Most New Yorkers don’t want Andrew Cuomo to resign — yet, poll shows

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Many New Yorkers are still not ready to toss out embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo over sexual harassment and nursing home scandals, a new survey released Monday reveals.

Only 35 percent of registered voters said Cuomo should immediately resign, the Siena College poll of 804 registered voters found.

Half of voters — 50 percent — said he should not step down while the remaining 15 percent of responders were unsure, the survey said.

Cuomo still has a reservoir of support among Democrats, with 61 percent of members of his own party saying he should not resign at this time.

Among all respondents, black voters are giving Cuomo the most leeway until seeing the results of the independent sexual harassment investigation of the governor overseen by state Attorney General Letitia James, an impeachment probe initiated by the Assembly Judiciary Committee as well as federal inquiries into his handling of nursing homes.

Among black voters, 69 percent said Cuomo should not resign and only 22 percent said he should resign at this time.

Still, the wait-and-see approach of voters doesn’t mean voters don’t think he hasn’t done anything wrong.

More than one-third of voters — 35 percent — think Cuomo has committed sexual harassment, 25 percent said he has not while 41 percent are unsure at this point.

Meanwhile, more voters than not said Cuomo could still effectively govern despite multiple investigations of sexual harassment and handling of nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly half of those surveyed — 48 percent of respondents — said Cuomo could effectively govern while 34 percent said he could not, with the remaining 18 percent unsure.

The results from voters clash with the more harsh verdict of New York’s political class. Nearly the entire New York Congressional Delegation — including Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand — said Cuomo should resign because harassment and misconduct accusations leveled against him by seven women has damaged his standing and make it untenable to govern.

Elsewhere, 57 percent of voters are satisfied with the way Cuomo has addressed the allegations thus far, compared to 32 percent who are dissatisfied, the poll said.

Still, voters are tiring of Cuomo.

Only 34 percent of voters said they would back Democrat Cuomo if he seeks a fourth term, while 52 percent said they prefer someone else.

He still receives strong grades for his handling of the pandemic, by a nearly two-to-one margin, with 60 percent approving and 33 percent disapproving.

But the major exception is Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes. Two-thirds gave him a thumbs down for reporting of nursing home deaths tied to the coronavirus.

The poll indicates that many voters are giving Cuomo the benefit of the doubt — for now.

“While many elected officials – Democrats and Republicans alike – have called for Cuomo’s resignation, by a 50-35 percent margin, the voters of New York say Cuomo should not immediately resign. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans say Cuomo should resign, however, 61 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of independents, a plurality, say he should not,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

“A majority of New York City voters and a plurality of voters from both upstate and the downstate suburbs say he should not resign.”

Cuomo’s popularity has taken a hit since the scandals erupted.

His job approval rating has plunged from 56 percent in a Feburary Siena poll to 43 percent this month.

“Cuomo’s standing with voters has clearly fallen in the last month. His favorability rating and his re-elect number are both down net 19 points, while his job performance rating is down net 10 points,” Greenberg said.

“Cuomo’s drop in all three ratings is largely the result of Democrats. Among Democrats alone, his favorability rating dropped net 31 points and his re-elect dropped net 33 points.”

Only 46 percent of fellow Democrats now want to re-elect Cuomo, compared to 40 percent who want someone else.

The poll of 804 registered voters was taken from March 8-12 and has a 4.1 percentage point margin of error.

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