Surprise: Majority of New Yorkers want Cuomo's resignation

Even the bluest of states gives no haven for a serial sexual harasser. Or so it seems for now, anyway. A new snap poll from Marist shows that almost six in ten New York voters want Andrew Cuomo’s resignation after the independent investigation determined he had a long pattern of sexual harassment in office:

In a poll conducted last night, 59% of New Yorkers, including 52% of registered Democrats, say New York Governor Andrew Cuomo should resign from office in light of the results of an independent investigation which found Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, including state employees. 32% report Cuomo should serve out the rest of his term. If Cuomo does not resign, 59% of New Yorkers say the New York State Legislature should impeach him.

While Cuomo denies the allegations, 44% of New Yorkers believe Cuomo did something illegal, and 29% think he did something unethical but not illegal. Only 7% believe Cuomo did nothing wrong. Six percent say they haven’t heard enough about the allegations, and 13% are unsure.

Even if Cuomo manages to stick around, his career appears over. Almost eight in ten won’t vote for him again, at least for the moment:

Cuomo’s reelection prospects are bleak. 11% of New Yorkers, including 12% of registered voters, think Cuomo deserves to be reelected while 78% say it’s time for someone else to be governor. When last reported in February, 36% of registered voters statewide thought Cuomo should be reelected, and 58% reported it was time for a new governor.

Bear in mind that this is result of only one investigation into Cuomo’s scandals. He still faces investigation on several other fronts: his cover-up of nursing-home deaths, the use of his staff to create his book on pandemic leadership (for which he got $5 million), redirecting health-care resources for friends and family, and more. The news won’t get much better as those investigations start to wrap up. That February mark may be Cuomo’s last, best set of numbers.

If Cuomo refuses to resign, voters think he should be impeached. And that includes a plurality of Democrats:

Even his core supporters think Cuomo should resign and, if he does not, believe he should be impeached. 52% of registered Democrats are calling for the governor to resign, and the plurality (48%) think he should be impeached if he does not leave office. Similarly, 52% of New York City residents want him to resign, and 60% believe he should be impeached if he does not do so. …

Registered Democrats overwhelmingly believe Cuomo should not seek reelection. Only 18% of Democrats, 8% of those not enrolled in a party, and 5% of Republicans think Cuomo deserves to be reelected.

Those are brutal numbers for any incumbent. Most would likely conclude that a withdrawal from public life would be in order, but most pols don’t have the same sense of hereditary entitlement as Cuomo does. It’s not even clear yet that Cuomo won’t try to run for a fourth term, even with these numbers. It’s almost certain that he won’t resign.

That won’t keep people from calling on him to step down. This morning, the editorial board of the New York Times demanded his resignation:

The calls for Mr. Cuomo to step down only grew louder on Tuesday. Top Democrats, including President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, added their names to the expanding list of those who have come to see that it is untenable for Mr. Cuomo — among the nation’s highest-profile and most powerful governors — to remain in office.

Mr. Cuomo has always had a self-serving streak and been known for his political bullying. He also has used those traits to be an effective politician and, in many of his achievements as governor, won the public’s trust. What this report lays out, however, are credible accusations that can’t be looked past. As Ms. James said on Tuesday, Mr. Cuomo’s alleged conduct “corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government and shines light on injustice that can be present at the highest levels of government.”

If Mr. Cuomo cares for the well-being of the state and its citizens as much as he has said he does over the years, he needs to do the right thing and step down.

The self-serving streak speaks to Cuomo’s care for the well-being of the state, does it not? Does anyone think for a hot second, given all of the scandals pouring out of his office not just over the past year but over the past three terms, that Cuomo ever puts the well-being of the state above himself? Of course not. The editors are correct in this instance that Cuomo needs to step down, but it will take the legislature to remove him. That’s where the pressure should be now.

David Strom 7:01 PM on September 24, 2022