Gov. Andrew Cuomo shocked the country by resigning in the wake of an attorney general's report accusing him of sexually harassing nearly a dozen women -- but it doesn't necessarily mean it's the last we'll see of the three-term governor.
Cuomo - who will stay in office for another 14 days and will be succeeded by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul - isn't necessarily barred from seeking a fourth term from governor; that could only happen if the state legislature impeached, convicted and sentenced him to be barred from seeking statewide office ever again.
And in fact -- if an unreleased survey from Slingshot Strategies first reported by freelance journalist David Freedlander is to believed -- he'd have a decent shot at getting his old job back. According to the survey, which was conducted after Attorney General Letitia James released her report, Cuomo has a wide lead over all potential Democratic challengers for the nomination in 2022.
He reportedly commands 26 percent support from Democratic primary voters, according to the survey. HIs next closest challenger, James, has the support of just 9 percent of those polled, followed by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with 8 percent. Nineteen percent of those polled were undecided, and the survey had a margin of error of four percentage points, which still places Cuomo squarely in the lead position.
Such a move would be without precedent in New York or any other state. Several governors have resigned to take seats in the U.S. Senate - only to win another term later on, but none have resigned under the pall of an impeachment inquiry or scandal and been re-elected later on.
But that's not to say governors haven't at least tried to reenter public life after leaving their state's highest office in disgrace.
Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens resigned in 2018 after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman, then blackmailing her; the Republican is now running for Sen. Roy Blount's seat.
And while he didn't resign, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's political aspirations didn't disappear after 2009's infamous Appalachian Trail scandal, where he lied about going on a hike to cover for an international extramarital affair. After leaving office, Sanford took a short break from public life only to run for and win his old congressional seat in 2013. He served three terms before losing in 2018, then mounted an unsuccessful primary challenge to former President Donald Trump last year.
There's also some recent precedent in New York. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned from the state's highest office amid a prostitution scandal in 2008 ran unsuccessfully for New York City comptroller in 2013. If you don't remember that, it might be because former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner - who resigned from Congress amid a sexting scandal in 2011 -- was the frontrunner to be the Democratic nominee for New York City mayor that year. He fell precipitously in the polls after he was caught up in a second sexting scandal -- one that later landed him in federal prison.