New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is in the middle of a political hurricane; a major scandal of his own making. He made a terrible, deadly decision in the early days of the pandemic, his administration manipulated the 'official' data to hide the consequences of that decision, one of this top aides then admitted to fellow Democrats that the administration stonewalled investigations to avoid accountability -- and when all of this was finally and undeniably out in the open, the governor lied and obfuscated further while personally intervening to threaten members of his own party if they didn't lie for him and help cover up his cover-up. Cuomo's mind-bogglingly shameless parade of self-congratulation is at last being exposed for the sham that it always was.
The media has begin to trade in its pompoms, political allies of the governor are calling for investigations and otherwise distancing themselves, and some Democrats in Albany are openly discussing impeachment. But for Cuomo to really squirm, public opinion will need to significantly shift against him in his deep blue state. Is that happening? A Morning Consult poll out this week suggests a clear downturn, but nothing approaching crisis levels for the embattled governor:
In late January and mid-February, Cuomo's approval was (+30) in this series -- despite the nursing home deaths cover-up having been apparent to those paying attention for months. But the glare of scrutiny has really grown harsher in recent weeks, and as you can see, the governor's approval fell to (+19), a net loss of 11 points. That's the scandal taking something of a toll, but Cuomo remains way above water and solidly popular. After everything described above. He enjoys 81 percent support among New York Democratic voters, prompting me to quip that Cuomo could shoot a nursing home on 5th Avenue and not lose much support among his political tribe. Partisanship is a hell of a drug. But another recent survey showed that even as Cuomo's job approval only being dented a bit, his re-elect number had dropped into a pure statistical tie. And yet another new poll suggests that New Yorkers are souring on their governor:
A Siena College Research Institute poll of 804 New York voters found the Democratic governor’s overall job approval fell to 51-47, down from 56-42 in January. When asked if they approved of how Mr. Cuomo had made public information about nursing-home deaths, 39% said they approved compared with 55% who didn’t. State officials now say more than 15,000 residents of nursing homes and assisted-living and adult-care facilities were confirmed or presumed to have succumbed to the coronavirus since March of last year—a tally that is around 50% higher than earlier figures released by the state. For months, the state didn’t answer requests from lawmakers and journalists asking for the number of facility residents who died in hospitals.
That (+4) finding much less comfortable than the Morning Consult result above. And here's even more data, from yet another public opinion survey in the Empire State:
NEW: Majority of New Yorkers think Cuomo botched COVID-19 in nursing homeshttps://t.co/PAha5mykYf— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) February 23, 2021
A majority of New Yorkers believe Gov. Andrew Cuomo mismanaged the coronavirus in nursing homes — where thousands of residents died as state officials covered up the grim tally, a new poll has found. Forty-one percent of voters agree Cuomo has done something unethical — but not illegal — in his handling of nursing homes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new results released by the Marist College Poll on Tuesday. Another 19 percent take it a step further in thinking he has done something illegal, compared to 27 percent of voters that think he has done no wrongdoing.
Put another way, 60 percent of New Yorkers say Cuomo did something unethical or illegal, with less than a third responding that he did nothing wrong. That's clear negative movement for a governor who had otherwise remained popular throughout the crisis -- partially thanks to his own myth-making, with a major assist from the press. I'll leave you with this, courtesy of the Marist numbers: "A majority of poll respondents also said it was time for the state to have a new governor, as Cuomo gears up for the prospect of seeking a fourth term in 2022. Some 38 percent of adults in the survey said he deserved to be re-elected, while 57 percent said it was time to elect someone else." That doesn't sound like a politician with a iron grip on power anymore. I'll leave you with this:
Also, this former Cuomo aide is now speaking out further about the harassment allegations she's made against him:
Today I am telling my story. I never planned to share the details of my experience working in the Cuomo administration, but I am doing so now in hopes that it may make it easier for others to speak their own truth. https://t.co/n1Lcc6Ac66— Lindsey Boylan (@LindseyBoylan) February 24, 2021