After his worst week in office since becoming governor, Andrew Cuomo is now viewed for the first time by important Democrats as potentially vulnerable to Republican challenger Rob Astorino, The Post has learned.
The changing sentiment results from the extraordinary criticisms Cuomo received last week from corruption-fighting Southern District US Attorney Preet Bharara — because of the governor’s summary dismissal of his anti-corruption Moreland Commission panel — and from an assortment of “good-government’’ over his transparently phony plan for a severely limited system of publicly financed elections.
“It was a disastrous week for Andrew. He was being attacked all over town, and it appeared to be the culmination of not just weeks, but months, of eroding support for the governor from within his own Democratic base,’’ one of the state’s most influential Democrats told The Post.
“People are starting to say, ‘Hey, maybe Astorino has a chance in the race, even if it is a long shot,’ and a lot of people, Democrats, are starting to also say that wouldn’t be such a bad thing,’’ he continued.
Several Democratic strategists said Cuomo’s eroding support among politically powerful New York City-based unions, including those behind the influential Working Families Party, all but assures an unusually low turnout among the city’s heavily Democratic voters, normally the foundation for a statewide Democratic victory.
At the same time, they expect Astorino, the popular and recently re-elected Westchester County executive, to do well, offsetting Democratic votes in his large suburban county, and his message of property-tax and spending cuts, educational reforms and economic development to appeal to suburban voters on Long Island as well.
“The traditional dynamics for Cuomo appear to be changing, with a big New York City vote no longer guaranteed and a bigger problem in the suburbs, because of Astorino, than [the governor] had expected,’’ said a prominent campaign consultant.
Cuomo, meanwhile, held a tense, hush-hush, meeting with Working Families Party leaders Dan Cantor and Bob Masters at his campaign headquarters in Manhattan last Thursday in an effort to head off the growing possibility that the WFP will field its own candidate for governor in November.
A source said Cuomo was told what he already knew: While the union-controlled WFP’s leadership would like to “do’’ Cuomo as the party’s nominee, widespread unhappiness with Cuomo’s support for business-tax cuts, spending restraints and a fatally flawed publicly financed campaign system is making that difficult.
Cuomo's vulnerable, folks, and that vulnerability is underscored by his need to meet up with WFP leaders in a "tense, hush-hush" pow-wow at his campaign headquarters last week to tell them they MUST not go the third party candidate route.
So far, opponents and critics from the left have been loathe to take on Sheriff Andy for fear that he would retaliate once re-elected.
But there now exists the possibility that he can be knocked off and that possibility brings leverage against the governor for groups on the left as well as the unions.
Cuomo expects the unions to use their GOTV operations in NYC for him and he expects the WFP to endorse him and further gin up the city vote totals in his column.
Cuomo is pretty unpopular upstate and in western New York, so he needs the city votes to offset weakness there, but what if they gave an election and the unions sat on their hands and the WFP didn't endorse Cuomo and Cuomo's city vote totals plummeted?
As Dicker says, GOP opponent Astorino remains a longshot, but a better longshot this week than he was last week as Cuomo faces challenges like he has never faced before.
I am in the camp that taking Cuomo out and electing a Republican benefits us better than re-electing Cuomo and letting him do to us what he did in the first term - tax cap, charter school protections, etc.
With a GOP governor, the Assembly becomes the linchpin to keep insane policies from being enacted, as the Dems there will look to hold the line against a Republican governor.
But with the Republican-Lite Cuomo in office right now pushing conservative fiscal policies, union-busting and corporate education reform, we have no linchpin to hold the line against these policies - the Dems in the Assembly just go along.
No matter what happens, we are seeing something extraordinary this week - a weakened and chastened Sheriff Andy Cuomo actually looking to the left for help in his re-election bid.
Cuomo's veneer of invincibility is disappearing and that's a very dangerous thing for Sheriff Andy.
He's got a lot of enemies out there in both parties and when they see they can hurt him without fear of retaliation, the floodgates are going to open up on him.
I agree with you: teaching Democrats a lesson about what can happen when you attack your traditional base is worth the risk of dealing with a Governor Astorino.ReplyDelete
These people must be shown there will be a price to be paid for giving everything over to the Overclass.
It's time - I first felt this way in 2012 when I saw so many people who had spent four years complaining about Obama vote for him, endorse him, etc. I'm not going there anymore - not even if my one vote NOT going to a corporate Dem means a Republican wins. I'm done with the lesser of two evil garbage.Delete
Democratic Governors doesn't even bother to hid his contempt for unions and the Democratic base. During an election year, Cuomo picks a fight with newly elected NYC mayor DiBlasio over Success Academies, disbands his anti-corruption commission, is praised by RE developers and millionaires at a private function, etc... Time to teach the Rahm Emanuel's and Andrew Cuomo's to earn their vote.ReplyDelete
To be honest, I don't think there's anything either of these two can do to earn my vote at all. They're that corporate.Delete
You are right. However, when we taught Democrat David Dinkins a lesson by not endorsing him in 1993 we got twenty years of Republican rule in NYC. It didn't help us. I would never consider a Cuomo endorsement but let's be careful what we wish for.ReplyDelete
Isn't that a little bit like voting for the lesser of two evils in the presidential race--twice? Where did that get us?Delete
It got us NCLB waivers that forced states to tie teacher evaluations to test scores and adopt "college and career readiness" standards (a la the CCSS.) Not to mention all the Bush-Lite policies in the foreign sphere, like drone murders, illegal surveillance, etc.Delete
Are we starting Teachers for Astorino?ReplyDelete
Can it be worse than a Teachers for Cuomo? I'm all in.Delete
I made this same argument last time around - that Crazy Carl would have been a better governor for us because little he tried to get through the legislature would make it. There used to be some Daily Kossack dude who would come by arguing how the corporate Dem was better than the crazy Repub. After the union-busting, the tax cap, the millionaires tax stuff, the education stuff, that guy stopped coming by and touting up the Dem over the Repub. Funny how that happened.Delete
Maybe we need to look at a Green Party candidate. Republicans hate us that's a known fact. Democrats pretend to like us that's their m.o.ReplyDelete
So it might be time to go "green".
I voted Green in the last presidential election. And I'll do it again and again in every election where there is a corporate Dem and a third party on the left that is available to vote for.Delete
I think it's time to go "Green" also.ReplyDelete
Definitely time to go "Green". Personally I would love to see Astorino take down the smug Cuomo, but I still couldn't bring myself to vote for someone with Astorino's policies. A silver lining here is that a weakened Cuomo (who at least for now can't afford to directly attack unions) might think twice before sticking his nose in our contract negotiations, which as of two weeks ago I thought he surely planned to do.ReplyDelete
I could vote for Astorino because he will do less damage with a Dem Assembly than Cuomo has done. It's that simple. Do you think Astorino would have been able to ram the charter protections through Shelly like Cuomo was able to? I bet Shelly would have held his ground there because the unions would have held their ground on it. But with Cuomo pushing it, they simply caved.Delete