin, likely voters say it ‘will be an expensive waste of time,’ rather than a ‘once in a generation opportunity to bring our State Constitution into the 21st Century,’ according to a new Siena College Poll of likely 2017 New York State voters released today. More than one-third of likely voters say they’ve heard or read a great deal about ConCon and another 27 percent say they’ve read or heard some. Only 19 percent say they’ve read or heard nothing about ConCon. The proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot related to pension forfeiture for public officers convicted of felonies related to their official duties has overwhelming support, 82-14 percent, including at least 76 percent support from every region and party. The amendment related to the land bank for the Adirondacks and Catskills is supported 46-35 percent, with support from a plurality of voters from every region and party.
October 23, 2017
Baruch College Poll: New York State registered voters were queried on 13 issues whether the issue would be a reason to vote 1. For a Constitutional convention, 2. Against a Constitutional Convention, 3. Or the issue was not a reason to vote either way.
When asked initially, “based on what you know now, if the referendum [on a Constitutional Convention] were held today” would they vote for it, against it, or not vote for the referendum at all, one third –32% — of NYS registered voters said they’d vote for, 27% would vote against.
Nearly two in 10 (18%) registered voters initially said they wouldn’t vote on Constitutional Convention at all, while 21% weren’t sure. After hearing about some of the issues that might be considered at a Constitutional Convention, a majority of NYS registered voters – 55% — now favored voting for a Constitutional convention, while 21% were against; 14% would not vote on a Convention, and 10% weren’t sure.
Thus, after considering this list of some of the possible impacts of a Convention, NYS registered voters increased their support of a Constitutional Convention from 32% to 55%– from about one-third to more than one-half.
A majority – 56% — of New York State registered voters have neither heard nor read about the proposed referendum calling for a Constitutional Convention which will be on the ballot on November 7, 2017; 42% have heard or read something about the proposed referendum. Detailed poll results here.
October 6, 2017
Siena College Poll: By a narrow 44-39 percent margin, registered voters say they will vote ‘yes’ to support a Constitutional Convention on election day next month, down from 45-33 percent in September. While 44 percent say it’s a “once in a generation opportunity to bring our State Constitution into the 21st Century,” 45 percent say it “will be an expensive waste of time,” according to a new Siena College Poll of New York State registered voters released today. Seven of nine potential issues tested that could be discussed at a Constitutional Convention enjoy overwhelming public support.
“While New Yorkers may be divided on whether to ConCon or not, on several issues that might be the topic of discussion at a convention there is widespread, bipartisan support,” Greenberg said. “Four issues – term limits for both state legislators and statewide office holders, establishing an initiative process to allow New Yorkers to vote directly on proposed laws, and adding constitutional protections based on gender identity, sex and ethnicity – are supported by more than three quarters of voters.”
September 5, 2017
Siena College Poll: “One-fifth of voters – up from 14 percent – have read or heard at least some about the ConCon vote in November, however, 58 percent – down from 67 percent – still say they’ve heard nothing,” Greenberg said.
“Registered voters – not likely November voters – now support ConCon by a relatively narrow 45-33 percent, with 22 percent undecided, largely unchanged from 47-34 percent support in July,” Greenberg said. “Compared to July, support is down among Democrats – from 30 points to now 13 points – up among Republicans to now breakeven, and strongest with independents, 52-30 percent.”
July 18, 2017
Siena College Poll: “Two-thirds of New Yorkers have heard ‘nothing at all’ about the November vote on a State Constitutional Convention, and only 14 percent have heard a great deal or some about it, virtually unchanged from May, and comparable to what it’s been for the last two years,” Greenberg said. “In previous Siena College polls, support for ConCon has been overwhelming, including a 62-22 percent bulge in May. Now, however, with a newly worded question which includes what voters will see on the November ballot, support for ConCon is only 47-34 percent. A strong majority of Democrats and a plurality of independents support it, while a plurality of Republicans opposes it. A plurality of voters from every region of the state also support it,” Greenberg said.
