New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s approval ratings have fallen to an all-time low in the midst of his simultaneous nursing home and sexual harassment scandals.
The governor’s approval ratings have fallen to just 38% — the lowest ever in his career, according to a new poll by Emerson College and News Nation.
44% believe he “attempted to cover up the truth” when it comes to the nursing home death rates and his decision to send COVID-positive elderly patients back into nursing homes. Another 7% agree he “attempted to cloud the truth,” bringing the total number who don’t believe him to 51%.
A greater number of New York voters across the state also believe that Cuomo “sexually harassed” “multiple women” — 54% of voters to be exact. That figure shot up after his public mea culpa last week.
Yet, the majority of his constituents aren’t ready for him to call it quits — and it varies widely by geography.
The majority of his constituents in New York City, specifically, think he’s doing a fine job. 55% of registered voters in the city approve of the job he is doing — even though the COVID-19 pandemic and his ensuing lockdowns obliterated that city.
Somewhat stunning in the wake of his sexual harassment scandals, an overwhelming 64% of female voters in New York City approve of the job he is doing.
It reminds us of President Bill Clinton’s approval ratings around the time of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
A Pew Research Center poll taken just after Clinton’s January 1998 denial of the allegations actually found that 71% of Americans approved of the job he was doing — a stunning 10% higher than a poll taken just before the Lewinsky scandal broke.
While Cuomo is no Clinton — Cuomo at least is suffering in his ratings — it is telling that voters are not (yet) calling for his head on a proverbial spear. It’s an early indicator that he may yet survive.
However, New York has pressing matters at hand — not the least of which is that New York needs strong leadership to re-open and to lure its tax base back from sunny South Florida and other far-flung locales. It’s hard to imagine that the governor can solely focus on that complex task and not have his daily press briefings upended over the scandals, especially if more women come forward.
Cuomo has said there’s no chance he quits, and there’s no provision for gubernatorial recall in New York State. With these new polling numbers showing voters’ resignation on, well, resignation it’s more reasonable than ever to suggest that the New York legislature’s process of impeachment may be the only way that a final reckoning can be made pertaining to Cuomo’s COVID-19 handling, as well as how he treated his female staff.