Half of New Yorkers Say Cuomo Should Stay Despite Scandals


A new poll out Monday said half of New York voters think Andrew Cuomo should continue leading the state despite the multiple scandals surrounding him, although an overwhelming majority of those surveyed don’t want the embattled Democratic governor to run for re-election in 2022.

Cuomo’s approval rating in the Siena College poll has sunk to its lowest point since he took office in 2011, with only 40% of New York registered voters having a favorable view of him. That’s down from 56% in February and a high of 77% reached last year during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the poll.

“His ratings continue to push further into negative territory,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

Cuomo’s standing with everyday New Yorkers has severely diminished after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct and inappropriate workplace behavior, as well as accusations that his administration covered up Covid nursing home deaths and provided family members with special access to Covid tests.

Dozens of lawmakers in his own party have called for him to step down and he faces both state and federal investigations into his behavior. He also faces an impeachment investigation in the state Assembly. None of the investigators have offered a timeline on when the probes will conclude.

But in recent weeks, Cuomo has held steady. He’s tried to project an image that he’s undettered by the investigations and focused on governing through numerous public events flanked by long-time supporters. He successfully passed a $212 billion state budget earlier this month, albeit making a number of compromises with the state legislature -- including raising taxes on the wealthy -- in order to get the spending plan approved.

Cuomo’s public-opinion polls are significant because the governor has steadfastly refused to quit and relied on the polls to bolster his decision to stay in office. He’s denied claims that he touched anyone inappropriately and said his administration’s actions around Covid nursing home data were in line with federal guidance.

The Monday poll also showed how Cuomo’s approval ratings swing wildly depending on party, demographic and voter residence. Nearly two-thirds of Black New Yorkers view Cuomo favorably, compared with 36% of White voters, and 50% of New York City voters view him favorably compared with 32% of upstate New Yorkers. The younger and more wealthy voters are, the less favorable their views of Cuomo, the poll showed.

If he does run, voters may have to decide which they want less: Cuomo as governor, or a Republican. Right now, just 33% of registered voters are prepared to re-elect Cuomo next year if he runs, while 57% prefer someone else. However, voters by a 52%-32% margin say they’d rather a Democrat win next year’s gubernatorial election.

In recent weeks, a number of Republican challengers -- including two members of Congress -- said they are considering gubernatorial bids. Although Cuomo has faced competitive primaries before, no Democrats have yet declared their intentions to run.

The latest poll was conducted from April 1-15 among 801 New York state registered voters and has a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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