NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — No one is more popular in New York right now than Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
A new Siena College Poll finds 87 percent of New Yorkers approve of Cuomo's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Also scoring high on the poll is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has a 74 percent approval rate.
As for President Donald Trump's handling of the crisis, 56 percent of New Yorkers disapprove while 41 percent approve.
In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Trump said Cuomo's high approval rating is thanks to the federal government.
"One of the reasons he's successful is because we've helped make him successful," Trump said.
Cuomo has become an unlikely nationwide star of the coronavirus crisis. The hashtag “Cuomo for President” even started trending on Twitter last week and Trump said he believes the New York governor would make a better Democratic presidential candidate than former Vice President Joe Biden.
"If he's gonna run that's fine, 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," Trump said. "Andrew would be better, I want somebody at this country that's going to do a great job and I hope I'm going to win and the polls say I'm going to win."
Cuomo said he took Trump's comments as a compliment but added that he will not be engaging the president in politics.
“My only goal is to engage the president in partnership,” Cuomo said. "This is no time for politics. I’m not running for president... I’m not playing politics. I just want partnership to deal with this.”
"I'm not going to engage in politics, not because I'm unwilling to tangle, but because I think it's inappropriate, and I think it's counterproductive and I think it's anti-American," Cuomo added. "Forget the politics, we have a national crisis, we are at war. There is no politics, there is no red and blue — it's red, white and blue. So let's get over and lead by example."
Meanwhile, the poll also found an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers, 92 percent, say they're very or somewhat concerned about the pandemic and nearly one-third of voters say they know someone how has tested positive for COVID-19.
Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg also added that “70 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of independents think ‘things will be back to normal sometime soon,’ while 54 percent of Democrats say they are not confident we ‘will be back to normal anytime soon.’"
"Although a small majority of New York City voters are pessimistic, upstaters and downstate suburbanites are optimistic that a return to normalcy will happen sometime soon,” Greenberg added. “Voters 55 and older are the optimists, while those under 55 are virtually evenly divided.”