Siena College Poll finds majority of NY voters say Cuomo should not immediately resign

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LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — According to a recent Siena College Poll of New York voters, voters say, 50-35%, that Governor Andrew Cuomo should not immediately resign and that he can still effectively do his job as governor.

Cuomo Sexual Harassment Allegations

Regarding the recent allegations brought against Governor Cuomo, one-third of voters reportedly say that Cuomo did commit sexual harassment, while one-quarter say he has not, with a number of voters still unsure. The poll found that voters are satisfied with the way the governor has addressed the allegations, 57-32%.

Cuomo and COVID-19

When it comes to the pandemic, the poll found that voters approve of the governor’s handling of it, 60-33%, which is relatively unchanged from last month’s findings of 61-34%. Voters gave Cuomo positive grades on four specific areas related to the pandemic including communicating, providing accurate information, reopening plans, and managing the vaccine rollout.

NY Nursing Homes and COVID-19

However, the poll found when it comes to making COVID-19 related nursing home death data public, voters gave the governor a negative grade, 27-66%.

“While many elected officials – Democrats and Republicans alike – have called for Cuomo’s resignation, by a 50-35% margin, the voters of New York say Cuomo should not immediately resign. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans say Cuomo should resign, however, 61% of Democrats and 46% 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.

“Similarly, voters say despite the ongoing investigations, Cuomo can continue to effectively do his job as governor, 48-34%,” Greenberg said. “A strong majority of Democrats and a plurality of independents say he can govern effectively, while two-thirds of Republicans disagree. Voters outside of New York City are closely divided, however, a strong majority of New York City voters say he can effectively do his job.”

“While more voters, 35%, say Cuomo has committed sexual harassment than those who say he has not committed sexual harassment, 24%, the plurality of voters, 41%, are undecided,” Greenberg said.

“Cuomo has offered an apology and said his office will cooperate with the independent investigation. By a 57-32% margin, voters say they are satisfied with the way Cuomo has addressed the allegations against him,” Greenberg said. “Two-thirds of Democrats are satisfied, as are 56% of independents; 57% of Republicans are not satisfied with the way Cuomo has addressed the allegations. Fifty-four percent of men and 59% of women say they are satisfied.”

The poll found that Cuomo has a 43-45% favorability rating, down significantly from 56-39% in February. His job performance rating is 46-52%, down from 51-47% last month. Currently, 34% of voters say they are prepared to re-elect Cuomo if he runs for re-election in 2022 and 52% say they would ‘prefer someone else,’ which is down significantly from 46-45% in February.

“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. In fact, only 46% of Democrats now want to re-elect Cuomo, compared to 40% who want someone else, down from 65-26% last month.”

“Voters appear to be able to compartmentalize how they feel about Cuomo. While their views on him generally – favorability, job performance, re-elect – took a significant hit this month, voters’ views on Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic remain largely positive, except for his handling of nursing home death data,” Greenberg said. “Two-thirds of New Yorkers, including 56% of Democrats, give him a negative grade for making public all data about COVID-related deaths of nursing home patients.”

President Biden’s $1.9T COVID-19 Relief Plan

On a national note, the Siena Poll found that New Yorkers overwhelming support President Biden’s $1.9T COVID-19 relief plan.

“The massive $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan passed by Congress and signed by President Biden enjoys overwhelming support from New Yorkers. Overall, 74 percent support the COVID relief plan, compared to only 21 percent who oppose it. It has support from 91 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of independents, while Republicans are evenly divided, 48-48 percent,” Greenberg said. “The ‘weakest’ support geographically comes from upstate voters, who support it two-to-one, 62-31 percent.”

According to the poll, Biden has a 64-30% favorability rating, little changed from 65-29% in February. He is reportedly viewed favorably by 89% of Democrats and 57% of independents, while 72% of Republicans view him unfavorably. His job performance rating is 54-41%, down slightly from 55-38% last month.

“Less than two months on the job, Biden – like his first major legislative victory, the COVID relief plan – enjoys strong support from New Yorkers – well, at least from Democrats and independents,” Greenberg said. “At this point in his presidency, Donald Trump had a 33-63 percent favorability rating, not very different from his current 31-66 percent favorability rating.”

Additional Poll Information

In addition to Governor Cuomo and President Biden, the Siena Poll looked at a number of other pieces of information to gauge where New York voters currently stand including the following:

  • Attorney General Letitia James has a 40-14% favorability rating, up from 36-17% last month, her highest-ever favorability rating.
  • Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul has a 23-14% favorability rating (64% have never heard of her or don’t know enough to have an opinion), the first time Siena has polled her in a statewide poll.
  • New Yorkers are much more optimistic about the pandemic. Currently, 65% think the worst of the pandemic is over, compared to 23% who say the worst is still to come. Last month it was 46-36%.
  • Thirty-six percent of voters say they have gotten vaccinated, another 40% say they plan to, and 21% who do not plan to get the vaccine, down from 25% in January and 22% last month.
  • Support remains strong for legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in New York. Support is currently 59-33%, down a little from 63-29% last month. It has more than 60% support from Democrats and independents, and is supported by Republicans, barely, 51-48%.
  • Voters continue to say New York State (48-38%) and the United states (50-41%) are headed in the right direction and not on the wrong track. Both are little changed from last month.

*This Siena College Poll was conducted March 8-12, 2021 among 805 New York State registered voters with 430 voters contacted through a dual frame (landline and cell phone) mode and 375 responses drawn from a proprietary online panel (Lucid) of New Yorkers.

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