(CNN) - What do New Yorkers want their scandal-tainted governor to do? Several polls taken in the past week or so offer conflicting results on whether voters want Gov. David Paterson to quit his office or finish out the remaining 10 months of his term.
According to the latest one, a Marist College Institute for Public Opinion poll released Tuesday, 68 percent of the state's registered voters want Paterson to stick it out, with 28 percent saying he should step down. The 68 percent who want Paterson to say in office is up 2 points from a Marist poll released a week ago.
"The jury is still out on Paterson in the court of public opinion until further information is known," says Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "In the short run, voters are giving him the benefit of the doubt."
A Siena College Research Institute survey released Monday indicated that 55 percent of New York State registered voters want Paterson to stick it out, with 37 percent calling on him to resign.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Friday suggested that New Yorkers were split, with 46 percent urging the Democratic governor to finish his term and 42 percent calling for the governor to step down. The 46 percent who said they wanted Paterson to stick it out was down 15 points from a Quinnipiac survey conducted days earlier.
Late last month Paterson, who became governor in 2008 after Eliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace, said he would not seek a full term in office following reports that he had intervened in the case of a top aide who was accused of domestic violence against a woman. Paterson has said over the past week that he won't resign.
"I don't have any plans to resign," Paterson said Friday. "At a certain point, I will cooperate with the investigations and will be clearing my name."
Paterson has asked New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, widely considered the leading Democratic contender for the governor's office, to investigate the matter.
Fewer than 4 in 10 people questioned in the Marist poll think Cuomo will be fair and impartial in conducting the investigation due to his potential gubernatorial bid. Nearly 6 in 10 say a special prosecutor should be appointed. The survey also indicates that Cuomo's approval rating now stands at 54 percent, down 13 points over the past couple of weeks.
The Siena survey indicates a difference response on fairness of the investigation, but a similiar response on who should lead the investigation.
"By a 57-38 percent margin, voters believe the Attorney General's investigation will be fair and impartial, as opposed to being unduly influenced by politics," says Siena pollster Steven Greenberg. "A majority of voters from every party and region believe that the Cuomo investigation will be fair. On the other hand, at least two-thirds of voters of every party and region believe an independent, outside prosecutor conducting the investigation would be preferable to the Attorney General.
The Marist College poll was conducted March 8, with 529 New York State registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
The Siena College poll was conducted March 7, with 712 New York State registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted March 3-4, with 1,325 New York State registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.
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