March 3rd, 2010
10:14 AM ET
12 years ago

Poll: Should Paterson resign?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="For the second straight day, a poll of New York State voters indicates they don't want Gov. David Paterson to resign."](CNN) - For the second straight day, a poll of New York State voters indicates they don't want Gov. David Paterson to resign, but support for the embattled governor to stick it out in office appears to be dropping.

According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday morning, 61 percent of people questioned say Paterson should finish out his term, which runs through the end of this year, with 31 percent calling for him to step down, in the wake of a political scandal that ended his hopes of running for a full term in office.

A Marist College Institute for Public Opinion survey released Tuesday morning indicated that 66 percent of New York State registered voters don't think Paterson should resign, with 28 percent of those questioned in the poll saying Paterson should step down.

Paterson announced Friday that he would not run for a full term this year. 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 probable 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 would not 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 Quinnipiac poll was conducted Monday and Tuesday, before and after Monday 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.

"There was a noticeable slip in support from the first night to the second night of the survey, after more damaging news came out and the National Organization for Women called for the Governor to step down," says Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Could this continue getting worse by the day?

People questioned in the Marist survey were contacted before the report.

According to the Marist 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.

The Quinnipiac survey indicates that more than 6 in 10 think that an independent prosecutor, not Cuomo, should investigate allegations that the Paterson administration interfered in a case of possible domestic abuse.

"Politicians know that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has a touchy task investigating the stuff about Paterson. Voters give Cuomo stratospheric job-approval numbers, but they'd sooner have an independent prosecutor do the investigating," adds Carroll.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted by telephone with 1,237 New York State registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: David Paterson
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Chris

    YES!!! He needs to go out with some class about himself!!!

    March 3, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. Aaron

    Please, leave David Patterson alone. He has already announced that he wasn't going to run for election to a full-term. He has not committed a crime nor has been found guilty of a crime. The man is an intelligent and capable leader for New York at this time. Doesn't the press have anything better to report on than to harass a sitting governor who has not been charged with any crime? The press should find something or someone worth reporting on.

    March 3, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Get rid of Paterson and bring back Spitzer.

    March 3, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Do no resign. Serve the rest of your term.

    March 3, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. Kate

    No he should not resign.

    March 3, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. Ada -Mount Pocono Pa

    NO! Leave the man alone already.
    He agreed to walk and not run for a new term, so now it's time
    to leave him alone.

    I hope New York doesn't come to regret pushing him out that

    March 3, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. jm for sc

    yes, his resignation is long overdue.

    March 3, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. Bob in Pa

    If this embarrassment of a governor caused state police officials to be dismissed or resign over this, then he himself should also step down. It is unbelievable that they cling to political power in these ways. Congress should be formulating strict and tough political corruption legislation instead of working on bankrupting the country. Any person serving in public office or person found guilty of influence peddling,

    March 3, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. you're all buttmonkeys

    obviously they only polled his mom...

    March 3, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. Bed time for Raygun

    Its a shame,we all know they wanted to find a reason to get rid of him.His disability was the real reason New Yorkers want him gone.

    March 3, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. yen

    He should stay on the job until his term ends and go home.

    March 3, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. Enough

    Not as much as Rangel should. Democrats are just out to get Paterson because he couldn't win another term. Power hungry Democrats!

    March 3, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. rita

    He immediately called for an investigation by the Attorney General of the state police after the first front page New York Times report. This move in essence forced everyone involved to get a lawyer and close their mouths to reporters. He did not direct the Attorney General to investigate his office. This is one of those things that doesn't look good or smell good. It may very well be innocent, but it does smell fishy, and by reports from one of his female staff members, she contacted the alleged abused woman in order to "make this go away". What I want to know is why he would be protecting this top aide who was until recently his driver. What are the credentials of this man to be working as a top aide to the Governor? Is this cronyism? Was this a hush job?

    March 3, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. Jerry Alclaimey

    Oh no. He's a democrat, and since democrats don't have any rules or standards anyway, leave him alone.

    March 3, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. liberal wingnut

    No but Obama should. He lied.

    March 3, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. HypocriCNN Is #01 In B.S. Journalism

    Governor David Patterson D-New York Just Needs To Finish His Term As Governor In My Opinion. To Hell With Some Stupid-Assed Poll And What It Should Suggests. Even Though This Particular Poll Supports My Broder Point.

    March 3, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. Beck

    Don't like him but no he should not resign. He has made mistakes and been an idiot like a lot of Gov's but he won't resign.

    March 3, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    Missy's "trooper gate" did not result in her resigning so neither should Paterson

    March 3, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. CF

    Funny how its always the moral, family-values Republicans who are embattled with ethics violations and freaky affairs.

    March 3, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  20. kem

    If Mark Sanford can do it amidst all the blatant crazy things he did, so can David Patterson. At least Patterson has denied anywrong doing... that crazy Mark Sanford did what he did and was like "yup I did it! and im still not leaving" Ha.. ha.... He knows his career is over, Leave him alone to ride out the rest of his term.

    March 3, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. Mike

    Every little tiff and people want someone to resign. He may not have been elected to be Governor, but he was overwhelmingly elected to his office. If you wanted him so badly then and not now, maybe it is the voter who should abstain from voting next time due to their own wreckless behaviors.

    March 3, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. Rush To Judgement

    I've got to say that I see something fishy in the way that both Paterson and President Obama have been treated.

    Before Patterson was in office good, "THEY" were telling us that he was a failure, that most NY'ers didn't want him to run for re-election etc. etc. ... and this was before he had even done anything.

    It is really a shame that there is so much HATE out there that a lifelong public servant got smeared before Elliot Sptizer's ho had booked her 1st interview.

    March 3, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. T'SAH from Virginia

    He should have resigned a long time ago... It's only making it worst with him sticking around!!! Just becuase he is blind does not mean he cannot see what is going on. And I don't mean this as a joke!!

    March 3, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. Navy Vet

    Ok, now I'm confused. To hear all the other news agencies report it, it was Paterson who had instructed the State Police to pressure this victim. Now reading it, he didn't and asked for an investigation.

    So which is it? Depending on which is how I think would determine whether he should step down.

    March 3, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. eunice

    Why should he step down? Know of the other politicians who did wrong doing, Governor Sanford, for example. Did he step down? No. So why should Peterson? Did former VP Cherney step down when he sent us needless into Iraq? There are a lot of them, Gov. Govicheich from Chicago....loads of them. Why don't everyone caught or accused of doing stuff be asked to step down?

    March 3, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |