NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s approval rating is relatively strong in New York City, coming in at 55% in the last NewsNation Emerson/WPIX poll, compared to his statewide approval rating which came in at 38%.
Additionally, 34% of New Yorkers said they disapprove of Cuomo and 12% remain unsure.
This comes as New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday appointed a former federal prosecutor and an employment lawyer to investigate allegations that Cuomo sexually harassed female aides.
Joon Kim, who was the acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York for parts of 2017 and 2018, will join the employment lawyer Anne Clark in conducting the probe, the attorney general’s office said.
“There is no question that they both have the knowledge and background necessary to lead this investigation and provide New Yorkers with the answers they deserve,” James said in a statement.
Cuomo’s approval rating with New York City women was 64% with 25% disapproving. Men were split 44%-44% on the governor’s approval rating.
The appointments in the Cuomo investigation came as New York lawmakers were privately debating whether to join calls for Cuomo to resign, or urge patience while the investigation plays out.
A group of 21 women in the state Assembly, including the no. 2 Democrat, released a statement Monday asking that James be given time to complete her probe.
“We continue to support our Attorney General, the first woman, and the first African American woman to be elected to this position, as she launches this investigation,” it said. “We request that she be allowed the appropriate time to complete her investigation rather than undermine her role and responsibility as the chief law enforcement officer of the state of New York.”
Several women, including three former members of Cuomo’s staff, have accused him of making inappropriate comments about their appearance, asking questions about their sex life and, in some cases, giving them uncomfortable hugs or unwanted kisses.
The governor has denied touching anyone inappropriately and said some of the allegations are false. But he has acknowledged, and apologized for engaging in “banter” in the office that some women interpreted as flirting. Cuomo has said he didn’t realize at the time that his actions were harmful.
Separately, Cuomo is under fire for withholding data from the public and from state lawmakers on COVID-19 deaths among nursing home patients. Critics say they suspect the statistics were withheld to protect the Democrat’s image — a charge the governor has denied.
According to the poll, 53% of New York City voters believe Cuomo’s response to the pandemic in nursing homes was improper but not to the level of impeachment. Additionally, 21% believe he did nothing wrong as compared to 26% who view his actions as grounds for impeachment.
Cuomo appeared with Black clergy members Monday at a vaccination site in New York City. The event was closed to reporters, but Cuomo said Sunday he has no intention of resigning and believes he can continue to govern.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, whose support would be vital for any effort to impeach Cuomo, stopped short of asking him to resign Sunday but said: “I think it is time for the Governor to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York.”
Assembly Republicans announced Monday that they intended to propose articles of impeachment against Cuomo, but the party is greatly outnumbered in both houses of the legislature and the proposal is a longshot to get a vote.
The New York Emerson College/WPIX-TV/NewsNation poll was conducted March 1-2, 2021. The sample consisted of New York registered voters, n=700, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3.6 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, education, race, party affiliation and region. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity, and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines, SMS-to-web, and an online panel provided by Prime Panels