NEW YORK — The lion’s share of New York voters want Rep. George Santos to step down following weeks of scandal about his complicated relationship with the truth.
In a new Siena Poll released Monday, 59 percent of registered voters said that the embattled Republican from New York’s 3rd Congressional District should resign. Only about 20 percent said he shouldn’t, and the rest didn’t have an opinion. Even a plurality of Republicans, 49 percent, said he should step down (another 26 percent he shouldn’t and 25 percent didn’t know).
His favorability rating was roughly the same, though suburban residents — who make up the heart of the congressman’s Long Island district — took a particular disliking to Santos. More than three quarters of them registered their disapproval of the newly elected representative, while only 8 percent took a positive view. The survey of over 800 registered voters was conducted between Jan. 15-19 and has a margin of error of 4.3 percent.
The poll is the first large survey on New York voters’ attitudes about Santos, who has refused to step down since a bombshell report in The New York Times in December revealed he had fabricated most of his resume, including his professional background and college education.
Earlier this month, Santos said only the voters could get him to step down.
“I am going to outwork any of the pundits and talking heads that are out there saying I should resign, that I’m unfit for office,” Santos told reporters earlier this month. “When 142 people ask me to resign, I’ll resign.”
He later clarified that he meant to say 142,000 people, a reference to voters in his district.
As more allegations have mounted, some of which he has admitted were exaggerated, Santos has drawn widespread condemnation from within his own party, including Republican officials in Nassau County, who pledged to cut off local support to their colleague in the House.
But House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has largely ignored calls for his resignation because he needs to maintain his slim majority in the chamber.
Santos has received low-level committee assignments, but he also faces a slew of federal and local investigations.