According to recent polls, Former Governor Andrew Cuomo may stand as a serious contender to Governor Kathy Hochul in the race for governor of New York. The poll, conducted by Sienna College, surveyed registered Democrats’ feelings toward the candidates who have entered the race. The results showed that 52% of the voters supported Governor Hochul, 12% of voters supported New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and 11% supported Long Island Representative Tom Suozzi.
Governor Hochul’s 40-41 point lead over the candidates disappears when former Governor Cuomo enters the ring. The double-digit lead becomes single digits as Hochul holds 38% of the voters’ support, Cuomo holds 30%, Suozzi holds 10%, and Williams holds 7%. The results of the poll have shocked many New Yorkers.
Andrew Cuomo resigned from his position as governor in August 2021 amidst several scandals and the conclusion of Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation of alleged sexual harassment and mistreatment of multiple women. None of the allegations resulted in criminal charges. District Attorneys from five counties who received complaints all declined to prosecute due to lack of evidence.
A poll conducted by Emerson College found an even smaller lead by Hochul, holding 4 points over Cuomo. While 63% of participants in the survey said they did not think Cuomo should run for office, 24% supported the idea of him running again. When looking at the demographics of the poll, it was found that Cuomo had support from 59% of Black voters. Hochul had 50-51% of the support from Hispanic and White voters.
Cuomo still claims innocence following the conclusion of the investigation in August of last year. He is reportedly spending some of his $16 million campaign war chest on television ads questioning the validity of Attorney General James’ investigation and report. He has admitted to inappropriate behavior with some of the women he worked with but claimed he did not intend to “make them uncomfortable.” With the accusations coming out during a time of political turmoil and “witch hunts”, a poll showed that 60 percent of voters believed the investigation by Attorney General James to have been serious while 38 percent believe it was a politically motivated witch hunt.
In regards to the poll’s results, executive director of the Emerson College Poll Spencer Kimball said, “While voters trust the investigation’s findings and do not want Cuomo to re-enter office, he still holds significant support among a base of Democratic primary voters.” At the beginning of the pandemic, Cuomo shut down New York in hopes of stopping the spread of the virus. While much of the nation struggled with protocols on what to do during the crisis, Cuomo kept a level head banding together neighboring states’ administrations in an effort to prevent more deaths and halt transmission rates. Kimball said, “I noticed when he resigned that he still had a strong base of support that looked to be willing to go to bat for him … but he resigned. These current numbers suggest that base is still with him, and in a multicandidate field, he could win with a plurality.”