No Emmy Award here.
Embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s partial “apology” over sexual harassment claims leveled against him by three women bombed.
A majority of New York voters — 54 percent — now believe Cuomo did sexually harass two former staffers following his emotional mea culpa issued during his Wednesday press conference, the Emerson College/WPIX-TV/News Nation survey found.
A third woman accused Cuomo of grabbing her face and kissing her against her will at the wedding reception of another Cuomo aide.
A previous Emerson poll conducted earlier this week had 38 percent of voters saying they believed Cuomo mistreated the women.
About one in five voters — 19 percent — said he did not harass anyone.
Cuomo apologized for making one of the accusers, former aide Charlotte Bennett, feel “uncomfortable” but also insisted, “I never touched anyone inappropriately.”
Cuomo’s apology at Wednesday’s press conference got only a split verdict: 41 percent believe he was sincere, while 41 percent said his mea culpa wasn’t heart-felt, and the rest were unaware or had no opinion.
The devastating Emerson poll comes on the heels of a Quinnipiac Poll, also out Thursday, that found nearly four out of five New York voters believe the sexual harassment allegations leveled against Cuomo by three women — including two former staffers — are “very serious” or “somewhat serious.”
“Cuomo’s apology did not go far enough, as voters were less satisfied with Governor Cuomo’s response after the press conference than before: 49 percent reported being disappointed with his response on the issue currently, which is up from 42 percent earlier in the week,” said Emerson College Polling Director Spencer Kimball.
The three-term Democrat’s popularity is plunging amid the recent sex harassment and months-coronavirus nursing home deaths reporting scandal.
A plurality of voters — 43 percent of voters — now think Cuomo should resign, up from 37 percent earlier in the week. A smaller 34 percent of respondents say he should not resign, with the rest undecided.
Voters are concerned the scandals will affect Cuomo’s ability to govern amid the pandemic and budget and economic challenges.
Earlier in the week, 39 percent of voters believed the mounting scandals would impact his ability to govern.
But that number jumped to 46 percent doubting his ability to manage after the press conference.
Cuomo’s qualified confession raised awareness of the issue — with 61 percent of voters saying they had heard a great deal about the issue, up from 50 percent earlier this week.
His job performance rating is underwater –only 38 percent of New Yorkers approve and 49 percent disapprove, with the rest of respondents having no opinion.
Cuomo’s bid for a fourth-term next year could be in trouble — only a third of voters would like to re-elect him as governor in 2022.
That figure is down from the 36 percent of voters who said they wanted to re-elect him earlier in the week.
The Emerson poll queried 800 voters from 4:30 p.m. Wednesday following Cuomo’s press conference through noon Thursday. It has a 3.4 percentage point margin of error.
Already rocked by a nursing home scandal for undercounting COVID-19 deaths, Cuomo’s woes worsened after former staffer Lindsey Boylan, 36, alleged last month that the governor kissed her on the lips without warning, and suggested that they spend a flight playing strip poker. Cuomo denied her claims.
Days later, fellow former staffer Bennett, 25, accused Cuomo of subjecting her to a series of off-color remarks and questions about her sex life, leaving her convinced that the governor was in pursuit of a relationship with her.
And on Monday, Anna Ruch, 33, alleged that Cuomo grabbed her at a 2019 wedding, put his hands on her face and kissed her on the cheek even as she tried to pull away, with part of the interaction caught on camera.