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Poll Finds Public Support for Cuomo in Spite of Scandals

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It’s Tuesday.

Weather: Cloudy, with a high near 40. Scattered showers and flurries possible in the afternoon, turning to rain later.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until March 28 (Passover).

In recent days, much of New York’s Democratic congressional delegation, including both of its senators, have publicly called for the resignation of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who is embroiled in twin scandals.

But only 35 percent of New York voters surveyed in a Siena College poll released on Monday agree with them.

[Half of the voters surveyed said the governor shouldn’t resign.]

The governor has refused to resign, even as New York’s attorney general investigates accusations from several women that he behaved inappropriately toward them, and the State Assembly takes steps toward possibly impeaching him.

Here’s what you need to know:

The poll results

Legislators have questioned whether the governor can effectively lead the state, but nearly half of the 805 registered voters in the Siena poll said they believed he could.

Still, Mr. Cuomo’s favorability rating has plummeted to 43 percent from 56 percent last month, one of the lowest points of his decade in office, the poll showed, and only 34 percent of those surveyed supported a possible run for a fourth term next year.

The scandals

Six women, some of them current and former state employees, have accused Mr. Cuomo of sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior.

Mr. Cuomo’s administration is also under federal investigation after it was accused of undercounting the number of coronavirus-related deaths at nursing homes in New York.

Of those polled by Siena, 57 percent said they were satisfied with how Mr. Cuomo had addressed the harassment allegations against him. Sixty percent said they were happy with how he had managed the pandemic, though 66 percent said they disapproved of how he had handled the nursing home data.

What’s next

The possibility of Mr. Cuomo’s resignation has brought attention to Kathy Hochul, his lieutenant governor and the person who would run the state if he left office.

Ms. Hochul, who would be the first female governor in the state’s history, faces a daunting balancing act: navigating her longtime activism on behalf of women while dealing with complicated party politics and options for her future, all under intense scrutiny.

While many prominent Democrats have come out against Mr. Cuomo, the most powerful of all, President Biden, has largely held his tongue.

Asked on Sunday night whether Mr. Cuomo should resign, Mr. Biden said, “I think the investigation is underway and we should see what it brings us.”

Read more:

From New York Times Opinion: Can Andrew Cuomo Continue to Lead?

From The Times

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Want more news? Check out our full coverage.

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

What we’re reading

Officials indicted 40 people accused of being in a drug trafficking ring that packaged cocaine in day care centers. [NBC News]

Board of Elections data showed that some of New York City’s mayoral candidates were not the most regular voters. [City Limits]

More details emerged about the New York Police Department investigation of James Kobel, a discrimination investigator who was fired for posting racist tirades online. [Daily News]

Understand the Scandals Challenging Gov. Cuomo’s Leadership

The three-term governor is confronting two crises simultaneously:

    • Several women, including current and former members of his administration, have accused Mr. Cuomo of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior. He has refused to resign. An independent inquiry, overseen by the New York State attorney general, may take months.
    • The Cuomo administration is also under fire for undercounting the number of nursing-home deaths caused by Covid-19 in the first half of 2020, a scandal that deepened after a recent Times investigation found that aides rewrote a health department report to hide the real number. Several senior health officials resigned recently in response to the governor’s overall handling of the pandemic, including the vaccine rollout.
    • On March 11, the State Assembly announced it would open an impeachment investigation. Democrats in both the State Legislature and in New York’s congressional delegation called on Mr. Cuomo to resign, with some saying he has lost the capacity to govern.

    And finally: Preserving a Brooklyn home that may have harbored runaway slaves

    The brick walls of a 19th-century rowhouse at 227 Duffield Street in Downtown Brooklyn are freighted with history.

    The house was once owned by the abolitionists Harriet and Thomas Truesdell, and historians believe that it was a stop on the Underground Railroad, the network that helped Black people escape from slavery in Southern states to freedom in the North.

    On Monday, Chirlane McCray, New York City’s first lady, announced that the city had purchased the home and would set about preserving it.

    The house “will be protected and celebrated for a very long time to come,” Ms. McCray said during a news conference held by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

    The move ends a 20-year campaign to save the house, which the city was preparing to demolish to make way for a $15 million park before the Landmarks Preservation Commission named it a landmark in February, my colleague Zachary Small reported.

    The park is still being developed, and may include a monument to Brooklyn’s abolitionists.

    An owner of the property, Shawné Lee, whose family helped start the efforts to preserve it, told me in an interview yesterday that she hoped the building would also inspire remembrance and expression.

    “We would like for it to be a heritage center,” she said, “a place where people can learn about the history of the abolitionist movement, as well as a space for artists.”

    It’s Tuesday — reflect on your past.

    Metropolitan Diary: Barbershop window

    Dear Diary:

    Sign seen in a barbershop window on Columbus Avenue:

    Haircut $20

    Overdue Haircut $27

    — Ann Russell

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