New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s popularity hit an all time high Monday, with an astounding 71% of his constituents saying they approve of the job he’s doing, particularly with regard to the coronavirus pandemic.
“A new Siena College poll out Monday finds Cuomo’s favorability rating has soared to 71 percent, up 27 points in just a month to its highest level since early 2013,” New York City’s NBC affiliate reported Monday.
“That’s driven entirely by his response to COVID-19, where a stunning 87 percent of the public approves of his handling of the situation,” the outlet added. “His support is so broad, Siena said, that even 70 percent of Republicans approve of his work on the virus.”
The 71% approval rating is the highest of Cuomo’s seven-year term, giving him an unprecedented advantage as he handles the coronavirus pandemic, which has, so far, made New York City its epicenter. Nearly 50% of all new coronavirus cases in the United States are in the state of New York, with the outbreak mostly centered around Manhattan.
New York City’s NBC affiliate credits Cuomo’s daily briefings with earning him a measure of goodwill among New York residents. Although New York City mayor Bill de Blasio should be leading the charge — at least partly — the governor, not the mayor, has been visibly in control, occasionally overriding De Blasio and even stepping in when it appears the mayor is failing.
The response has been so positive for Cuomo that some Democrats have suggested dumping the two remaining contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination — former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) — and replacing them with Cuomo. Cuomo’s name was even floated as a potential vice president for Biden, who is currently the presumptive nominee, but Biden’s pledge to select a female running mate would likely pre-empt that option.
President Donald Trump, when asked over the weekend about the possibility of facing Cuomo in the 2020 presidential campaign, seemed bullish on the idea.
“If he’s going to run, that’s fine,” Trump told reporters, per NBC News. “I wouldn’t mind running against Andrew. I’ve known Andrew for a long time. I wouldn’t mind that but I’ll be honest, I think he’d be a better candidate than sleepy Joe.”
“I wouldn’t mind running against Andrew; I don’t mind running against Joe Biden,” the president added. “I think probably Andrew would be better. I’m telling you right now, you know, I want somebody [for] this country that’s gonna do a great job, and I hope I’m going to win.”
Cuomo, for his part, has said he has no intention of jumping into the race, despite his good chances.
“I am not engaging the president in politics,” Cuomo said during a weekend press conference. “My only goal is to engage the president in partnership. This is no time for politics.”
“I’m not going to rise to the bait of a political challenge,” he added. “I’m not running for president, I was never running for president. I said from day one I wasn’t running for president. I’m not running for president now. I’m not playing politics.”