March 2nd, 2010
11:44 AM ET
10 years ago

Poll: Should Paterson resign?

(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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Filed under: David Paterson
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. robert briggs

    No! The governor should not quit. He's been in office a short time,
    let's dump the ones in both parties that have assumed lifetime
    tenure and have done nothing but cash their campaign
    contribution checks and helped to build a public sector dictatorship
    where there are no private sector jobs. Folks, those working in
    the private sector have jobs that pay what private sector jobs could
    never pay and stay in business, and they also don't get the pensions,
    the health care, the vacation (public sector especially school are on
    one long unending vacation), the salary increases, and you name it
    they've got it.
    Since the end of world war 2 the US population has increased some
    100 to 110%, in same period public sector jobs are up over 500%
    while the private sector job losses need no explanation. Why do you
    think everyone ( with few morals) wants to work for the government,
    be it federal, state, county or local.
    And you can actually believe your honest, upright politicians are not aware of these facts. Believe it...they could care less, their motto ' I
    could care less. Oh, for sure they wring their hands and have no
    trouble finding a TV camera and a microphone and boasting how great they are and how terrible the opposite party is.. Baloney throw all the bums out let them look for non-existent jobs...I don't hear
    any volunteers in office. Enough government is the problem, not
    the solution. The only thing our current crop of leaders should be running from is a jail cell, preferably in solitary.

    March 2, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. coolchange

    If Governor Mark Sanford didn't resign after he left South Carolina for a booty call without telling officials, Paterson should be able to serve out his term as well.

    March 2, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Too bad. A missed opportunity to set a no-nonsense tone. You can't treat someoen like gentleman when they act like scumbags. The scumbag just won't "get" the subtle nuance. Shoot down their rhetoric in public, Mr. President, set them straight!

    March 2, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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