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Poll: 40% of New Yorkers support recalling Gov. Cuomo

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At the beginning of the pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) became a household name and media darling for his response to the novel coronavirus, even being floated at one point as a potential vice presidential nominee for then-candidate Joe Biden.

Since last spring and summer, Cuomo has become increasingly unpopular among New Yorkers for a variety of reasons—especially revelations about nursing home deaths—with a new poll finding that 40% of state residents would support recalling the three-term governor.

The Zogby survey asked 810 likely voters if they supported the process that lets residents gather signatures for a recall election before an elected official has finished their term, a process which is not allowed in New York but allowed in some other states.

In California, where recalling governors is allowed and has occurred before, a recall effort against Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has been picking up steam.

While 40% of respondents said they would support a recall election to remove Cuomo before the 2022 gubernatorial election, 42% opposed such a move. The remaining respondents were undecided.

Moreover, while 47% of respondents said the Empire State needs a new governor, only 41% said that Cuomo deserves another term in Albany.

The Zogby survey also asked likely voters about the 2022 governor’s race, with Cuomo having said he wants to run for a fourth term.

In a hypothetical Democratic primary battle between Cuomo and New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is considered a rising star, the survey found that the governor would devastate James 65% to 22%. When matched up with Bronx and Queens Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cuomo beat the self-described democratic socialist 67% to 24%.

As for the 2022 general election, Zogby reported that Cuomo currently leads Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik 49% to 37% in a hypothetical election.

Regarding the governor’s handling of COVID-19, 56% of New York voters supported his overall response to the pandemic, the survey reported. However, nearly half of respondents said that Cuomo was to blame for the thousands of coronavirus-related deaths at nursing homes in the state.

“In your opinion is Governor Andrew Cuomo responsible for the thousands of deaths in New York state that needlessly occurred as a result of his decision last March to require nursing homes to accept patients released from hospitals, despite them being COVID-positive and despite testing deficiencies for both residents and staff?” respondents were asked.

48% said the deaths were Cuomo’s fault, overshadowing the 32% who said he wasn’t to blame.

On January 28, James released a report showing that the nursing home deaths “may have been undercounted by as much as 50%,” with the state department of health at the time of the report’s release saying that COVID-19 was responsible for about 8,500 nursing home deaths.

Cuomo has deflected the blame, arguing that former President Donald Trump turned the pandemic into a “political football.”

RELATED: 9 of Gov. Cuomo’s top health officials have left: report

The Zogby survey was conducted between February 2 and 5, and reported a 3.4% margin of error.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump appointee explains an ‘America First Strategy’ in the ME

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Photo: Israeli Government

The author interviewed Ellie Cohanim, one of the authors of the new book: “An America First Approach to US National Security.” Ellie is the former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism under the Trump administration. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum focusing on Iran, Israel, and global antisemitism, and is a national security contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 2021, Ellie launched and hosted for Jewish News Syndicate 30 plus episodes of the show “Global Perspectives with Ellie Cohanim.” Ellie spent 15 years in media and NGO management before serving in the public sector. How would you define an “America First” strategy in the Middle East?

Cohanim: An America First strategy in the Middle East would seek to advance American national security interests in that region, while maintaining our status as THE global superpower. To do that, the US would ensure that our principal allies in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel, are economically and militarily strong, and that our adversaries in the region are deterred.

Postal: How has the United States’ standing in the Middle East differed between the Trump and Biden administrations?

Cohanim: Under President Trump, for four years we had peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Under President Biden, in just three tumultuous years there has been war in the region, which holds the potential for becoming a regional conflict and even a nuclear confrontation. Meanwhile, the US’ status in the region and the world has diminished due to Biden’s disastrous mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, his emboldening of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his weak response to Iranian attacks on our personnel and assets in the region. 

 

Postal: Do you think the United States and Israel are/were in a stronger position to deter Iran’s nuclear and territorial ambitions in Biden or Trump’s administration?

Cohanim: America’s position of strength has not changed under either administration vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran. What has changed is our Iran policy. Under President Trump’s administration, the US contained and constrained Tehran. Trump applied a “Maximum Pressure” sanctions campaign which left the Iranian Regime with only $4 billion in accessible foreign currency reserves by the end of his term, giving the Iranians less cash and less ability to fund their terror proxies and their nuclear program, and Trump eliminated Qassem Soleimani. While all President Biden needed to do was to continue implementing such successful policies, his administration instead did the exact opposite.  Under the Biden administration, Israel, our leading ally in the region, was attacked for the first time directly from Iranian soil. This was an unprecedented escalatory attack by the Iranian regime, and could only happen under the Biden administration.

Postal: In your chapter of the book, you discuss the weakening of US relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration. How has the Biden administration affected the likelihood of future normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and deals between Israel and other Muslim countries (i.e., new Abraham Accords)?

Cohanim: The good news is that the Abraham Accords have withstood the test of multiple Hamas provocations against Israel, and now the current war. Despite numerous claims from the Biden administration regarding “successful” efforts to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, I do not think that the Biden administration will be able to clinch such a deal. In the Middle East, people have a long memory. Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has not forgotten President Biden’s snub when he first came into office, and Biden’s incredibly poorly advised behavior towards the Crown Prince when he made his first visit to the Kingdom as president. The last thing the Crown Prince wants is to hand Biden his first foreign policy success with a Rose Garden peace deal ceremony. So, I do not believe President Biden can broker Saudi/Israeli normalization.

However, I am also convinced that it is a matter of “when” and not “if” such a peace deal will happen between those two countries, as it serves both of their interests to make such a deal. The Saudis understand better than anyone that it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that threatens the Kingdom’s security and stability, not Israel.

Postal: What do you think of the Biden administration’s latest statements withholding arms to Israel?

Cohanim: President Biden will go down in history for his abject moral failure in not standing by Israel while she fights a five-front war. Biden has shown his despicable personality for trying to keep his anti-Israel arms embargo concealed until he could first deliver a speech on the Holocaust. Biden’s behavior is despicable on so many levels.

Ultimately, Biden is betraying the American people. He came into office presenting himself as a “centrist Democrat,” but has proven repeatedly to be beholden to the radical, extremist, pro-Hamas wing of his party.

Postal: How does the Biden administration’s support of a Palestinian state differ from the Trump administration’s support of a Palestinian state under its Peace to Prosperity framework?

Cohanim: The Biden administration stated that they will “unilaterally recognize” a Palestinian state. What the borders of that state are and who would lead it, nobody knows. 

The Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” was a detailed plan that was premised on the realities on the ground in Israel. The plan required that the Palestinians reach benchmarks proving a real desire to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. It included over $50 billion in investment in the region, which would have been a road to prosperity for all. Perhaps most significantly, the Palestinian state envisioned under the Trump plan would have been demilitarized, the wisdom of which could not be more clear following the October 7 massacre and attack.

The author would like to thank Ellie Cohanim for participating in this interview.

 

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