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Siena Poll: Despite Controversy Over Nursing Home Deaths, New Yorkers Still Approve Of Gov. Cuomo's Handling Of Pandemic

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Overall, New Yorkers give Gov. Andrew Cuomo high marks for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, but are disappointed with his handling of the release of data on nursing home deaths.

According to a new poll out of Siena College, 55% of voters think he could have done a better job of making all data about COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes public.

Despite that, 61% of voters approve of how the governor has addressed the pandemic.

In addition, 67% say he has communicated well.

"Voters, especially Democrats, continue to give Cuomo strong marks for his overall handling of the pandemic. He gets a positive rating from 83% of Democrats and 52% of independents. However, 72% of Republicans give him a negative grade," said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. "Similarly, he gets overwhelmingly positive grades from Democrats, positive grades from independents and strongly negative grades from Republicans for communicating with New Yorkers and providing accurate information during the pandemic."

The poll data comes on the heels of the governor's emotional press conference on Monday when he took responsibility for an information "void," which created skepticism, cynicism and anxiety for those who lost loved ones in nursing homes.

"The void allowed misinformation and conspiracy and now people are left with the thought of did my loved one have to die?" Cuomo said. "I want everyone to know everything was done, everything was done, by the best minds in the best interest."

Siena's findings on the vaccine rollout in the state also fall sharply along party lines.

"While Democrats are positive about Cuomo's handling of the vaccine rollout and his plans to reopen New York, Republicans are overwhelming negative, and independents are negative as well," Greenberg added.

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