Andrew Cuomo Scandal: Odds To Remain New York Governor Collapse

Posted By Evan Scrimshaw on August 4, 2021 - Last Updated on August 9, 2021

With the results of the New York Attorney General’s investigation surrounding allegations of sexual misconduct, the question of Andrew Cuomo’s fate as Governor of New York has reemerged as a leading question. On PredictIt, the Andrew Cuomo scandal has spiked markets, with the current price on him still being in office by the end of the year at a measly 27 cents, given the declarative, open and shut way the report is worded.

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PredictIt Odds: Andrew Cuomo Scandal

To Remain Governor After 2021Predictit PriceEquivalent Odds

*Odds as of August 9, 2021

How Bettors Tanked Odds In 24 Hours

At market close August 2, the PredictIt price for Cuomo to not be in office at the end of 2021 was about 12 cents. That was the equivalent of a +733 underdog. In other words, you could have bet $100 to win a $733 profit that Cuomo would not be New York Governor at the end of 2021.

Now, that price is 73 cents, the equivalent of a -270 favorite. So you’d have to wager $270 for a $100 profit on Cuomo no longer being in office at the end of the year.

On the flip side, here’s a PredictIt graph on how Cuomo’s odds to remain governor at the end of 2021 tanked in a span of 24 hours.

andrew cuomo scandal

The Allegations

“We, the investigators appointed to conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, conclude that the Governor engaged in conduct constituting sexual harassment under federal and New York State law.”
That, from the report, is crystal clear on what Cuomo did, and why the political firestorm around his position has reemerged.

Cuomo has been accused by a number of women of a pattern of inappropriate behavior, which has now been clearly and concretely shown to be true by the very process that Cuomo himself set up to determine his guilt or innocence.

The Fallout

Here is an incomplete list of everyone who has called for Governor Cuomo to resign since the report dropped this morning:

  • President Joe Biden
  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
  • Senate Majority Leader and New York Senator Chuck Schumer
  • New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
  • NY-14 Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (and the rest of the New York delegation to Congress)
  • Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Hochul
  • Democratic leaders in both the State House and State Senate
  • 90% of the New York State Senate
  • 69% of the New York State House
  • Governors of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island

There is a smaller, but still growing and substantial list, of those State Senate and State House members who are calling for his impeachment if he does not resign, but given the logical inconsistency of “he should resign, but if he doesn’t, I’ll vote to keep him in office”, it is unlikely that those numbers would not converge if Cuomo doesn’t resign with a certain speed.

Cuomo has been stubborn this whole time, attempting to stick with his position through the fallout, but that seems to be no longer tenable for the rest of the party.

Cuomo, almost through three years of his four year term, could have hung on while these were merely allegations. Credible allegations as they were, there was no immediate pressure to resolve the status of his Governorship. Now there is, and the fact that there has been no equivocation from any senior Democrat is striking.

Unlike in other circumstances, namely the 2016 allegations of sexual misconduct against Donald Trump, those calling for Trump to leave the ticket were those Republicans who always opposed Trump’s candidacy. Here, a coalition as broad as leading progressive AOC and leading target of progressives Carolyn Mulroney all agree that Cuomo should go, which gives the chances of it happening a substantial boost.

Could He Survive?

Betting against Cuomo, one of the great political survivors, feels slightly foolish, but there is little chance he can hold this off. He will be hounded to resign, and if he doesn’t, impeachment proceedings would be started, and he has little to no backing left amongst his own party.

He can’t go to Republicans in the state assembly for votes either, as New York Republicans have tried to use his misconduct allegations as a wedge against Democrats, thinking that they may protect one of their own because of partisanship, as leading New York GOPer Elise Stefanik tweeted Tuesday. They can’t ridicule the party and then vote to keep him in office. So Cuomo needs to peel off a large number of Democrats, and that is highly unlikely.

Cuomo’s power over his party was always simple – vote with him, support him, and back him, and he will endorse you. Outside of a few New York City areas that supported his progressive primary challengers, that was always enough for safe district Democrats to keep their seats. Now, an endorsement from Cuomo would be political death for a candidate, and therefore his traditional leverage is gone.

The question of whether he resigns, or sits through a trial which would almost assuredly end in his removal, is also of interest. In 1974, when then-President Nixon was fighting his impeachment, the decision to resign was taken to expedite a process where the answer seemed clear to everyone involved. It seems likely that a similar clarity will be there over Cuomo’s fate soon enough. So the question of whether he resigns or waits for the results of a public, probably very unfavorable, trial process is pertinent.

If you think he takes the resignation route by the end of August, you can get 36 cents on that proposition right now, a proposition I think is more likely than not.

PredictIt Odds:Will Andrew Cuomo resign before Sept. 1?

To resign before Sept. 1Predictit PriceEquivalent Odds

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, the question is not substantially whether or not Cuomo can make a case for his political career continuing, but whether or not he can slink on as Governor and be given a more graceful exit at the normal transition point after the 2022 election despite this latest Andrew Cuomo scandal.

The thing about Cuomo’s prickly personality is that he has made a lot of enemies, and the good will that might exist for other politicians in similar spots – as Ralph Northam was given in Virginia after photos emerged of him wearing blackface – does not exist for Cuomo.

Throw in that this is not the only anchor on the Cuomo record even this term, with his systemic underreporting of nursing home deaths during the pandemic also in this calculus, and you see that there is not much of a path for Cuomo to move forward here.
He will absolutely not be Governor after the 2022 elections, but it is highly unlikely he makes it to the end of the year. He has lost the support of his party, and they would gladly see the back of him at this point, rather than be put in the unenviable position of defending a man found to have broken the law repeatedly by his own Attorney General.

With the news that one of his senior aides has resigned on Sunday, and with the Times reporting that efforts to have Cuomo stay on as Governor and not seek a fourth time failing to find traction, it is increasingly clear that Cuomo will not be Governor for much longer.

That leads to the question of whether or not Cuomo would want to sit through a trial – with all that entails – just for the slight chance he could survive as a lame duck for a year? Generally politicians when the time is running out resign before being impeached – as Cuomo predecessor Eliot Spitzer did in 2007, when he resigned over prostitution. Every politician’s first instinct is to fight, and then when a fight will be lost, they give up before they can be beat. Cuomo will likely do the same.

After this latest Andrew Cuomo scandal, he will almost assuredly go this year, and a resignation in the next few weeks is very possible, and probably more likely than an impeachment.

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