Gov. Kathy Hochul would handily win a five-way hypothetical Democratic primary for governor that includes her disgraced predecessor Andrew Cuomo, state Attorney General Letitia James, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
Hochul would lead former three-term Gov. Cuomo who resigned in a sexual harassment scandal in August — 31 percent to 17 percent in the Siena College survey of 419 registered Dems.
Cuomo left Albany under the threat of impeachment after an investigative report by AG James’ office concluded he sexually harassed or mistreated multiple women.
James collected just 14 percent in the five way contest.
Williams followed with seven percent support and de Blasio was in the back of the pack with 6 percent.
With Cuomo excluded from the mix, Hochul gets 39 percent of the vote of registered Democratic voters. James 20 percent, de Blasio 10 percent, and Williams eight percent.
In a head-to-head match-up, Hochul leads James with 47 percent backing to 31 percent with the rest undecided.
The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.4 percentage points. Pollsters usually survey likely primary voters when the field of candidates is set.
The findings are similar to a Marist College survey released last week. But that poll, which excluded de Blasio, had Hochul in the lead, James in second, Cuomo third and Williams last.
Hochul thus far is the only declared Democratic candidate for governor — while Williams, James and de Blasio have said they are eyeing a run while Cuomo is exiled but making noise.
A similar majority of Democrats view both Hochul and James favorably, whle a third of the party faithful don’t know them well enough to form an opinion.
“Predicting June’s Democratic gubernatorial ballot 36 weeks from primary day, four months before a state party convention with only Hochul declared is not for the faint hearted. That said, Siena presented Democrats with three potential primary matchups and in each case, Hochul leads by double digits,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.
“In all three horse races, the vote is tight in New York City, the region producing the most Democratic primary votes, but downstate suburban and upstate Democrats give Hochul large leads in all three matchups,” Greenberg said.
James leads Hochul among black Democrats in all three scenarios, while Hochul is ahead by even larger margins with both white and Latino Democrats. Hochul also leads with both liberals and moderates, the poll found.
“Then there’s the elephant – or perhaps the donkey – in the room. Will Cuomo run again, trying for electoral redemption?,” Greenberg asked.
The survey found Cuomo is still politically toxic — even among his fellow Democrats,
“One out of six Democrats say they would support Cuomo, 57 percent of the party faithful said he was right to resign after substantiated claims of sexual harassment, compared to 35 percent who said he should have stayed as governor.”
And two-thirds of Democrats say Cuomo “sexually harassed multiple women,” Greenberg said.
There’s an even more damning figure for both Cuomo and his party nemesis de Blasio — both are now more unpopular among all New Yorkers voters than former President Donald Trump.
“Former President Donald Trump has long been the pol with the lowest favorability rating among New York voters. No more,” Greenberg said.
Thirty seven percent of 801 registered voters of all political stripes viewed Trump favorably compared with percent 59 who viewed unfavorably — a net 22 points negative.
But only 33 percent of all voters viewed Cuomo favorably compared to 60 percent who gave him a thumbs down — a net 27 points negative.
The numbers are even worse for De Blasio, who is considering a run for governor.
Only 25 percent of voters view him favorably compared to 56 percent who have an unfavorable opinion — a net negative of 31 points.
The poll, taken from October 10-14, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points among all 801 voters queried.
This Siena survey did not question Republicans about a party primary for their three declared candidates for governor: Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin, former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Voters still like Hochul, the former lieutenant governor who succeeded Cuomo.
Among New Yorkers who have an opinion, 42 percent view her favorably and 26 percent unfavorably, with the rest undecided.
But voters are split on her job performance with 43 percent giving her a thumbs up and 45 percent a thumbs down, with her negatives up eight points since a similar poll in September.
“Voters – particularly Republicans and independents – are not cutting the new governor much slack in judging her early performance. Independents are nearly two-to-one negative and Republicans rate her even more negatively than that,” Greenberg said.
There’s one thing voters of all stripes in a polarized electorate agree on: public safety. Eighty two percent of voters said addressing community crime is an important state priority.
Sixty one percent of respondents said tackling racism is very important.
“While it may not be surprising that Republicans, Democrats and independents don’t agree on the importance of addressing systemic racism or ensuring more New Yorkers get vaccinated, it should be noted that when it comes to the importance of reducing crime and reimbursing landlords for lost rent, there is virtually no difference of opinion among Democrats, Republicans and independents,” Greenberg said.
Meanwhile there are troubling signs for President Biden, even in “Blue” York. His popularity is sinking.
A slim 51 percent majority viewed Biden favorably, 44 percent unfavorably — a drop of six points from last month.
Only 40 percent of voters approve of his job performance, compared to 58 percent of respondents who disapprove — a 12 point negative swing.