ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — A new poll finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a precarious position amid ongoing controversies regarding the state’s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, and new allegations of sexual harassment against the governor.
A new Emerson College/WPIX-TV/NewsNation poll released Tuesday found the governor’s approval rating down to 38%, with 48% saying they disapprove of his performance.
Of those polled, the governor’s lowest approval ratings came from the 18-34 age group (22% approval), and those who are white (26% approval). The governor’s highest approval rating came from those who identify as Black (62% approval), and those living in New York City (53% approval).
For context, the same poll found President Joe Biden to have a 52% approval rating, 33% disapproval, and 15% unsure among polled New Yorkers.
Last summer the governor’s approval rating was at its highest since he was elected in 2010.
A majority — 64% — of those polled say that Gov. Cuomo should not be reelected for a fourth term in 2022.
Even Democrats are split on the issue, with 52% saying Cuomo should be reelected and 48% saying he should not serve another term.
Cuomo was elected to his third term as New York’s governor in 2018, defeating Republican Marc Molinaro after defeating Cynthia Nixon in a primary.
Respondents were even split on if New York is heading in the right or wrong direction, with 50% saying right direction and the other half saying the state is on the wrong track.
Notably, a strong majority of Independent voters in New York — 70% — said the state is on the wrong track.
When asked about the recent allegations of sexual harassment involving the governor, 90% of New York voters reported knowing “at least something” about the issue.
Of those who were aware of the allegations, 32% said they were “somewhat satisfied” with Cuomo’s response to the controversy so far, with 42% saying they were “unsatisfied.”
When asked whether or not they believe the allegations are true, the majority — 44% — said they were unsure at this time while 38% believe he’s guilty and 18% said he’s not guilty.
Of those polls, 37% said they believe claims of sexual harassment are ground for a resignation, while 34% said they believe Gov. Cuomo should not resign as a result of the claims. The remaining 29% said they were unsure if the governor should resign at this time.
When asked about Gov. Cuomo’s reporting of nursing home deaths near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 92% of respondents said they have heard of the news.
Among those who were aware of the reports, a majority — 59% — reported they were “somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with the governor’s response to the matter.
Of those polled, 14% said they felt unsure or neutral towards the governor’s response while 27% felt “somewhat satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the governor’s response.
Most New Yorkers polled — 45% — said Gov. Cuomo should resign over his handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, with 36% saying they do not think they governor should resign, and 18% reporting they were unsure or held no opinion on the matter.
Most New Yorkers polled — 39% — believe these controversies will “seriously affect” Gov. Cuomo’s ability to lead the state for the remainder of his term.
Of those polled, 31% said they did not think it will make a difference, 14% said he was never a good leader for the state, and 16% said they were unsure about how the controversies will affect his ability to lead.
Despite the nursing home and sexual harassment controversies, voters polled said they were more concerned with the pandemic presently.
A majority — 62% — said that availability and plan for COVID-19 vaccines ranks as the most important issue currently, followed by 28% who said an investigation into the nursing home controversy was most pressing, and 10% who were primarily focused on sexual harassment allegations as the most important.
For the poll, 700 New Yorkers were surveyed between March 1 and March 2, 2021. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, education, race, party affiliation and region with a margin of error of +/- 3.6%.
New York City — 266
Long Island — 142
Upstate New York (east) — 158
Upstate New York (west) — 135
Voters from Long Island felt most strongly that the governor should resign, with 54% saying he should resign over sexual harassment claims and 58% saying he should resign over the state’s handling of nursing homes.
New York City residents, who were the most favorable towards the governor’s approval rating, were also the most likely to report the governor should not resign as a result of either controversy.
Democrats — 359
Republicans — 151
Independents — 190
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.