Voters: Cuomo Should Not Resign, 49-41%, Was 51-37% in April

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  • Cuomo Doesn’t Do as Well as James or ‘Generic Dem’ In 2022 Matchups
  • Cuomo’s Favorability & Re-Elect Ratings Edge Up, Remain Under Water; His Pandemic Approval Rating Edges Down, Remains Strong, 58-35%
  • NYers Support Law Requiring College Students to be Vaccinated 62-32%; Voters Say Worst of Pandemic is Over, 69-19%, Up from 60-27% Last Month

Press Release     Crosstabs

Loudonville, NY. Voters now say Governor Andrew Cuomo should not resign by a 49-41 percent margin, compared to a 51-37 percent majority who said he should not resign last month, according to a new Siena College poll of registered New York State voters. In a generic Democrat vs. Republican 2022 gubernatorial matchup, the Democrat leads 55-29 percent. When asked Cuomo vs. a Republican, voters side with Cuomo 48-38 percent. And when asked Attorney General Letitia James vs. a Republican, voters favor James 46-29 percent.

Cuomo’s favorability rating is 44-48 percent, up from 40-52 percent last month. His job performance rating is negative 42-55 percent, from 42-56 percent in April. Right now, 37 percent are prepared to re-elect Cuomo if
he runs next year, compared to 53 percent who prefer ‘someone else,’ up from 33-57 percent last month. By
58-35 percent, voters approve of Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic, down a little from 60-32 percent 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 Siena College pollster Steven 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.

“On the other side, the Governor’s detractors will point to favorability, job performance and re-elect ratings that remain under water, a downtick in his pandemic approval rating and a rising number of New Yorkers, 41 percent – up from 37 percent in April and 35 percent in March – who say he should immediately resign,” Greenberg said.

“Democrats continue to say Cuomo should not resign by a two-to-one margin, as Republicans say he should resign by a now larger than two-to-one margin,” Greenberg said. “Last month a plurality of independents said he should not resign; now independents are evenly divided on that question, even while giving Cuomo strongly negative favorability, job performance and re-elect ratings.”
Siena College Poll – May 24, 2021 – Page 2

“By a nearly two-to-one margin, 42-24 percent, voters continue to say that Cuomo has committed sexual harassment, little changed from 44-22 percent last month,” Greenberg said. “Democrats are divided, while Republicans and independents think he has committed sexual harassment.”

“Overall, when it comes to the job he’s continuing to do during the pandemic, his numbers remain strong thanks to Democrats. On every pandemic measure other than nursing home data, at least two-thirds of Democrats give Cuomo a positive rating. However, at least 64 percent of Republicans give him negative grades on all the pandemic questions, and independents give him either negative or at best break-even grades,” Greenberg said.

Sneak Peek at Voters’ Early Thoughts on 2022 Gubernatorial Race in Blue New York
“Asked to choose between an unnamed Democrat and an unnamed Republican as their preference for Governor in 2022, the results – a 55-29 percent Democratic lead – reflect New York’s overwhelming Democratic enrollment advantage. That 26-point lead is built by 87 percent of Democrats siding with the Democrat, 78 percent of Republicans siding with the Republican, and independents being virtually evenly divided,” Greenberg said.

“When voters were told that the Democrat was Cuomo running against an unnamed Republican, the race tightens significantly. Cuomo leads the generic Republican, 48-38 percent, a 10-point lead. And when voters were told that the Democrat was James running against an unnamed Republican, James leads 46-29 percent, a 17-point lead,” Greenberg said.

“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,” 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.”

James has a 38-20 percent favorability rating – down a little from 39-17 percent in April – while two in five voters either never heard of her or don’t know enough about her to have an opinion.

Strong Support to Require College Students be Vaccinated; As 2/3 Now Say Worst of Pandemic is Over
Voters support a law, 62-32 percent, to require college students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning for fall 2021 semester. By a 69-19 percent margin, voters say the worst of the pandemic is over rather than still to come, up from 60-27 percent in April, 65-23 percent in March and 46-36 percent in February.

“The two-to-one support for a law requiring college students to get vaccinated comes from the more than three-quarters of Democrats who support it. Independents are closely divided, while Republicans oppose such a law by 10 points,” Greenberg said. “A vaccination requirement is supported by 58 percent of voters under 35 and
70 percent of voters over 55. It is also supported by between 61 and 63 percent of white, Black and Latino voters.

“Back in January, 55 percent of New Yorkers thought the worst of the pandemic was still to come. Today,
69 percent say the worst is over and only one in five thinks the worst is still to come,” Greenberg said. “This issue now shows very little partisan, geographic or gender divide. In fact, 69 percent of conservatives, 70 percent of liberals and 71 percent of moderates all agree that the worst of the pandemic is over.”

Odds & Ends

  • Among the announced 2022 Republican gubernatorial candidates (this poll was fielded prior to Andrew Giuliani’s announcement), Rep. Lee Zeldin, has an 20-19 percent favorability rating, little changed from 18-17 percent last month. Former Westchester County Executive and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino has a 20-15 percent favorability rating (32-41 percent the last time Siena asked, in October 2014).
  • President Joe Biden has a 62-34 percent favorability rating, virtually unchanged from 62-33 percent in April. His job performance rating is 53-45 percent, exactly the same as last month.
  • Sixty-six percent of voters now say they have been vaccinated, with another 15 percent planning to. Seventeen percent of voters say they don’t plan to get the vaccinated, up from 14 percent last month but still down from 21 percent in March and 25 percent in January.
  • Sen. Chuck Schumer has a 50-39 percent favorability, virtually unchanged from 49-38 percent in April. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s favorability rating is 41-32 percent, down from 43-27 percent in March. Rep. Elise Stefanik, newly part of House Republican leadership, has a 24-26 percent favorability rating.

This Siena College Poll was conducted May 16-20, 2021 among 793 New York State registered voters with 493 voters contacted through a dual frame (landline and cell phone) mode and 300 responses drawn from a proprietary online panel (Lucid) of New Yorkers. Telephone calls were conducted in English and respondent sampling was initiated by asking for the youngest person in the household. Telephone sampling was conducted via a stratified dual frame probability sample of landline (ASDE) and cell phone (Dynata) telephone numbers within New York State weighted to reflect known population patterns. Data from both collection modes (phone and web) was merged and statistically adjusted by age, party by region, race/ethnicity, education, and gender to ensure representativeness. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points including the design effects resulting from weighting. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social, and cultural research primarily in NYS. SCRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. For more information, call Steve Greenberg at (518) 469-9858. For survey crosstabs: www.Siena.edu/SCRI/SNY.

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