Jan 31, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Poll: 78% of Santos' constituents say he should resign amid lying scandal

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) arrives for a vote at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

An overwhelming majority of voters in Rep. George Santos' (R-N.Y.) district say the embattled lawmaker should resign as he continues to take heat for allegedly making sweeping fabrications on the campaign trail, according to a Newsday/Siena College poll.

Why it matters: Santos, the target of several investigations, temporarily recused himself from his committee assignments on Tuesday. The new polling shows his constituents — both Democratic and Republican — want him to step down entirely.

By the numbers: The poll, which surveyed 653 registered voters in Santos' district Jan. 23-26, found that 78% of these constituents — 89% of Democrats, 71% of Republicans and 72% of independents — say he should resign.

  • 82% of Democrats, 59% of Republicans and 69% of independents also said Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was "wrong to seat Santos on committees."
  • 75% of voters surveyed said Santos "cannot be effective" as a representative for their district, while 74% of Republicans said he "does not reflect the values of the Republican Party."
  • 53% of the Republicans surveyed said they voted for Santos in 2022, but 63% of these voters said they would not have done so if they had known what they know now about him.

The intrigue: 82% of Democrats, 74% of Republicans and 76% of independents said that Santos' behavior, his refusal to resign and McCarthy's intention to give him committee assignments show that "our political system is broken."

The big picture: Santos said in a statement Tuesday that he decided to recuse himself so that congressional proceedings can "continue without media fanfare."

  • McCarthy has continued to defend Santos, who maintains his innocence, even as several Republicans join Democrats' calls for him to resign.

This Newsday/Siena College poll was conducted Jan. 23-26 among 653 NY03 registered voters. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points, including the design effects resulting from weighting.

Go deeper