UTICA, N.Y. (WWNY) - In the wake of his recent woes, is Gov. Andrew Cuomo vulnerable if he seeks a fourth term in 2022?
A poll out Tuesday from Utica-based Zogby Analytics indicates he may be.
And one of those vulnerabilities could be north country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik.
Pollsters matched Cuomo, a Democrat, against several possible opponents – Democrats and Republicans – and Republican Stefanik fared the best.
Although Cuomo won the hypothetical contest 49 percent to 37 percent (14 percent weren’t sure), it wasn’t a sweeping victory.
Stefanik beat Cuomo 46 percent to 43 percent among upstate voters and performed well with white voters (Cuomo led 45 percent to 42 percent), men (Cuomo led 47 percent to 42 percent) and voters who are married (tied at 44 percent).
Stefanik has been a frequent critic of the governor, especially about the way he’s handled the COVID-19 crisis in nursing homes. She’s also been a staunch defender of former President Donald Trump, who is still popular among many upstate voters.
Cuomo fared much better against Attorney General Letitia James (65 percent to 22 percent) and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (67 percent to 24 percent). Both James and Ocasio-Cortez are Democrats.
Nearly half of voters – 47 percent – say it’s time for someone new, compared with 41 percent who said Cuomo should be reelected.
A majority of large-city voters – 51 percent – thought Cuomo should be reelected, while majorities of suburban (51percent) and rural voters (65 percent) thought it was time for a new leader. Suburban women in particular (46 percent to 39 percent) were somewhat fed up and wanted someone new.
Still, his job performance is viewed more favorably – 55 percent – than unfavorably – 45 percent.
In the wake of a scathing report from Attorney General James over the way his administration has handled the COVID-19 pandemic in nursing homes, about half of voters blame Cuomo for the thousands of deaths of nursing home residents. A third of voters disagreed and about a fifth weren’t sure.
That report came last week, along with news that nine top state health officials resigned or changed jobs because of the way the administration handled the pandemic, a judge’s ruling that the administration broke the law when it repeatedly delayed complying with a request for information about nursing home deaths, and rumblings of legislative hearings into deaths in nursing home.