Cuomo Has Lost Popularity, but Half of N.Y. Voters Say He Shouldn’t Resign

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More New Yorkers believe that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has committed sexual harassment than not, but half of those surveyed say that he should not immediately resign, according to a Siena College poll released on Monday.

Slightly more than a third of voters, 35 percent, said they believed the governor had committed sexual harassment, while 24 percent believed he had not, according to the poll, which was conducted in the second week of March. The responses were largely the same among men and women, with a plurality of voters undecided: 41 percent said they were unsure if Mr. Cuomo was guilty of sexual harassment.

Multiple women, including current and former aides, have accused Mr. Cuomo in the past few weeks of a range of inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment and groping.

The governor has repeatedly denied ever touching anyone inappropriately, and has apologized for comments he said may have made women feel uncomfortable. He has also said he will cooperate with an investigation into the claims that is being overseen by the state attorney general, Letitia James.

In a survey of 805 registered New York State voters, 57 percent said they were satisfied with how Mr. Cuomo had addressed the allegations, while 32 percent said they were not. Fifty percent said he should not resign, while 35 percent said he should. Nearly half said they believed he could continue to do his job effectively as governor, with 34 percent saying he could not.

Even so, the governor’s favorability rating has plummeted to one of the lowest points of his decade-long tenure: Only 43 percent of voters said they had a favorable opinion of the governor, down from 56 percent last month.

The poll was largely conducted before a majority of the Democrats in New York’s congressional delegation, including most of its House members and Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, said Friday that the governor should step down.

Still, the survey’s findings suggest Mr. Cuomo could have some breathing room.

A large number of voters, 60 percent of them, about the same as last month, said they approved of Mr. Cuomo’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, with a majority supporting how he has communicated, reopened the economy and rolled out the vaccine.

However, 66 percent said they did not approve of the way in which his administration had handled data related to nursing home deaths.

Mr. Cuomo has acknowledged withholding data that would have shown the nursing home death toll to be about 50 percent higher than previously known, and federal prosecutors have begun investigating the matter. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that Mr. Cuomo’s top aides rewrote a health department report to obscure the full extent of deaths among nursing home patients.

The poll showed Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, faces daunting opposition to a possible re-election bid next year: just 34 percent of voters said they would support such a campaign, while 52 percent said they would “prefer someone else.”

The governor, however, has retained a bulwark of support from Black voters, a key constituency that has helped propel him to victory in the last two Democratic primaries. Among Black voters, 69 percent said he should not immediately resign, 59 percent said they would vote to re-elect Mr. Cuomo and 40 percent said they thought he had not committed sexual harassment.

The poll represents a snapshot in time of voters’ attitudes, which could significantly shift as the multiple scandals involving Mr. Cuomo continue to unfold.

The Assembly has launched a broad impeachment investigation that could look into the sexual harassment claims and the nursing home scandal. And Ms. James’s report, expected months from now, could be politically damaging for Mr. Cuomo if investigators corroborate the sexual harassment accusations.

Mr. Cuomo has insisted that New Yorkers let the investigation conclude before passing judgment and has accused politicians who have called for his resignation of doing so for political purposes.

The poll leaned heavily in the direction of Democratic voters, mirroring the state’s electorate: 48 percent of respondents were Democrats, while just 21 percent were Republicans and 27 percent were independents. It had a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.

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