New Yorkers would re-elect Cuomo over generic Republican candidate: poll

Cuomo Crisis
gov andrew cuomo coronavirus briefing

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a coronavirus briefing at Northwell Feinstein Institute For Medical Research in Manhasset, New York on May 6, 2020. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – Despite Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ongoing harassment and nursing home scandals, New Yorkers would still vote for the Democratic governor over a generic Republican candidate in 2022, a new Siena Poll found.

However, only 49% of those polled said they don’t believe Cuomo should resign — down from a 51% majority in last month’s Siena Poll.

In the generic Democrat vs. Republican 2022 gubernatorial matchup, Democrats led 55-29%. When asked to choose between Cuomo or a Republican, voters sided with the incumbent governor 48-38%. And when given a choice between Democrat Attorney General Letitia James or a Republican, voters favored James 46-29%. James has not said she is exploring a run for governor.

“While James does better than Cuomo against an unnamed Republican with nearly every demographic group, it’s independent voters that stand out. Independent voters side with James by three points over an unnamed Republican, while the unnamed Republican beats Cuomo by 18 points with independents,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said. “Cuomo leads among Black voters by 47 points and he trails with white voters by nine points. However, James leads among Black voters by 61 points and she leads among white voters by five points.”

Cuomo’s favorability among those polled was 44-48% — up from 40-52% last month. His job performance rating was negative 42-55%, which was nearly unchanged from 42-56% in April.

The poll also found 37% of those surveyed were currently prepared to re-elect Cuomo if he runs next year, compared to 53% who prefer “someone else” — up from 33-57% last month. By 58-35%, voters approved of Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic, down a little from 60-32% in April.

“To determine how voters view Cuomo this month, one has to look at a pint glass with eight ounces of liquid and decide if the glass is half full or half empty,” said Greenberg. “Cuomo defenders will point to the uptick in his favorability and re-elect ratings, that a solid majority continues to approve of his handling of the pandemic, and more voters still say he should not resign rather than resign immediately. His favorability and job ratings, they might note, are better than February 2020, the month before the pandemic.

Outside of the race for governor, the Siena Poll found a majority of those surveyed — 62-32% — would support a law requiring college students to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campuses for the fall 2021 semester.

By a 69-19% margin, voters also said they believe the worst of the pandemic is over, rather than still to come. That’s up from 60-27% in April, 65-23% in March and 46-36% in February.

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