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Poll: Voters Have Mixed Views Of Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference in New York on Monday, April 19, 2021. New York’s comptroller has asked the state attorney general’s office to launch a criminal investigation into whether the governor used state resources to write and promote his book on leadership in the COVID-19 pandemic. (Shannon Stapleton/Pool via AP)

A recent Siena College poll shows more than 50% of New York residents view Gov. Andrew Cuomo unfavorably — but they also don’t want the governor to resign and approve of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest Siena College Research Institute monthly poll released Monday show the governor’s favorability rating at 40% with an unfavorable rating of 52%. Among those who answered the question, those earning less than $50,000 a year had a favorable opinion of Cuomo at 49% compared to 43% having an unfavorable view. Those who earn between $50,000 and $100,000 had a 36% favorable opinion of Cuomo compared to 54% unfavorable rating. The numbers were roughly the same for those earning over $100,000.

“Voters to Andrew Cuomo: ‘We’ve got some good news and some bad news.’ On the one hand, his favorability rating is now the lowest it has ever been, with more than 50 percent of voters viewing Cuomo unfavorably for the very first time in a Siena College poll. On the other hand, a majority of voters – including Democrats by two-to-one and a plurality of independents – continue to say that Cuomo should not resign, and a similar majority say he can still effectively do his job as governor,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

When asked if they would vote to re-elect Cuomo, 33% said they would re-elect the governor while 57% said they would prefer someone else. Democrats are split, 46% backing Cuomo and 43% backing another candidate. Only 15% of Republicans would back Cuomo’s re-election with 82% of Republicans backing another candidate. Cuomo’s re-election is favored by roughly the same percentage of male respondents (35%) and female respondents (31%). Again, Cuomo’s support is tied to socio-economics; as 42% of those earning less than $50,000 would vote to re-elect Cuomo while only 28% of those earning $50,000 to $100,000 would vote to re-elect the governor and 30% of those earning more than $100,000 supporting the governor’s re-election.

“While voters continue to say Cuomo should not resign and can continue to operate effectively, a clear plurality of voters now say they believe Cuomo has committed sexual harassment, including Republicans by 39 points, independents by 29 points and Democrats by nine points, as well as men by 23 points and women by 20 points,” Greenberg said. “Last month, a plurality of all those demographic groups, except Republicans, were undecided on whether or not Cuomo had committed sexual harassment.”

When asked whether the state budget and new laws that were recently passed would, overall, be good or bad for New Yorkers like them, 38% said they will be good and 36% said bad. Those margins are skewed by political party, with 55% of Democrats saying the state’s budget and new laws benefit them while only 18% of Republicans say the budget and new laws benefit them. Unlike support for the governor, the perceived benefit of state policies is roughly equal across the wage spectrum — $36% for those earning less than $50,000, 38% for those making between $50,000 and $100,000, and 41% for those earning over $100,000.

By a margin of 72-20%, voters approve of increasing tax rates on millionaires. They approve of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana 57% to 36%. The marijuana legalization bill is supported by 67% of Democrats, 59% of other voters and 38% of Republicans. Increasing taxes on the wealthy was supported by 72% of poll respondents, including 86% of Democrats, 47% of Republicans and 68% other voters.

Statewide voters also approve of the $2.1 billion in assistance to workers, including undocumented immigrants, who lost employment during the pandemic but were ineligible for federal aid, with 53% of voters approving the payments. The legislation is supported by 71% of Democrats, 21% of Republicans and 48% of other voters. The bill is supported more by 18- to 34-year-old voters (72%) than by 35- to 54-year-old voters (52%) or voters over the age of 55 (43%).

Rep. Lee Zeldin, the first declared 2022 Republican gubernatorial candidate, has an 18% favorability rating, comparable to Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul’s 18-13 percent favorability rating. President Joe Biden has a 62% favorability rating, down slightly from 64% in March. His job performance rating is 53%, also down slightly from last month’s 54%.

Not quite as optimistic about the end of the pandemic this month, 60% of those who responded think the worst of the pandemic is over, compared to 27% who say the worst is still to come. Last month it was 62% who thought the worst of the pandemic was over and 25% who thought the worst was yet to come. Only 14% percent of voters say they don’t plan to get the vaccinated, down from 21% in March and 25% in January.

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