Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Top Villain in Amazon Pullout, Poll Finds – New York Times

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Top Villain in Amazon Pullout, Poll Finds - New York Times

Ocasio-Cortez is Gothams biggest villain in Amazon HQ2-NY debacle

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When Amazon announced last month that it was canceling plans to build a major campus in Queens, the company did not directly blame any one person or group.

Governor Cuomo, who with Mayor de Blasio helped negotiate the deal largely in private, blamed the State Senate, where crucial leaders opposed the plan.

"At least 63 percent of Democrats, Republicans and independents, upstaters and downstaters, men and women, young and old, black and white New Yorkers agree: Amazon pulling out of Queens was bad for New York," Greenberg added. Even 56 percent of self-described liberals think it was bad for New York.  “While some may have celebrated Amazon’s announcement to pull the plug, the vast majority of New Yorkers of every stripe thought it was bad for the Empire State."

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who opposed the campus, blamed Amazon for seeking $3 billion in tax breaks and incentives that she said should have been spent elsewhere.

“Who do New Yorkers blame? Well, there’s certainly blame enough to go around. More people think that Amazon, Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, the State Senate, and local Queens activists were villains in this saga than they were heroes," Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement. "However, voters say the biggest villain was Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Only 12 percent call her hero, while 38 percent label her a villain.”

New Yorkers are blaming villain Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after Amazon abandoned its HQ2 plans

Now a poll is offering insight into how the public feels about the deals collapse. Over a third of New Yorkers point the finger at Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, according to a Siena College Research Institute survey of 700 voters.

"[A] small group [of] politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community – which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City – the state's economic future and the best interests of the people of this state," Cuomo said publicly. "The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity."

The deal was popular across the state: Two-thirds of voters said Amazons withdrawal was bad for New York.

For its part, Amazon specifically cited Ocasio-Cortez's negativity as one of the reasons for its decision to no longer build one-half of its HQ2 in Long Island City. "If you talk to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it's 'Never Amazon,'" Jodi Seth, the head of policy communications for Amazon, told NBC News in a February interview. "If you talk to [New York City Councilman Jimmy] Van Bramer, it's unions."

Video: 38-percent consider Ocasio-Cortez as villain of Amazon decision: Poll

Sixty-three percent of Democrats and 56 percent of self-identified liberals said the cancellation was bad for New York.

That poll found that 38% of New York voters considered Ocasio-Cortez a “villain” (compared with 12% who considered her a “hero”) for her role in mobilizing opposition to Amazons plan open a second headquarters in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, which abuts her district. Amazon cited local political opposition as its primary reason for scuttling the deal last month.

Blame fell on Ms. Ocasio-Cortez: Thirty-eight percent of voters faulted the congresswoman for the deals demise, identifying her as a villain. Local activists in Queens were labeled villains by 34 percent of voters.

In the New York City suburbs, 50 percent of voters blamed Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. Upstate, the number was 40 percent; in the five boroughs, it was 29 percent.

Among registered Democrats, Ocasio-Cortez had a 47% favorability rating, while 6% of Republicans said they had a favorable opinion of her. Ten percent of those who described themselves as conservatives, as well as 25% of moderates, said they viewed her favorably.

What about the governor and mayor? Mr. Cuomo and Mr. de Blasio were each seen as a villain by fewer than 30 percent of voters.

While 31% of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of the 29-year-old democratic socialist, 44% said they had an unfavorable view of her. About a quarter — 26% — of respondents said they didnt know or had no opinion of the freshman lawmaker.

• The progressive base that cheered Ms. Ocasio-Cortez as she railed against the deal was not representative of most voters.

Those closest to a project dont necessarily reflect the views of a wider audience, said Steven Greenberg, a pollster with Siena College. (I asked Mr. Greenberg if by closest he meant physical proximity, and he replied, Yes.)

• Local activists in Queens were blamed more often for the plans demise than the State Senate was. In the suburbs, 39 percent of voters labeled the activists as villains, but only 23 percent labeled the Senate as such.

This matters in part because Democrats need to retain suburban seats to hold on to their Senate majority.

House Freshman Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez did not — shall we say — take kindly to a recent national poll showing her favorability rating tumbling downward.  The more people have gotten to know her, Gallup found, the less they've liked what they've seen.  She's now underwater by ten points.  But that was a survey of the entire country, including many stubbornly white and conservative ingrates, who've ignorantly failed to appreciate her trailblazing, hard-charging, country-savin' socialist crusade.  Surely the more enlightened, and far more liberal, denizens of her home state think happier thoughts about her, right?  Not according to a just-released Siena College poll:

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As you can see, she's at (-13) overall among New Yorkers, pulling in a rough (-29) among unaffiliated voters.  She gets crushed in the 'burbs and upstate, and is only right-side-up by mid-single digits in New York City.  She's also underwater among every age bracket.  It seems as though some of the hostility stems from AOC's outsized role in chasing Amazon out of New York, a very unpopular outcome:

Only 7 black students got into the most selective public high school in New York City, out of 895 spots.

