New Yorkers agree that losing Amazon HQ2 was bad business for the Empire State.
Sixty seven-percent of New York voters polled in a Siena College survey released Monday say Amazon pulling out of plans to bring half of its second North American headquarters to Queens was a blow to the state. Just 21 percent of the 700 registered voters asked about Amazon’s reversal say the online retail behemoth abandoning the Big Apple was a good thing.
“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,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement. “Even 56 percent of self-described liberals think it was bad for New York.”
Of those surveyed, 61 percent say they still support the deal that would have given the company a $3 billion package of city and state tax subsidies to bring at least 25,000 jobs and $27 billion in tax revenue to New York. Incentives Amazon was set to bring to the city also crumbled along with the deal.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez bore the brunt of the blame from New York voters polled with 38 percent casting the freshman Congresswoman representing the Bronx and Queens as the chief “villain” in the deal’s demise. Only 12 percent lauded her as a “hero,” according to the poll.
“Who do New Yorkers blame? Well, there’s certainly blame enough to go around,” Greenberg continued. “However, voters say the biggest villain was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez.”
The lawmaker was a vocal critic of the deal, which was struck by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to bring the e-commerce giant to Long Island City. But the blame divided on party lines—Democrats mostly viewed Amazon as the bad guy while Republicans and independents pegged Ocasio-Cortez as the deal’s killer, followed by “local Queens activists” who decried the plan for months.
Amazon withdrew from the deal in February after consistent public backlash from some elected officials, labor groups, and community activists. But the poll showed that even the controversial incentive package is largely supported by New Yorkers with 61 percent of those polled supporting the tax breaks.
“By a wide margin, New Yorkers would support the deal coming back together if Cuomo and others can convince Amazon to reconsider,” Greenberg said. Cuomo even took it upon himself to personally plead with the tech company’s billionaire CEO, Jeff Bezos, in an effort to bring Amazon back to the table.