July 13, 2017
Quinnipiac University Poll: New York State voters support 55 – 30 percent a Constitutional Convention to consider changes to the State Constitution, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Every party, gender, education, age and racial group supports holding a convention, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds. Support for possible constitutional amendments which could be considered if there is a Constitutional Convention is:
- 65 – 24 percent for an amendment to create an independent non-partisan commission to create election districts for members of Congress, State Senators and State Assembly members;
- 54 – 34 percent opposed to an amendment to create public financing for candidates for state office;
- 49 – 41 percent support for an amendment to prevent reductions in public employee pension benefits;
- 68 – 27 percent support for an amendment to guarantee a woman’s right to an abortion.
May 24, 2017
Siena College Poll: “Two-thirds of New Yorkers have heard ‘nothing at all’ about the November vote on a State Constitutional Convention, and only 13 percent have heard a great deal or some about it. More than 70 percent of downstaters have heard nothing at all, while the same is true of 58 percent of upstaters. Yet, by a 62-22 percent margin, voters support ConCon, including two-thirds of Democrats, 55 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of independents. At least 60 percent of voters from every region support ConCon. Support for ConCon has remained consistently strong over the last couple of years. But the question remains, will that support stay strong as voters hear more about ConCon, particularly as we move into the fall and various interest groups start spending money to educate voters – both in support and opposition – about ConCon? Only time will tell.”
February 27, 2017
Siena College Poll: “Although 71 percent of voters say they have read or heard nothing about the vote this November on whether New York should hold a Constitutional Convention, and only 11 percent saying they’ve read or heard at least some about it, a strong majority of voters continues to say they support having a ConCon,” Greenberg said. “Voters say they support a ConCon by a 63-24 percent margin, down a little from 68-19 percent support last June. About two-thirds of Democrats, independents, New York City voters and upstaters call themselves ConCon supporters, while support among Republicans – 53 percent – and downstate suburbanites – 54 percent – is strong but considerably weaker.”
June 30, 2016
Siena College Poll: “Two-thirds of New Yorkers have heard or read nothing about a vote next year on whether New York should hold a Constitutional Convention, with another almost quarter hearing very little,” Greenberg said. “While New Yorkers haven’t heard much about a ConCon, they know they want one – by a margin of 68-19 percent, unchanged since it was 69-19 percent in early May. Support is strongest with independents, 72 percent, nearly as strong with Democrats, 69 percent, and ‘weakest’ with Republicans, who ‘only’ support it 63-20 percent.”
“By a better than two-to-one margin, 56-27 percent, New Yorkers say the ethics reform legislation passed in the recently completed legislative session will not lead to a reduction in corruption in state government….”
“When it comes to ethics reform, the Governor and Legislature did little to win over the hearts and minds of New Yorkers. A strong majority says that legislation passed this session will not reduce state government corruption. That sentiment is shared by half of Democrats, more than 60 percent of Republicans and independents, a plurality of New York City voters and a majority of non-City voters….”
July 15, 2015
Siena College Poll: “While only six percent of New Yorkers say they have heard or read a great deal or even some about the 2017 vote on whether New York should hold a Constitutional Convention, and 75 percent say they have heard nothing at all about it, by an overwhelming 69-15 percent margin, voters support having a Constitutional Convention. Huge majorities of voters from every party and region, voters of every age group, gender, raceand religion, as well as every ideology and income bracket support having a ConCon. When the Siena Poll last asked about the ConCon, voters were strongly in support – 58-26 percent in June 2010 – however, events in Albany over the last few years seem to have only intensified the support of voters for the state to have its first Constitutional Convention in half a century.”
June 14, 2010
Siena College Poll: “Fifty-eight percent of voters, including 61 percent of Democrats, support a Constitutional Convention, while only 26 percent are opposed. Irrespective of ideology, partisanship or which region of the state they live in, voters are clearly pro-pro on a Con-Con.”
December 16, 2009
Quinnipiac University Poll: “New York State voters say 76 – 19 percent that their state government is dysfunctional, and 58 percent say it is ‘among the worst’ or ‘the worst in the nation,’ the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds…. New York State voters say 63 – 21 percent there should be a state constitutional convention to reform state government. Support is strong among all groups.”