A man at de Blasio’s town hall says he & his wife pay $9,600/year for health insurance. Wants to know how much he’d have to pay for universal health care. De Blasio: “I happen to not be a candidate today, but if I were it would be my obligation to give you a very specific model.”

He spent seven years in prison after being convicted of two cellphone robberies. Then a court changed the rules.

The Siena College poll, released Monday, suggests that New Yorkers may resent Ocasio-Cortez for her opposition. In the survey of 700 registered New York voters, 67% said they thought that Amazon canceling its HQ2 plans was bad for New York. The telephone poll was conducted from March 10 to 14 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

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Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of the Bronx and Queens neighboring Long Island City, was critical of the HQ2 deal — citing the billions in dollars in tax breaks offered to the retail giant from the city and the state — and celebrated when Amazon announced it was pulling out of New York.

Ocasio-Cortez seen as villain of scuttled Amazon deal, according to new poll

The number of high-level jobs in the de Blasio administration that are vacant or being filled with substitutes: 14. [Politico NY]

Mark Peters, who was fired from his job as the citys investigation commissioner by Mr. de Blasio, has been hired by CBS as an urban affairs reporter. [Adweek]

In case you missed it: Newarks mayor said the city was exploring a program for universal basic income. [Star-Ledger]

“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,” Steven Greenberg, a Siena College pollster, said in the release.

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A March 15 Gallup poll, for example, found that just 31 percent of Americans view Ocasio-Cortez favorably, compared to 41 percent who view her unfavorably. It appears that as more people have gotten to know the congresswoman, the less they like her. The last time Gallup surveyed AOCs favorable rating was back in September 2018, prior to her election to Congress, when 50 percent of respondents had no opinion or had never heard of her. That number has shrunk to just 29 percent over the past several months as the congresswoman has aggressively made a name for herself on Capitol Hill.

New York State poll: AOCs favorable rating at 31/44, named top “villain” in Amazons HQ2 pullout

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Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in 1953 for being Soviet spies. Its a case that some people are still debating and that others have never heard of.

Additional polling from Ocasio-Cortezs home state of New York offers a similarly grim assessment of the congresswomans popularity. Not only is she the among the least favored high-profile New York politician, AOC also has a 30 percent unfavorable rating among New York Democrats, and a favorable rating that fails to crack 50 percent.

The couple were tried in the Southern District of New York and buried on Long Island. New Yorkers had connections to the case — parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents, Professor Weisberg said.

Some voters labeled AOC the biggest villain in loss of NYCs HQ2, poll says

Its a story of how a couple that owns a ma-and-pa electronic fix-it store becomes swept up in the web of an investigation, Professor Weisberg said. And there are so many unresolved issues, even the guilt and innocence of both Julius and Ethel — who should be seen separately, really in a way — is unclear at the moment.

The case is more than 60 years old, but some at Cardozo say it shouldnt be forgotten. Today at 4 p.m., the law school will screen a movie about the Rosenbergs called Daniel, which the executive producers have described as inspired by the case.

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At 6:30 p.m., an actress in the film, Lindsay Crouse, will participate in a discussion with one of the Rosenbergs sons, Robert Meeropol. The discussion will be moderated by Professor Weisberg.

One of the reasons I think its important for students to know what went on in the Rosenberg case is that this country has almost shunned the case, she said in an interview. Its very upsetting on many levels, and we need to look at it square in the face to learn its lessons.

Barbara Kolson, the co-director of the Fashion, Arts, Media and Entertainment Center at Cardozo, who helped organize the event, said the schools students did not know who the Rosenbergs were.

They also did not know who Roy Cohn was, she said, referring to one of the prosecutors who was instrumental in the convictions.

Mr. Cohn, who died in 1986, had mentored a cadre of influential people, including President Trump and Roger Stone.

I was walking down York Avenue after a discouraging second day at my first job. Feeling overwhelmed, I was holding back tears as I trudged home through the rain.

A few blocks from my apartment, I slowed to a stop in front of a fruit cart. I pretended to scan the contents as I replayed the previous eight hours in my head.

I turned to face a woman with gentle features and streaks of gray hair, her body wrapped tightly in a fur coat.

Theyre sweet and delicious, she said. And you can put them in your pocket and eat them on your way home.

Metropolitan Diary was inadvertently left out of the Monday edition of New York Today, so we are publishing two today.

We were apart for seven months. He was in Alabama, at Fort Rucker, and I was at Columbia. We spent three days together while he was on leave.

The day before he left, we were on the No. 1. In the twitching subway light, a band swung into our car and seasoned the tight air: One musician kneaded a metallic accordion, and another sang.

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He smiled — there is a slight gap between his front teeth — and we danced. In the music, the moment felt infinite. I didnt think about saying goodbye, about the distance from Alabama to New York. I just thought about him, on the No. 1, with me, swinging to the music.

New York voters say losing Amazon was bad move: poll

The next day he boarded his train at Penn Station. I walked to Times Square, crying and cold, and I caught the No. 1. After two stops, a band swung into the car: It was the one from the day before. I couldnt help but smile and swing my hips to the music.

Were experimenting with the format of New York Today. What would you like to see more (or less) of? Post a comment or email us: [email protected]


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