NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Political Odds Shift After Report Backs Sex Claims

Posted on: August 4, 2021, 04:14h. 

Last updated on: August 4, 2021, 09:08h.

The top political story for Tuesday in the United States was an independent investigation that found credible numerous sexual harassment claims made against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. As that damning 165-page report dropped late Tuesday morning, so too did the embattled governor’s chances in political betting and trading markets.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a June 23 press conference. The embattled long-time Democratic governor faces renewed calls for his resignation after an independent investigation found the governor sexually harassed 11 women. (Image: governorandrewcuomo/Flickr)

Throughout Tuesday afternoon, key Democratic elected officials in New York, Washington, and the rest of the US followed each other in calling for their party colleague to resign. That included President Biden, who was asked about the report multiple times during a White House press conference.

Several women came forward by early March with allegations the governor made inappropriate comments to them and subjected them to unwanted physical contact, including kissing, hugging, and groping. Facing pressure, Cuomo agreed to refer the complaints to New York Attorney General Letitia James, who appointed independent outside attorneys to conduct the investigation.

At that time, Biden said publicly Cuomo should resign if the investigation substantiated the claims.

I stand by that statement,” Biden told reporters Tuesday.

Across New York, state lawmakers and other elected officials also renewed their call for the three-term governor to step aside, with many lawmakers calling for Cuomo’s impeachment if he remains defiant.

The state Assembly Judiciary Committee started an impeachment inquiry shortly after the independent investigation commenced. However, that panel is looking into way more than just harassment claims, and some critics have called out the process for moving too slowly.

That might be ready to change. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) described the findings as “disturbing,” and said all Assembly members received a copy of the report for an in-depth review.

“We will have more to say in the very near future,” Heastie said in a statement.

Cuomo’s Political Prospects Plummet on PredictIt

At PredictIt, the online political trading market has four Cuomo-related markets available for traders. Those markets – once tilted highly in his favor – reacted strongly to the news.

The biggest move came on the question of whether Cuomo will be governor at the end of the year. It’s a market that had been slowly climbing in the spring and summer, with yes shares trading at 91 cents on July 31, and through the first half of Tuesday, those shares stood firm at 89 cents. However, in the hour that the report was released and James held a press conference that attracted national attention, those shares dropped from 88 cents to 51 cents.

By the end of Tuesday, those yes shared were valued at 30 cents.

Another market that saw Cuomo backers bail was the 2022 New York Democratic gubernatorial primary winner. Except for a brief window in May, when shares for James were trading higher, Cuomo had been the favorite for the last three months.

But just like the other market, the report caused Cuomo’s shares to nosedive, going from 42 cents to 16 cents in just two hours. By the end of the night, the one-time incumbent favorite now was the fourth choice at 9 cents a share, behind James, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

Two other Cuomo markets that are timed for Sept. 1 also moved, but not as sharply. Shares on Cuomo resigning by the start of next month traded at 2 cents to start the day, and rose to a high of 38 before settling at 33. Traders weren’t as bullish on lawmakers impeaching the governor in the next four weeks. After starting at 2 cents Tuesday, they rose to 27 cents by mid-afternoon before falling back to 17 cents by the end of the night.

While the trading markets had still been in his favor until Tuesday, Cuomo’s polling numbers slipped significantly. That’s because of the sexual harassment and COVID-19 nursing home scandals that have cone to light in the past year. In addition, he’s been losing the support of key individuals who previously backed his campaigns, including Tioga Downs Casino owner Jeff Gural.

Presidential Long Shot

Across the pond in Britain, sportsbooks are allowed to book bets on political elections, and Cuomo – once considered a possible candidate for a presidential run in 2024 – is a marked longshot now.

British bookmaker Betfair has Cuomo at 66-1 odds to win the 2024 general presidential election. In what’s likely an unintentional but notable coincidence, that just so happens to be the same odds currently available for former Alaska US Sen. Mike Gravel, who ran for president in 2008 and 2020.

Gravel died on June 26 at the age of 91.