Poll: AOC Leads Pack as ‘Villain’ Responsible for Amazon New York City Pullout

New Yorkers pinned blame on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for Amazon pulling out of Queens HQ2 deal, casting her as the "villain" in the ordeal. (MANDEL NGAN / AFP/Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN / AFP/Getty Images

A Siena College poll surveyed voters in New York about how they ranked political figures for Amazon’s decision to pull the plug on its plans to establish a new headquarter in Long Island City, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took the dubious honor of being the top “villain.”

The poll, released on Monday, asked voters to rank leaders as “hero,” “villain,” or “role player” in causing Amazon to change its plan to build a new headquarter in the Queens neighborhood.

Thirty-eight percent picked freshman Democratic Socialist Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) as the chief villain,qåx while only 12 percent responded that she was a “hero” in opposing Amazon’s plan. 

“By comparison, 34 percent called local activists the chief villain; 29 percent Mayor Bill de Blasio; 28 percent Gov. Andrew Cuomo; 26 percent Amazon itself; 21 percent the state Senate, and 17 percent labor unions,” the New York Post reported.

“Who do New Yorkers blame? Well, there’s certainly blame enough to go around … However, voters say the biggest villain was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” pollster Steven Greenberg said in the Post report.

“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,” Greenberg said.

The majority of New York voters see Amazon’s decision to back out as an economic blow to the state. The Amazon deal could have created between 25,000 and 40,000 jobs with an average salary of $150,000. The state said total direct and indirect jobs could have totaled more than 100,000.

The poll found 67 percent of voters said Amazon’s withdrawal was “bad” for New York, and only 21 percent said it was “good.”

“And by a 2-to-1 margin, voters said they supported the agreement that would have allowed Amazon to receive $3 billion in government incentives in exchange for creating 25,000 jobs — 61 percent in favor and 30 percent opposed,” the Post reported.

A vast majority of New York voters said they believe the state is hostile to business, with 67 percent agreeing with the statement that the state government — run by Democrats — makes it hard for businesses to succeed. Even among Democrats, 53 percent agreed with the statement.

Only 26 percent disagreed with the statement.

The poll also found that 51 percent of voters think the state is moving too far to the left, with 36 percent disagreeing.

A majority also expressed support for Amazon reversing its decision and locating in the state.

“By a wide margin, New Yorkers would support the deal coming back together if Cuomo and others can convince Amazon to reconsider,” Greenberg said. “The Amazon deal was seen as very contentious; however, there was strong support for it last month, before it got canceled.”

“There is an overwhelming feeling that its cancellation was bad for the state,” Greenberg said. “And there is strong support – among all demographic groups – for Amazon to reconsider and move forward.” 

“Clearly, jobs outweigh the cost of government incentives in the minds of most voters,” Greenberg said.

The poll was conducted March 10-14 and surveyed 700 registered voters in English by telephone, with a plus or minus 4.2 percentage point margin of error.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.