For weeks now, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, a Democrat seeking re-election this year, has been working behind the scenes to soothe misgivings by the leadership of a small but influential political party made up of labor unions and liberal activists who believe his policies have veered too far to the right.Late on Thursday, a co-chairwoman of that group, the Working Families Party, said Mr. Cuomo’s efforts were not likely to be successful.“Unless there is a significant new development in the next 24 hours, I don’t expect the state committee to endorse the governor,” said the co-chairwoman, Karen Scharff, who as executive director of the liberal advocacy group Citizen Action of New York wields considerable influence in the party.Instead, she said, the party expects to put its support behind an academic with scarcely any chance to defeat Mr. Cuomo: Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham law professor who was the director of online organizing for Howard Dean’s presidential bid.
I'm still skeptical WFP leaders and the labor unions that provide much of the funding for the party allow anybody on the WFP line other than Cuomo.
But clearly this statement by the WFP co-chair is a warning to Cuomo that he has 24 more hours to come up with something tangible for liberal activists to rally around or he's got serious trouble.
What can happen if WFP nominates a candidate other than Cuomo?
A poll of state voters conducted this month by Quinnipiac University found Mr. Cuomo with the support of 57 percent of voters, compared with 28 percent who backed his Republican challenger, Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive.But in a hypothetical matchup with an unnamed Working Families Party candidate, Mr. Cuomo’s share of the vote shrank to 37 percent, compared with 24 percent for Mr. Astorino and 22 percent for the unnamed candidate.
I think it would be hard for a WFP candidate to come near the 22%, but any double digit tally for a WFP candidate would be a serious dent into Cuomo's re-election totals and make the Election Day story that Governor Cuomo won re-election with less than 50% of the vote.