New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds a wide lead over his Republican gubernatorial challenger even as the governor's job-performance rating has fallen back to its lowest point since taking office, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist College poll.In the first public poll since the Sept. 9 Democratic primary, the governor holds a 25-point margin in the race among likely voters, with 54% of poll respondents supporting Mr. Cuomo. The Republican, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, pulls 29% and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins gets 9%.Among registered voters, Mr. Cuomo maintains a 54% to 26% lead over Mr. Astorino, versus 54% to 23% among that group the last time the poll was conducted, in August.
But all is not well in Camp Cuomo:
The governor's job-approval rating fell to 42%, from 47% in August. Mr. Cuomo's rating stood at 42% in March but had climbed to 48% in the intervening months.Mr. Miringoff attributed the decline not to any particular aspect of Mr. Cuomo's policies or management, but to voters' displeasure with their perceived lack of progress in the state as a whole. Half of respondents believe the state is moving in the wrong direction, the poll found, up from 45% in August, and 57% believe New York is in a recession.But, Mr. Miringoff added, "his approval rating isn't converting into votes for Astorino."
Astorino's not winning this election - he's outgunned financially, Cuomo has been hammering him for months now with negative ads and he's not getting any help from his fellow Republicans (GOPer's in the legislature have mostly stayed on the sidelines in the contest and Chris Christie, the head of the National Governors Association, seems to be supporting Cuomo since he refuses to back Astorino with any money and keeps holding press conferences with Cuomo.)
So barring a pre-election indictment or some other major scandal, I don't see how Astorino comes even close to winning the election.
But Cuomo is not winning this election because he's some widely popular figure or people in the state think things are going swimmingly.
He's winning because he's the incumbent, Democrats have wide majority in the voter rolls, and he's been savvy enough to hammer Astorino for a while and make sure he can't win a two man race.
Oh - and he was especially savvy enough to make sure this two-man race didn't become a two-man and one-woman race.
Had Zephyr Teachout gotten the Working Families Party nod and been running against him from the left this November, then Cuomo would have had some trouble.
Alas, "progressive" Bill de Blasio and the heads of the five families, er, unions, made sure that didn't happen, so Cuomo will breeze to re-election.
The goal in my view is to continue to bang him up this election season the way he was banged up during the primary in order to weaken him as much as possible for the second term.
With a criminal investigation of his administration over Moreland still hanging over his head and with a lot of Albany people behind the scenes looking to stick it to him, Cuomo can be weakened to such a point that he won't be able to shove through his corporatist agenda this second term the way he did his first.
And remember, there's still a shot that the US attorney's Moreland investigation goes horribly wrong for Cuomo.
In the end, barring something unforeseen at this point, Cuomo's going to win re-election, but his power has waned considerably since he first was elected and now it's important for those in the opposition to weaken him even more.