September 15, 2009
Marist Poll: “68% of registered voters statewide think the way things are done in state government in Albany needs major changes. 21% report daily political operations require minor changes, 10% think they are broken and beyond repair, and only 1% of voters say they do not need to be changed. More than seven in ten Democrats and Republicans — 71% and 70%, respectively — think Albany needs a major, political overhaul. 60% of non-enrolled voters agree. However, when it comes to whether a constitutional convention should be held to propose changes to New York State’s government, a plurality does not want one. 48% oppose such a gathering while 42% support it. More Republicans than Democrats disagree with this suggestion. 56% of members of the New York GOP and 44% of Democrats think this is a bad idea. In fact, Democrats divide with 45% supporting the proposal. Non-enrolled voters also divide on this issue with 46% against it and 44% for it.” A detailed demographic breakdown can be found here.
August 24, 2009
Siena College Poll: “By a 63-25 percent margin, voters support having a state constitutional convention, including a majority of voters from every party, every region, every religion, every race, and every age group. While the issue of a convention is not popular with many elected officials, it is with their constituents.”
August 16, 2009
Quinnipiac University Poll: “New York State government is dysfunctional, voters say 77 – 19 percent, and 58 percent say it is ‘the worst’ or ‘among the worst’ in the nation, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Only 2 percent say New York has the ‘best’ state government in the nation, while 28 percent say ‘among the best’…. By a 64 – 24 percent margin, voters say there should be a state Constitutional Convention to reform New York State government. Voters support 54 – 37 percent amending the State Constitution so the Governor can name a Lieutenant Governor when that position is vacant. Voters also support 70 – 21 percent creating a commission independent of the State Legislature to redraw legislative district lines. ‘Dysfunctional is practically a synonym for the New York State Legislature and voters want a change,’ said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
June 17, 2004
Quinnipiac University Poll: “By a 67 – 25 percent margin, New York State voters say state government is broken and must be fixed, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Voters say 47 – 43 percent that the State Legislature is not capable of reforming itself, and 52 – 34 percent that there should be a constitutional convention to reform state government.”
(without an accompanying convention poll)
Measuring Illegal and Legal Corruption in American States:Some Results from the 2015 Corruption in America Survey by Oguzhan Dincer and Michael Johnston, Illinois State University. Among the fifty U.S. states, New York ranks in the top six for worst illegal corruption in the state legislature and top nine for worst legal corruption in the state legislature. Initial research for the survey was conducted while the scholars were fellows at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.
February 1, 2016
Siena College Poll: Eighty-nine percent of New Yorkers say corruption in state government in Albany is a serious problem – 53 percent call it very serious – and two-thirds say corruption is a serious problem among legislators from their area.
December 14, 2015
Siena College Poll: Nine in ten New Yorkers continues to say that corruption in Albany is a serious problem…. The State Assembly is viewed favorably by 33 percent and unfavorably by 49 percent of voters (down from 36-44 percent in October). The Senate has a slightly better 38-47 percent favorability rating (down from 42-42 percent in October). “Whether it’s the recent trials and convictions of former legislative leaders or some other reason, New Yorkers have an unfavorable view of both legislative house,” Greenberg said. Covered in the New York Times.
September 18, 2015
Quinnipiac University Poll: Only 26 percent of New York State voters think current state officials “are capable of ending political corruption in Albany,” while 56 percent say, “all current elected officials should be voted out of office so new officials can start with a clean slate.” No party, gender, age or regional group thinks current officials can end political corruption.
June 3, 2015
Quinnipiac University Poll: All elected officials in Albany should be voted out of office so new officials can start with a clean slate, voters say 55 – 28 percent. No party, gender, age or regional group thinks New York State elected officials are capable of ending political corruption in Albany. Covered in New York Post.
% of New Yorkers supporting a call for a state constitutional convention, October 6, 2017.
% of New Yorkers opposing a call for a state constitutional convention, October 6, 2017