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Poll finds good and bad news for embattled Cuomo

(Mike Groll/Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

A new poll finds that while Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s popularity has waned since he’s been embroiled in a number of scandals, including allegations of sexual harassment, more New Yorkers believe the embattled governor should hang on than think he should resign.

The Siena College poll finds that by a 49% to 41% margin, New Yorkers don’t think that Cuomo should step down. That’s down two points from last month, when 51% thought Cuomo should stay.

The governor has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, including several female staff members, and is under federal investigation for allegations that he hid nursing home death numbers in the COVID-19 pandemic, improperly used aides to help write and edit a memoir, and gave family and friends special access to coronavirus tests.

Cuomo denies all of the allegations. 

Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg said the poll has bad and good news for the governor and compared it to a pint-size glass with 8 ounces of water in it.

“Is the glass half-full or is the glass half-empty?” Greenberg asked.

He said supporters can point to the governor’s favorability rating of 44%, which is up four points since last month. While 55% say he’s overall doing a fair or poor job performance, 58% continue to approve of how he’s handling the pandemic.

Among weaknesses for the governor: He’s losing the support of independent voters.

“Last month, a plurality of independents said he should not resign, now independents are evenly divided on that question,” Greenberg said. “Independents are looking askance at the governor right now.”

The poll also found that while Cuomo, a Democrat, would beat a generic Republican candidate by 10 points in a 2022 match-up, state Attorney General Tish James, who is investigating Cuomo, would beat a GOP candidate for governor by 17 points.

Cuomo has said he wants to seek a fourth term in office.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.