A majority of New York voters do not want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign. An even bigger majority believe he continues to provide solid leadership overall on the COVID-19 pandemic, though they are skeptical of how he handled nursing home data.
But a growing number of voters in New York hold an increasingly unfavorable view of the governor and, according to a Siena College poll released this week, more voters believe he committed sexual harassment. The new numbers underscore how Cuomo's problems this year are seeping into the minds of voters.
"A poll is a snap shot in time. Voters bring to it what they know, what they see at that time," said Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg. "There's still been a lot of coverage of the previous allegations and more voters have heard a lot about it."
The word "embattled" is attached to the three-term Democrat these days, but that word fails to underscore the depths of the problems Cuomo is facing in Albany these days.
He is dealing with a growing number of investigations over the sexual harassment allegations and nursing home fatality data. The Democratic-led Assembly has launched an ongoing impeachment investigation that is probing seemingly every controversy confronting the governor.
On Monday, the latest shoe to drop was the referral by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to Attorney General Letitia James to investigate whether state resources were used to develop a book about the pandemic.
The book deal was reportedly worth $4 million; Cuomo is yet to reveal how much he earned from the book, though plans to once again release his tax returns, as he does every year.
Cuomo in all instances has denied any wrondgoing. And on Monday, his senior advisor lashed out at the idea of an investigation over the book, suggesting it was politically motivated, seizing on scattered discussions in Albany that DiNapoli and James would consider running for governor one day.
The statement was a sharp corner turn from what has been a stock answer from the governor and his supporters: Let the investigations play out and let the attorney general do her job. James's office is separately investigating the sexual harassment allegations (it's also not the first time in history an attorney general with presumed aspirations for higher office has investigated a sitting governor, as Cuomo himself may recall).
And the storm facing Cuomo seems to worsen every other day. The scrutiny over the book is just the latest in a drumbeat of news for Cuomo since January. Top advisors helped him review the book, "American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic," and Cuomo on Monday said these aides worked on a volunteer basis.
Not everyone is convinced, including the Washington, D.C.-based good-government organization CREW, which filed a complaint over the governor's use of campaign resources to promote the book.
"We do seem to have a pattern of Governor Cuomo and those around him using whatever resources were available to them, whether it was government resources or campaign resources, to write the governor's book or promote the governor's book, and that's not how these things were supposed to work," said the group's president, Noah Bookbinder.
Cuomo did not betray much concern about the latest public polling on Monday.
"They do these polls all the time. To tell you the truth, I don't put too much stock into them," he said. "They go up, they go down."