Public Opinion on Amazon HQ2 in LIC

Senator Gianaris’ job is to represent the interests of his constituents. If there had been indications that most constituents had been opposed to the Amazon deal, his strident opposition would have made sense. However, all four polls taken - including three independent ones - showed strong support for bringing 25,000 jobs to Long Island City.


Quinnipiac University, which is rated A- by FiveThirtyEight, released an independent poll of NYC voters on the Amazon deal on December 5, 2018

One question asked was “Do you approve or disapprove of Amazon locating one of its new headquarters in Long Island City in Queens?”

For Queens residents in particular, this question should reflect whether respondents felt that the positive impacts of the Amazon headquarters would outweigh potential negative impacts, such as strain on infrastructure and increases in rents.

60% of Queens voters approved, and only 26% of voters disapproved.

Another question asked, “As you may know, Amazon will be receiving roughly 3 billion dollars in tax breaks and other benefits from the state and the city as part of its deal to locate its new headquarters in Long Island City. Amazon says it will create 25,000 new jobs. Do you support or oppose the incentives that have been offered to Amazon?”

This question put the incentives in context, but explicitly broke out whether respondents supported or opposed the incentives. Queens residents supported the incentives, 55% to 39%.


HarrisX released a poll of NYC voters, commissioned by Amazon, on February 5, 2019.

The poll asked “Do you approve or disapprove of Amazon locating one of its new headquarters in Long Island City in Queens?” This question was similar to the one asked by the Quinnipiac poll that did not mention the incentives. It explicitly polled Senate District 12, and found very strong support, higher than the other boroughs, but slightly lower than Queens as a whole. According to this poll, 77% of voters in SD12 supported Amazon coming, while only 19% of them opposed it.


Siena College, which is rated A by FiveThirtyEight, released an independent poll of NYS voters on the Amazon deal on February 12, 2019.

The question asked was “Do you approve or disapprove of the recently announced deal between Amazon and New York, which grants up to 3 billion dollars in state and city incentives to Amazon in return for Amazon locating its corporate offices in Queens, where it is projected to generate 25 thousand jobs?” This was perhaps the fairest poll question asked, in that both the projected benefits and projected costs were included in the question, forcing respondents to do their own cost-benefit analysis to answer.

Queens was not broken out in the responses, but 58% of NYC respondents supported the deal, and only 35% opposed it. As the other two polls showed that Queens had the highest or second highest support among the boroughs, it is likely support in Queens would have been higher than 58%, if it had been broken out.

There are a few other notable results. A lot of anti-Amazon rhetoric argued that the deal would be bad for unions, and bad for people of color. Yet 53% of union households supported it, and only 40% opposed it. This was indeed less than non-union households, but still showed clear support. As for people of color, the results were very similar to the Quinnipiac poll from December, which showed that people of color supported the Amazon deal to a significantly greater degree than whites (who still supported it by a significant margin).


Siena College released another independent poll asking about the Amazon deal on March 18, 2019.

The March 2019 poll asked a number of questions relating to the Amazon deal. The first asked, “Switching gears, last month Amazon cancelled its plans - announced in November - to build a second headquarters in Long Island City in Queens. Do you think it was good for New York or bad for New York that Amazon cancelled its plans to build a new headquarters in Queens?” 64% of New York City voters said the collapse of the deal was bad for New York, and only 27% said the deal’s collapse was good for New York.

Another question was very similar to what was asked in the February 2019 Siena poll. It asked “Recently, Governor Cuomo and others have been trying to woo Amazon to reconsider its decision. The proposal would have New York grant up to three billion dollars in state and city incentives to Amazon in return for Amazon creating up to 25 thousand jobs. Do you support or oppose that deal?” 63% of NYC voters supported the deal, and only 29% of NYC voters opposed it. This is higher than before the deal collapsed, when 58% of NYC voters supported the deal, and only 35% opposed it.


Quinnipiac University, which is rated A- by FiveThirtyEight, released another independent poll of voters on the Amazon deal and tax incentives on March 20, 2019.

One question asked was “As you may know, Amazon cancelled its plans to build one of its new headquarters in New York's Long Island City. Do you approve or disapprove of Governor Cuomo and other prominent New Yorkers trying to convince Amazon to revive its plan to build one of its new headquarters in Long Island City?” 67% of New York City voters approved of the effort, and only 28% of NYC voters disapproved.

Another question asked was “As you may know, Amazon would have received roughly 3 billion dollars in tax breaks and other benefits from the state and the city as part of its deal to locate one of its new headquarters in Long Island City. Amazon said it would have created 25,000 new jobs. Which comes closer to your point of view: the tax incentives and benefits were worth the jobs Amazon said it would bring to New York City, or the jobs Amazon said it would bring to New York City are not worth giving Amazon those tax incentives and benefits?” New York City supported the incentives 59% to 31%.

On April 2, 2019 Quinnipiac University, which is rated A- by FiveThirtyEight, released another independent poll of NYC voters on the Amazon deal.

The question asked was “As you may know, Amazon cancelled its plans to build one of its new headquarters in New York's Long Island City. Do you approve or disapprove of Governor Cuomo and other prominent New Yorkers trying to convince Amazon to revive its plan to build one of its new headquarters in Long Island City?” Yet again, NYC voters showed strong support for the deal, supporting it 61% to 32%, and 58% to 34% in Queens.