Cuomo Gets Slight Popularity Boost as New York Reopens

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More New Yorkers said they had a favorable view of Governor Andrew Cuomo for the first time since January in a new poll out Monday, although the number of those surveyed who want Cuomo to resign rose amid further allegations he misused his office for personal gain.

Cuomo’s approval rating in the Siena College poll rose to 44% in May, up from 40% in April after multiple sexual-harassment allegations and accusations his administration covered up Covid-19 nursing home deaths sullied support for the three-term Democrat.

The governor has also been accused of providing family members with special access to Covid tests and using state resources for a pandemic leadership book he got paid more than $5 million to write. Now, 41% of registered New York voters think he should immediately resign, up from 35% in March, according to the poll, which was conducted last week. The number of New Yorkers who think Cuomo should stay in office dropped slightly below half to 49% in May, down from 51% in April.

Cuomo, who denies all claims, has rebuffed calls for his resignation. He has focused his public appearances on reopening New York and removing pandemic restrictions, including the mask mandate for fully-vaccinated residents. Cuomo has called the multiple state and federal investigations he is facing politically-motivated, with one spokesman calling an investigation by Attorney General Letitia James, “Albany politics at its worst.”

Cuomo’s public-opinion polls are significant because the governor has used the polls to bolster his decision to stay in office. But Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg called Cuomo’s latest report card a toss up.

“Cuomo defenders will point to the uptick in his favorability,” Greenberg said. “On the other side, the Governor’s detractors will point to favorability, job performance and re-elect ratings that remain under water.”

The responses cut across party lines: 63% of Democrats and 18% of Republicans have a favorable view of Cuomo. The governor is more heavily favored by voters who are Black and those 55 and older.

Only 37% of respondents said they would vote to re-elect Cuomo if he ran for re-election next year, with 56% of Democrats saying they would vote for Cuomo if he ran for a fourth term. Cuomo had said he would run for re-election before the sexual harassment and other allegations surfaced, but the governor has declined to comment on his political plans in recent months.

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