Siena College Poll – New Yorkers Remain Split on Fracking

Siena College Research Institute runs regular polls of New Yorkers to gage their opinion on a variety of topics. One of the long-running topics they poll on is whether or not New York should allow hydraulic fracturing to move forward. The latest Siena poll was just released today. The full breakout is embedded below. Here’s how Siena interpreted the results in their press announcement:

“Voters remain divided on hydrofracking.  In September of 2011, forty-four percent were in favor of allowing fracking on private lands outside of areas that provide drinking water under strict regulation by the DEC while forty percent opposed.  Today voters continue to be split with thirty-seven percent supporting and thirty-six percent opposing a DEC move to allow fracking in Upstate,” Levy said [Dr. Don Levy, Siena College Research Institute Director].

Sixty-six percent of New Yorkers are paying either some or a great deal of attention to the hydrofracking debate. Of those, 46 percent oppose moving forward and 41 percent are in favor.  Among those not following the issue closely, supporters of moving forward outweigh opponents by nearly two to one (30 percent to 16 percent). Republicans, conservatives and NYC suburbanites support allowing fracking to proceed while Democrats, liberals, and Upstaters oppose.*

Of course, you have to wonder about the statistical validity of such polls when the pool of people they poll are 48 percent Democrat and 24 percent Republican and 25 percent “other”. Really?! In calling X people randomly that’s the mix you come up with? Well, it is New York after all (and MDN author Jim Willis is a life-long New Yorker, so he can take jabs at his fellow residents).

For the embedded detailed poll results below you have scroll down past the questions on pot smoking, mixed martial arts and other assorted issues to the very end where you’ll find two questions about shale gas drilling (question numbers 38 & 39).

*Sienna Research Institute (May 16, 2012) – Strong Majority Supports Legalizing Medical Marijuana – NY’ers Evenly Split on Fracking; Dem’s in Favor, Rep’s Oppose (PDF)