New York’s Siena College again tested the impending Democratic gubernatorial primary between two-term incumbent Andrew Cuomo and actress Cynthia Nixon. According to the Siena data, the Governor now leads his opponent, 61-26%, which is up a net four points from their previous 58-27% projection released in April. The latest Siena scoring is much better for the Governor than the May Quinnipiac University poll, however. In that latter survey, Gov. Cuomo’s lead was only 50-28% over Ms. Nixon.
New York is the only state in the country that has two separate primaries, one for federal offices (June 26), and another for state (September 13) elected positions. With the Attorney General’s race now open when Eric Schneiderman (D) resigned, a battle is ensuing in the state Democratic primary. Yesterday, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring/West Point) said he is going to enter both primaries. In June, he will seek re-nomination for his US House seat. Come September, he will run for the statewide Democratic Attorney General’s nomination. Should he win both, Mr. Maloney says he will withdraw from the congressional race. This would force the local party to name a replacement with only about seven weeks to go in the general election.
This developing situation is worth watching. Orange County Legislator and retired state police commander James O’Donnell is unopposed for the 18th District Republican congressional ballot line, and also has won the Conservative Party and Reform Party endorsements. Should Maloney win statewide, Mr. O’Donnell’s candidacy will immediately become more valuable.
In the Attorney General’s Democratic primary, Rep. Maloney is facing New York City Public Advocate Tish James, former gubernatorial aide and Lt. Governor candidate Leecia Eve, and frequent candidate Zephyr Teachout, a law school professor.
A new Siena College survey (5/29-6/3; 513 NY-11 likely Republican primary voters) turns in a surprising result. Their data projects former US Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island) to be leading incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan (R-Staten Island) by a substantial 47-37% margin. Mr. Grimm was elected to three terms in the House, resigning at the beginning of his third because of a federal tax fraud conviction. Mr. Grimm would then serve eight months in federal prison. After his release, he began campaigning to regain the seat he was forced to relinquish. Rep. Donovan, a former Staten Island District Attorney, won the special election to replace Mr. Grimm in 2015, and then won a 57-34% general election victory for the full term. The New York federal primary is June 26th.
New York is the only state in the nation to hold two primaries: one for federal offices (Jun 26), and one for state positions (Sept 13th). Therefore, it is possible for a candidate to run for Congress in June and, if defeated, turnaround and run for state office. Though Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring/West Point) is in no danger for re-nomination in his US House seat, he is publicly toying with the idea of running for state Attorney General since the forced resignation of Eric Schneiderman (D) has created an open seat contest.
Should Rep. Maloney decide to run for AG after being re-nominated on June 26th – the state candidates’ filing deadline is July 12th – then he would have to withdraw from the congressional race and allow the local district party committee, comprised of two full counties (Orange and Putnam) and two partial ones (Dutchess and Westchester) to choose another nominee for the general election. Rep. Maloney says he will make a decision about the open AG’s race on or before June 6th.
Quinnipiac University (4/26-5/1; 1,076 NY registered voters; 473 Democratic likely primary voters) tested the formulating Democratic gubernatorial primary race between two-term incumbent Andrew Cuomo and actress Cynthia Nixon. For the third time, a poll finds Gov. Cuomo comfortably leading the intra-party contest, but not overwhelmingly so. According to the Q-Poll, the Governor’s re-nomination margin is 50-28%, which is actually more competitive than found in the two earlier polls.
The survey results are providing signs that this developing campaign will be one to watch. The New York state office primary is scheduled for September 13th. The NY federal primary, which will determine US Senate and House nominees, occurs on June 26th.
Despite Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) not yet scheduling the special election to replace the late Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-Rochester), one candidate’s internal survey was released late last week.
Former news reporter Rachel Barnhart (D) publicized her Democratic primary poll (Gravis Marketing; released 4/26; 599 NY-25 Democratic registered voters; 410 likely voters) that projects state Assembly Deputy Majority Leader Joe Morelle (D-Rochester) to be leading the field with 36% followed by Ms. Barnhart at 21 percent. Rochester City Councilman Adam McFadden and Brighton Town Board Member Robin Witt follow with 10 and 7%, respectively. The Republicans are coalescing behind surgeon James Maxwell. The eventual Democratic nominee will be a heavy favorite to succeed Rep. Slaughter when the election is ultimately scheduled.
Yesterday, we reported that the liberal Working Families Party officially endorsed actress Cynthia Nixon in her quest to unseat Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). While she is running in the Democratic primary, the Working Families line will provide her guaranteed ballot placement in the general election. Under New York election law, parties can cross-endorse individual candidates. Therefore, an individual’s name commonly appears on more than one ballot line.
Siena College released its latest New York survey (4/8-12; 692 NY registered voters) and finds Gov. Cuomo leading Ms. Nixon by a 58-27% count. While this obviously is a big lead, the margin is somewhat less than expected. In the Upstate areas outside of New York City, the spread is an even smaller 48-37%, which is offset by the poll’s reported 3:1 advantage the Governor has in the City.
It appears actress Cynthia Nixon is in for the long haul. Last month, she announced her Democratic primary challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and over the weekend she received the Working Families Party endorsement. The WFP is heavily backed by organized labor and, in fact, two pro-Cuomo unions left the WFP after the delegates’ weekend action.
Though this is a minor party that in most states would not be much of a factor, New York is different. Here, parties can cross-endorse candidates meaning the same contender will appear multiple times on the same ballot representing different political parties. At the end of the process, all of the candidates’ votes are melded and then counted as an aggregate number to determine the election outcome.
While Ms. Nixon has little chance of upending Gov. Cuomo, her Working Families Party endorsement means that she will appear on the general election ballot even after losing the Democratic primary. There is little for Gov. Cuomo to worry about from an electoral standpoint, but Ms. Nixon’s presence in the race all the way to November could make what should be a dull campaign much more interesting.
Actress Cynthia Nixon drew a great deal of media attention in mid-March when she announced her Democratic primary challenge to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but the first released public data indicates she has a long way to go in becoming a serious contender. Two polls, from Marist College and the Remington Research Group using different survey technologies, project the Governor holding possibly insurmountable leads.
Marist (4/3-9; 697 NY registered voters) finds Governor Cuomo topping Ms. Nixon by a landslide 47 points, 68-21%. Remington Research (4/7-8; 2,038 NY likely Democratic primary voters via interactive voice response device) sees bit closer spread, but one that is more than formidable, at 60-20%. Gov. Cuomo is favored to win the Democratic primary and the November general election in order to secure a third term in office.
After originally saying she would not run for Congress this year, apparently Juanita Perez Williams, a former attorney for the city of Syracuse and ex-Navy JAG officer who fared badly in the last Syracuse Mayor’s race (losing 54-38% to Republican Ben Walsh), is circulating petitions to qualify for the ballot.
In order to advance to the general election and face two-term Rep. John Katko (R-Syracuse), she will have to get past Dana Balter, the local Democratic Party endorsed candidate for the June 26th federal primary, however. Ms. Williams was a top recruitment target for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) after the party leadership failed to convince former Mayor Stephanie Miner to run. Though the 24th CD leans Democratic, Rep. Katko has put up a pair of strong 58% victories in his two elections to the House.
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