State Watch

Majority of New York voters say Cuomo should not be reelected: poll

A majority of New York voters in a new poll say that Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) should not be reelected as he faces mushrooming scandals over sexual harassment allegations and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a new Emerson College/WPIX-TV/NewsNation poll, 64 percent of New York voters said Cuomo should not be reelected to a fourth term in next year's election. In an alarming sign for Cuomo, only 52 percent of Democrats said he should get another term, while 48 percent said it's time for someone new.

The governor also has an underwater approval rating, with just 38 percent of voters approving of the job he's doing. Forty-eight percent don't approve. 

The alarming poll for Cuomo comes as the governor faces bipartisan rebukes over sexual harassment allegations from three women who accuse him of, among other things, kissing an aide on the mouth without consent, asking another aide inappropriate questions about her sex life and making unwanted sexual advances toward a woman he met at a wedding. 

Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing but apologized if past comments have made them feel uncomfortable. The New York state attorney general is currently overseeing an independent investigation into the claims.

The sexual harassment allegations hit Cuomo as he was already dealing with fallout from a report detailing how his office undercounted coronavirus deaths in New York nursing homes in an attempt to avoid a federal investigation.

The dual scandals have led to bipartisan rebukes in Albany and the state's congressional delegation. Republicans and Democrats have supported stripping Cuomo of emergency powers he was granted during the pandemic, and some Democrats have begun calling for his resignation. 

In a sign New Yorkers are largely aware of the scandals, 90 percent of voters reported knowing at least something about the sexual harassment allegations. Thirty-seven percent of voters think he should resign over the claims, while 34 percent think he should not resign and 29 percent are unsure. 

And 92 percent of voters said they heard about the nursing home scandal. Forty-five percent of voters, a plurality, said Cuomo should resign over the undercount.

A plurality of voters, at 39 percent, also said the controversies will seriously affect Cuomo's ability to lead the state for the remainder of his term.

Beyond his ability to govern, the controversies could put him in electoral peril. The scandals raise the chances that he draws a serious primary challenger, and GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin said Tuesday he's considering a gubernatorial run.

The Emerson College/WPIX-TV/NewsNation poll surveyed 700 New York voters from March 1-2 and has a margin of error of 3.6 percent.

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