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By 50-35 margin, New Yorkers say Cuomo shouldn't resign yet
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By 50-35 margin, New Yorkers say Cuomo shouldn't resign yet

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

ALBANY – Half of New Yorkers believe Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo shouldn't resign in the wake of scandals involving sexual harassment of women and Covid nursing home deaths, while 35% say he should go, a new poll out this morning has found.

Fifteen percent aren’t sure yet.

The Siena College poll found that only one-third of respondents, however, believe Cuomo should run again.

By a 48-34% margin, New Yorkers say they still believe he can effectively do his job – which would include negotiating a new state budget in the next two weeks.

One-third of registered voters talked to for the Siena poll believe he has committed sexual harassment of a half-dozen women, one quarter say he didn’t and the rest are uncertain.

But on the issue of his handling of Covid-19 in nursing homes, 66% of New Yorkers believe he has done a bad job. Cuomo is being investigated by federal prosecutors and the FBI over the undercounting of Covid deaths in nursing homes during the past year.

Cuomo’s job approval ratings have taken a major hit, and his salvation in the poll came from his fellow Democrats in this blue state: 61% of Democrats said he should not resign, while almost two-thirds of Republicans say he should go now.

Cuomo is fighting to retain his job. He has said he will not resign, urging New Yorkers to wait for an investigation of the sexual harassment allegations to be investigated in a probe already launched and overseen by Attorney General Letitia James.

“Cuomo has offered an apology and said his office will cooperate with the independent investigation. By a 57-32% margin, voters say they are satisfied with the way Cuomo has addressed the allegations against him,” said Siena poll spokesman Steve Greenberg said.

On Monday, Cuomo used his first public appearance of the week to urge New Yorkers to get vaccinated from Covid-19.

The event at SUNY Old Westbury, like the two Cuomo held last week, was closed to the press due to what the governor's office called pandemic "restrictions."

Video of the event streamed on the governor's website showed Cuomo standing behind a lectern among a supportive crowd alongside at least a dozen masked people.

The governor didn't say anything about the accusations or investigations, instead focusing on the state's vaccination efforts and the state budget.

"We are at a pivotal moment in this state and what we do now will decide the trajectory," Cuomo said of the budget.

The Siena poll will likely be used by Cuomo, at least internally with Democrats and his embattled staff, that he should remain in office while investigations are ongoing. The probe includes an impeachment investigation launched by the Assembly last week.

In the face of an onslaught of New York Democratic elected officials calling for Cuomo to resign, including U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, Cuomo got some breathing room over the weekend. President Biden, asked if Cuomo should resign, pointed to the investigations that should be allowed to wrap up.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose relationship with the Cuomo family dates to 1980, according to the late Gov. Mario Cuomo’s 1984 published diaries, did not call for Cuomo to resign when asked by ABC News about the issue, instead saying he should “look into his heart” to determine if he can effectively govern.

The Siena poll also asked about Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who would become governor if Cuomo leaves. Twenty-three percent have a favorable view of her, 14% have a negative one and 64% said their had no opinion or don’t know enough about her to form an opinion.

Asked if Cuomo should run for a fourth term next year, 52% said they prefer someone else. Among upstate voters, 60% prefer someone other than Cuomo.

The Siena poll was conducted Friday.

News Staff Reporter Aaron Besecker contributed to this article.

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