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Poll: Cuomo support high, but voters split over handling of nursing homes

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo arrives at the New

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo arrives at the New York Stock Exchange on the first day that traders are allowed back onto the historic floor of the exchange on Tuesday in Manhattan. Credit: Getty Images/Spencer Platt

ALBANY — A new statewide poll shows Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s support for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic remains high, but has dropped a bit over the last month as New Yorkers are divided over his handling of the virus in nursing homes.

The Siena College Research Institute poll on Wednesday also found three-quarters of respondents said moving too quickly to reopen the state’s economy is a bigger danger than moving too slowly. The same share of respondents said they expect a second wave of the virus in the fall.

For Cuomo, his handling of the virus since March, which includes daily televised news conferences in which he imparts updates as well as personal anecdotes aimed at inspiring New Yorkers, continues to win him support. The poll found he had a 66% favorability rating, down from his record-high last month of 77%.

Cuomo’s job performance was seen favorably by 63% of voters, down from 71% a month ago. Overall, voters approved of his handling of the state of emergency by 71% to 28%, and 56% of Republicans approved of his overall handling of the crisis.

“Cuomo’s stratospheric ratings from New Yorkers in April have fallen from their record highs but remain very strong,” said Steven Greenberg of the Siena poll.

Cuomo appears to have taken the biggest hit in popularity from his handling of the virus in nursing homes. Forty-eight percent of voters rated him negatively, while 44% gave him positive ratings. Most Republicans and conservatives gave Cuomo negative grades on this issue while voters 55 and older were split.

More than 1,000 residents have died in Long Island nursing homes among the more than 4,800 nursing home residents who died of the virus statewide.

In other results:

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  • 65% of voters say they would prefer the state move too slowly to reopen the economy rather than too fast to avoid a resurgence in the virus.
  • At least 73% of voters in every part of the state believe a second wave of the virus is likely.
  • 84% of voters said it’s likely that anyone who can work from home will likely do so for most of the remaining year.
  • 89% support wearing protective masks when social distancing of 6 feet between people can’t be maintained.
  • 94% said they wear a mask at least most of the time in public.
  • 37% said they know someone who has died of the virus, including nearly half of voters in New York City and its suburbs, including Long Island. That’s slightly more than the 32% a month ago.

The poll questioned 796 registered voters from May 17-21. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

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