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January 11, 2006

Survey shows many New Yorkers considered moving out of state last year

More than 40 percent of New Yorkers surveyed in a new poll say they have considered moving out of the state, according to the results of a new poll released by the Manhattan Institute’s Empire Center.

Forty-one percent of those surveyed said they had considered moving out of the state in the past year. Another 8 percent said they had a relative who thought of moving out of state.

"On a regional basis, the number of voters who had personally considered moving ranged from a low of 39 percent in New York City to 44 percent in western upstate New York," the Empire Center's analysis of the data said.

The survey also found that voters are pessimistic about the future of the state. Seventy-one percent of those surveyed said they expect New York to be the same state it is now, or worse in the next five years.

"Pessimism about the state's future was strongest among upstate respondents, especially in the western region," the Empire Center said. "Thirty-five percent of the western New York residents surveyed said that they expected the state to be a 'worse' place in five years, well over double the 14 percent who expected it to be better."

“New Yorkers are restless, unhappy and ready for change,” said E.J. McMahon, director of the Empire Center. “The survey shows that voters across the state want more accountable and transparent government, and that they are willing to support candidates who will fight to rein in spending and taxes.”

The poll, conducted by Siena College Research Institute, surveyed 620 registered voters from across the state. Voters were asked for their opinion on the performance of state government of a series of governmental reforms that have been proposed over the past year.

The results show that 58 percent of those surveyed are dissatisfied with state government and another 58 percent “believe special interest groups have too much influence over state government.” Upstate, residents expressed dissatisfaction with state government by a three-to-one margin.

The study also found that:

"From one end of the state to the other, most voters of every party affiliation (or no affiliation) would be open to a public-policy agenda that encourages more direct democracy, more competitive elections, limits on politicians' tenure in office, and fiscally conservative approaches to reining in governmental excesses," the Empire Center said.

The results of the survey are available at www.empirecenter.org/news_releases/2006/01/poll_new_yorker.php.