A surprising Siena College Poll just released on Monday, found almost 40% of New Yorkers fault Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as the main reason for Amazon’s pullout — with only 12% supporting the radical self-identified socialist among New York progressive Democrats.
The question asked “Who do New Yorkers blame?
While most believe there’s enough blame to go around, hard-boiled New Yorkers didn’t pull any punches. Pollster Steven Greenberg told The New Post:
“Voters say the biggest villain was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez.”
Adding, “Amazon itself was seen as the biggest villain among Democrats, but Republicans and independents had Ocasio-Cortez as far and away the largest villain, followed by the local Queens activists.”
While the blame game was distributed among progressives of various stripes, within the city, with 34% pointing their collective fingers at local activists, while another 29% took aim at Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio for his anti-business policies — the bulk of the criticism however, was directed at AOC’s public anti-Amazon campaign.
The poll also found that 67% of those polled said that Amazon’s withdrawal from New York was bad for the cities economy, especially considering the recent and dramatic financial downturn of both New York City and New York State.
However, 21% thought Amazon’s pullout was a good thing. Regardless of the fact that over 25,000 new high paying jobs were predicted, each paying a reputed $100,000 to 150,000 annually.
Also by a margin of 2-to-1 voters said they supported the agreement that would have allowed Amazon to receive $3 billion in government incentives in exchange for creating those 25,000 jobs, which would have also revitalized the working-class neighborhood with additional services, housing, and other much-needed amenities.
“Clearly, jobs outweigh the cost of government incentives in the minds of most voters,” Greenberg said.
Following the Amazon fiasco, more voters believe New York State government (where Democrats are now in control) is more hostile to business.
A staggering 67% of voters agreed with the statements that the current politics of state government in New York is making it harder for businesses in the “Empire State” to be successful in attracting new business, while only 26% disagreed. Even 53% of Democrats agreed with the statement.
The Amazon deal had the full support of both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, however many local activists and politicians began hammering Amazon regarding the company’s position on unions, and other quality of life issues, regarding their neighborhoods.
The deal began to unravel in early January when talk of unionizing workers became an issue, that’s when Amazon’s Vice President Brian Huseman went public stating that Amazon would fight any effort to unionize the new facility.
The hostilities grew even further when New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson peppered Huseman during a heated meeting on his company’s intent to fight those NYC unions after accepting $3 billion in tax breaks and subsidies to locate a new facility in the city.
Then came the anti-Amazon campaign blitz from the new Socialist/Democratic freshmen legislator from the Bronx, which gained momentum, thanks in part to a fawning media, hanging on every misinformed word from the brash lawmaker, organizing one demonstration after another against the Seattle, Washington-based, multinational technology e-commerce company
And that’s when Amazon finally decided to pull the plug on the deal, surprising the entire cast of characters within the Empire State.
The poll surveyed 700 registered voters and has a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.