ALBANY – Poll after poll has shown Andrew Cuomo nearly invincible over the past four years.
So imagine an unknown liberal law professor at a Jesuit college who has never run for office before capturing a quarter or perhaps close to a third of the votes in the Democratic primary next week.
That is not a scenario Cuomo’s opponents are pitching. That’s what insiders on the governor’s own campaign are looking at. The governor’s people say that would not be an unusual outcome, but independent analysts say it could dent Cuomo at home and damage his prospects of ever living in the White House.
That a political neophyte like Zephyr Teachout could so rattle the New York Democratic Party and Cuomo, its titular head, is a story in itself. But, as Teachout would say, there is more than Cuomo at play. She contends it is a contest for the liberal heart and soul of the state’s Democratic Party as she challenges a governor she accuses of being too tight with big corporations, millionaires and special interests.
They're pre-spinning the numbers, setting the bar for success for Teachout at 25%-33% of the vote, so that if she doesn't hit that range, they can declare her candidacy a failure and Cuomo's a success
Beware the pre-spinning of Teachout's numbers.
I have no idea what percentage of support she'll hit in the primary.
Neither Siena nor Quinnipiac have polled the primary.
The Cuomo campaign says they haven't polled either - and I haven't heard any scuttlebutt about people getting calls about the Cuomo/Teachout primary, so I'll take that at face value.
Teachout has PEF and NOW and the Sierra Club - she'll garner some decent support in the primary.
But don't pass on the Cuomo spin about 25%-33% support.
Who knows - maybe she will hit that.
But if she doesn't, that gives Cuomo's goons the opportunity to declare CUOMO SUPREMACY in the state.
The idea for the primary here, at least from my perspective, is to weaken Cuomo, both for the general election and for a second term if he's re-elected.
Using the Cuomo campaign's messaging frame certainly won't accomplish that.
So let's see how much support Teachout can take in the primary.
Let's see how well Tim Wu does over Kathy Hochul.