If Governor Andrew Cuomo loses the Democratic Primary in September, sources say that he is likely to run an active campaign on the Independence Party line in the General Election in November. They say that, if Cuomo were to lose the primary, he would sooner endorse a third party candidate than endorse Cynthia Nixon, his Democratic Party primary opponent.
Nixon has not indicated whether she would run an active campaign on the Working Families line in the event she loses the primary, but she intends to win the nomination. The prospect of a four way General Election contest has Albany running amuck with speculation.
It is thought by most observers that such a four way General Election scenario would substantially undermine Cuomo’s ability to prevail with a third term. If the left has an obvious and palatable alternative to Cuomo, it will spit the voting bloc that gave Cuomo (a more conservative leaning Democrat) his first two gubernatorial wins.
Nixon is well liked on the left and among New York City’s activist class. With the monied backing of Hollywood and the not so subtle support of Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s labor-backed political machine, she very well may defeat Cuomo in the primary. His administration has been engulfed in a succession of public corruption scandals related to the administration’s Upstate economic development dealings.
Cuomo won’t have the liberal base of the party cornered — as has been the case in previous election cycles — by virtue of no palatable alternatives being on the ballot.
Joel Giambra (Ref.) is a moderate Republican who will have a substantial base of moderates and Upstate voters. The winner of the Republican primary is likely to be Senator John DeFrancisco, following revelations this week that Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro voted for Hillary Clinton — an act of blasphemy in many corners of the Republican-Conservative party alignment.
Molinaro is the hand picked candidate of Conservative Party boss Mike Long, who has a substantial amount of political clout invested in his candidacy as does Erie County Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy.
With Cuomo embattled on the left with Nixon, in the middle with Giambra, and on the far right with DeFrancisco, most observers see Cuomo’s presumed election victory dissipating quickly. Others argue that a crowded field will advantage the incumbent. For a badly tarnished two-term Governor who finds himself without a particularly deep or defined base of support, the situation has turned considerably more bleak than just a few months ago.
Many activists describe Governor Cuomo’s inability to excite voters in the way that his father once did, with vivid rhetoric and a certain zest of presence that together had the power to command human emotion like music. Even with those skill sets, a New York electorate can grow tired and can be fickle — as his father learned in 1994.