NEW YORK - A new poll shows that New York voters give Rep. George Santos high unavoidability ratings and should resign from Congress.
The Siena College Research Institute poll found that nearly two-thirds of Democrats, 59% of independents, and 49% of Republicans say he should resign. Only 17% of all voters say he shouldn’t resign.
"Voters overwhelmingly view Santos unfavorably, including 55% of Democrats, 56% of Republicans, and 59% of independents," Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said. "It is fascinating that Santos has gone from largely unknown freshman representative-elect to being more well known to New Yorkers than Brooklyn’s Hakeem Jeffries, just elected to his sixth term and the new US House Minority Leader."
Also under scrutiny is payments to Santos' campaign of just a penny under the Federal Election Commission’s requirement for campaigns to retain records.
The question on the minds of many is whether Rep. Santos intentionally tried to skirt the system during his successful run for Congress.
Watchdog groups have filed FEC complaints, and others have called on the government agency to freeze the freshman’s campaign funds.
According to Dan Weiner, the FEC wrote 20 inquiries to Santos’ team, but no public action has been taken by the agency so far. The campaign finance expert with the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law says the agency has never had a distinguished history of vigorous enforcement.
"What we’ve seen so far is a number of irregularities with how he funded his campaign," Weiner said. "There is always a fine line between intentional misconduct and sloppiness."
For their part, the FEC can’t comment on individual candidates or committees but some members of congress including Republicans, say the Santos saga continues to be a distraction in DC.
Santos' fanciful tales about his resume were not widely noticed until after he had won his election.
Santos apparently misrepresented his education, employment history, and even personal background in his official bio that appeared on his campaign website. He claimed that he graduated from CUNY's Baruch College, worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, runs a family investment firm, owns multiple properties, and his grandparents escaped the Holocaust.
He also claimed that his mother was at the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Santos has also admitted that he dressed as a woman when he lived in Brazil but denied he performed as a Drag Queen despite numerous reports and photos that appear to show him doing just that.
New York's 3rd Congressional District covers parts of western Nassau County and eastern Queens. The Nassau County Republican Party has called on Santos to resign. He has refused.
The Siena College Poll was conducted January 15-19, 2023, among 821 New York State registered voters. It has an overall margin of error of +4.3 percentage points.