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Poll: More say Cuomo should not resign, but reelection support declines

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks during a visit

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks during a visit to a vaccination site in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan on March 8. Credit: Pool / EPA / Shutterstock / Seth Wenig

ALBANY — A poll released Monday showed more New York voters want Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to stay in office even as a growing number of fellow Democrats call on him to resign over sexual harassment accusations against him.

The Siena College Research Institute poll found voters by a 50%-35% split say Cuomo shouldn’t immediately resign.

The poll also found 35% of those questioned said they believe Cuomo committed sexual harassment, while 24% said he hasn’t and 41% said they were undecided. Most — 57% — say Cuomo has addressed the allegations satisfactorily so far.

However, support for Cuomo’s reelection to a fourth term next year became a bit dimmer — 34% of voters said he should be reelected, compared with 52% who prefer someone else. That compares with 48% in January who said they would vote to reelect him and 51% who said they would pick him again in a November poll.

"Cuomo’s standing with voters has clearly fallen in the last month," said Steven Greenberg of the Siena poll. "His favorability rating and his reelect number are both down net 19 points, while his job performance rating is down net 10 points," Greenberg said. "Voters appear to be able to compartmentalize how they feel about Cuomo."

Cuomo maintains strong overall approval for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate comment from Cuomo’s spokesman.

On the reelection question, the poll found Democrats, who have a 2:1 enrollment edge over Republicans statewide, are ready to reelect Cuomo by a 46%-40% split.

However, 28% of voters not enrolled in a party support Cuomo’s reelection compared with 50% who would prefer someone else. Republicans remain strongly opposed to Cuomo, with 83% preferring someone else.

New York City residents are split over Cuomo while 59% of voters in the suburbs, which include Long Island, would prefer someone else, according to the poll.

Top Democratic leaders in New York have called for Cuomo to resign over the sexual harassment allegations. They include Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, legislative leaders and progressive leaders. Republicans have also called on Cuomo to resign or to be removed from office.

Two investigations are underway into the accusations. State Attorney General Letitia James has appointed two attorneys and granted them subpoena power. The state Assembly has also begun an investigation that could lead to impeachment.

Cuomo in news conferences has called on people to await the outcome of the investigations. Cuomo has acknowledged that he engaged in behavior that he later learned made some women feel uncomfortable. He has apologized, but said the facts and truth need to come out in the investigations.

The poll questioned 805 registered voters from March 8 through Friday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

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