It is now five months into a year of controversy and scandal for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York voters remain mixed on whether he should stay in office. They are largely happy with his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, but most believe he committed sexual harassment and are skeptical that he has been totally forthcoming with nursing home fatalities during the pandemic.
That's the broad strokes of the Siena College poll released Monday morning, which shows, with a 4 percentage-point margin of error thrown in, that roughly half of voters do not want him to resign.
"The numbers go up a little, they go down a little, they're underwater," said Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg. "They're not particularly good."
This is the odd in-between time Albany has found itself in amid the steady drumbeat of controversy facing Cuomo for most of the year, calls from prominent Democrats including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, that the governor resign and the ongoing investigations that could lead to his impeachment, resignation or pledge to not seek a fourth term.
Albany is still waiting for the outcome of multiple investigations as it continues to govern through the pandemic. The legislative session is scheduled to conclude June 10, with lawmakers considering issues that could once again address the criminal justice system in New York.
Many lawmakers continue to work remotely outside of the legislative chambers in a state Capitol building that remains closed to the public for the last year.
It also comes as Cuomo is still overseeing the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as case numbers continue to fall and vaccinations ramp up with inducements to encourage the hesitant or harried to get their shots, like a scratch-off lottery ticket or free passes to state parks.
On Monday while on Long Island, it was Democratic Sen. John Brooks who praised Cuomo's handling of the pandemic over the last year.
"I want to thank the governor for the outstanding leadership he has shown through this whole pandemic process," Brooks said.
Greenberg, the Siena pollster, believes Cuomo may have stabilized in his standing with voters over the last month, a month that's coincided with more Democratic state lawmakers literally standing with the governor at events to promote vaccinations.
"His favorability rating is up a little bit," Greenberg said. "His re-elect number is up a little bit. He still has 55% of New Yorkers who approve of the job he's doing addressing the pandemic."
But it may be more like wait-and-see mode.
Investigations into the governor continue, including a federal inquiry of his handling of nursing homes, as well as Attorney General Letitia James's probe of the harassment allegations. Cuomo's office this month suggested James had her eye on the governor's mansion herself, earning a rebuke last week from James.
"Politics stops at the door," she said. "Anything other than that, obviously I ignore. We ignore all of those comments."
In the Assembly, lawmakers have undertaken an impeachment investigation, which is set to meet once again on Wednesday. The probe has drawn in virtually every conceivable issue facing the governor this year, from the harassment allegations, to the nursing home fatality reporting, his $5.1 million book deal and even the construction of the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.
The impeachment investigation appears to be, at the very least, treading water for the moment as well.
"The constitution gives them the ability to impeach absent an investigation," Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt said. "If they're not ready to impeach, then why spend $200,000-plus on an investigation that looks like it's going nowhere?"