Half of New York voters say Governor Andrew Cuomo shouldn’t resign after more than a half-dozen claims of sexual harassment, but only a third believe he should seek a fourth term, according to a poll released Monday.
The Democrat governor saw his approval rating touch its lowest point in the Siena College poll, with only 43% 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. The governor has hit the low mark twice before.
Cuomo’s public-opinion polls are significant because the governor has steadfastly refused to quit despite calls by Democrat leaders in the New York legislature, a majority of the U.S. House delegation, and both senators, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Seven women have accused Cuomo of sexual misconduct or inappropriate behavior. Most are former aides to the governor.
Voters continue to approve of Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic. They gave the 63-year-old Democrat positive grades on reopening plans and the vaccine rollout.
Two-thirds disapprove of his handling of data on the COVID-19 deaths of nursing-home residents. Cuomo faces investigations after his administration was accused of covering up Covid nursing home deaths.
The latest poll was conducted March 8-12 among 805 registered New York voters, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.
Let It Be
State Democratic Chairman Jay S. Jacobs, a longtime supporter of Cuomo, said on Monday that because Cuomo has made clear that he wouldn’t resign the rest of the state should get back to work. Jacobs had initially urged the public to wait for an investigation, but reversed course after dozens of lawmakers called for the governor’s resignation. He said Monday’s poll vindicated Cuomo.
“Now that virtually every Democratic elected official has made their views known, and the governor has made clear that he has no intention of resigning until the results of the independent investigations into the allegations against him have been completed, it is incumbent upon everyone to focus on getting the work of government done,” he said. “Most New Yorkers and an overwhelming number of Democrats want an investigation before making judgment.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio continued his attacks on Cuomo, saying Monday that reports that a top Cuomo adviser was making calls to link vaccine supply to political support was the “definition of corruption.”
De Blasio, a longtime adversary of Cuomo, said he hasn’t spoken to the governor in weeks and that he hasn’t seen any effort to reduce the vaccine supply in New York in retaliation for his demands that the governor quite. Still, he said the city hasn’t received its fair share of vaccines. Throughout the pandemic, de Blasio said, the governor has “added politics to decisions.”
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