(The Center Square) – A poll released Monday by global research firm Morning Consult shows the recent stories questioning New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's handling of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes have put a dent in his popularity.
The governor still maintains strong support with 57 percent approving of his performance as of Sunday. However, that figure is down 6 percentage points in just 10 days, which coincides with the bombshell New York Post article that reported the Cuomo administration apologizing for holding back data from Democratic lawmakers in Albany for fear of a federal investigation.
Cuomo’s unfavorable ratings rose 5 percentage points over the same time frame to 38 percent. The survey, based on polling 3,000 registered voters, has a 2-point margin of error.
In its report, the firm noted Cuomo remains more popular than he was prior to the health crisis, which began nearly a year ago. However, the report offers a caveat to that finding.
“For Cuomo, the nursing home story may be snowballing into something more as he faces public allegations of political bullying from officials in his own party,” it said.
On Monday, Assemblyman Ron Kim, the Queens Democrats with whom Cuomo has feuded with in recent days, called on lawmakers to start the impeachment process against the governor in a New York Daily News op-ed.
Morning Consult’s report gives a snapshot of three survey periods taken over a month, from Jan. 19-28, Feb. 2-11 and Feb. 12-21. Broken down across the spectrum of responses, 21 percent of all voters strongly approve of Cuomo’s performance in the latest poll, down from 27 percent in the first and 25 percent in the second.
Those who strongly disapprove jumped to 25 percent in the last survey, up from 21 percent and 22 percent in pervious polls.
The governor remains popular among Democrats, a key finding considering how heavy the party influences politics in the state. However, even that support has waned some. In the first poll, 86 percent of Democrats approved of Cuomo, with 42 percent giving strong support. In the latest report, that number is down to 81 percent, but only 33 percent strongly approve.
For independents, the numbers have flipped over the past month. In the first poll, 49 percent said they approved compared to 42 percent who disapproved. The current poll shows those voters now are 41-50.
Republicans, who have always held a negative view of the governor’s performance, only saw their numbers go deeper toward the negative. Just 8 percent of GOP voters now strongly support Cuomo, compared to 11 percent in late January. That’s compared to 56 percent who now strongly disapprove, up from 48 percent last month.
For Cuomo, he appears to be handling the crisis in a manner that most befits his political style. He said the nursing home scandal developed because the administration did not counter what he called misinformation from those critical of his team.
He vowed to be more aggressive in countering that moving forward.
“If you're lying to the people of the state of New York, I'm going to call it out,” he said in a Friday news conference. “If you are lying in a report, I'm going to call it out. If you're lying in a newspaper because you have your own partisan agenda, I'm going to call it out.”