[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/03/art.paterson.gi.jpg 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
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