(CNN) - Two-thirds of New York State voters don't want Gov. David Paterson to resign but most question his ability to govern, according to a new poll.
A Marist College Institute for Public Opinion survey released Tuesday morning indicates that 66 percent of New York State registered voters don't think Paterson should resign in wake of a political scandal that ended his hopes of running this year for a full term in office. Twenty-eight percent of those questioned in the poll say Paterson should step down.
The poll was conducted on Monday, March 1, two days after Paterson announced that he would not run for a full term. His announcement came in the wake of news reports that one of his top aides was involved in a domestic violence incident with a woman and that state police later pressured the woman to keep quiet. Paterson has asked New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, a possible Democratic contender for the governor's office, to investigate the matter. Paterson has suspended the aide accused of domestic violence, David Johnson, without pay.
Paterson Friday denied any wrongdoing, claiming that he has "never abused (the governor's) office, not now, not ever."
Monday Paterson said that he won't resign his office.
"I would think (resignation is) off the table," Paterson said at a question-and-answer session with reporters sponsored by the New York Observer. "In terms of authority of power, I have the power."
The poll was conducted before Tuesday night's report by the New York Times that Paterson contacted the woman, but Paterson denies he tried to get her to change her story or drop the charge against Johnson.
According to the poll, 62 percent say if the governor does not resign, he will not be an effective leader during the remainder of his term, with 34 percent saying Paterson will be able to fulfill his responsibilities as governor during the next ten months.
"When it comes to Governor Paterson resigning from office, New Yorkers are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt," says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "But, regarding his ability to govern effectively, voters have plenty of doubts."
The Marist College survey was conducted by telephone, with 543 New York State registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
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