NY primary features Democratic gubernatorial race between Cuomo, Cynthia Nixon

Lawrence Kim
September 13, 2018

While the contours of the Democratic race in NY look similar to those upsets, Nixon, best known for her Emmy-winning role on HBO's "Sex and the City", has steadily trailed Cuomo by 30 points or more in opinion polls.

Yet she heads into Thursday's vote trailing Cuomo in every single demographic group, the governor leading 63-22%, up from 60-29% in late July, according to the latest poll from Siena College. Dealing with state corruption was the only issue that likely Democratic primary voters saw Nixon doing a better job on than Cuomo in the September 10 Siena poll, 42-39 percent.

Cuomo, for one, takes the threat seriously.

Insurgent candidates can benefit from an incumbents lack of urgency. Earlier polls had given Cuomo a more than 30 percentage point lead.

And in July, Mr. Cuomo was dragged into ugly headlines after the architect of his six-year-old plan to revitalize upstate NY - dubbed "Buffalo Billion" - was convicted in a bid-rigging scheme involving state contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The flier was then approved by Larry Schwartz, another campaign volunteer who was formerly Cuomo's top lieutenant.

Cuomo has said that he had no knowledge of the mailer and said through a spokeswoman that the language was "inappropriate".

"We're seeing a groundswell of support for a different kind of politics in NY state right now".

Despite the attempts to to have the Post publish the accusation, which is central to the Democratic Party mailer that targeted 7,000 households, Cuomo has vehemently denied he knew about the mailer.

Yet despite enthusiasm for Nixon in some quarters and on social media, Cuomo has held substantial leads against Nixon in the polls.

Mr. Maloney is seeking to become the state's first gay attorney general, while Ms. James and Ms. Eve are running to become the first black woman elected to statewide office in NY.

Attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout, who launched an unsuccessful primary bid against Cuomo in 2014, has been endorsed by Sen.

Two Democrats who were not in the IDC, Simcha Felder and Martin Dilan, also are facing challengers.

"In Cuomo's calculus it's a good idea because any time he talks about Trump he gets favorable reactions", Muzzio said.

The Cuomo name is a NY institution. Rep. Sean Maloney (D) and Verizon Vice President Leecia Eve jumped into the race, with Maloney transferring money from his congressional campaign to run TV ads that pushed him into a tie with James. Ethics reforms and "the fact that all of these sexual harassment are being handled by panels by men in Albany" also show Cuomo's weaknesses, Dawidziak said.

None of the Republican candidates for statewide office are facing primary challenges.

Polls open at 6 a.m. and close tonight at 9 p.m.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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