Via Capital Tonight
The race for NY Governor just got exciting. Today's Q-Poll has Crazy Carl Paladino and Andrew Cuomo neck-and-neck with Cuomo leading 49-43.
Today's Q poll finds GOP gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino has dramatically reduced the double-digit lead long enjoyed by his Democratic opponent, AG Andrew Cuomo, coming within just six percentage points of the once-comfortable frontrunner and turning this contest into a real horse race.
In a head-to-head match-up among likely voters, Cuomo leads Paladino, 49-43. Seven percent of voters are still undecided and 21 percent who said they prefer one candidate to the other said they might yet change their minds before the November election.
Also in the poll, Paladino is a man's man, polling 49-46 among men.
Ok, poll data out of the way. Here is the inside scoop on two meme's.
First is NY Times Nate Silver's point that these polls are including Rick Lazio running under the conservative banner.
Still, there is one clear flaw with this poll, which is that it did not include an option for Mr. Lazio, who – even as he lost to Mr. Paladino among Republicans — won the Conservative Party's nomination for governor and is expected to remain in the race. The Conservative Party is a big deal here in New York because of fusion voting, which allows multiple parties to endorse the same candidate on the ballot (Mr. Cuomo, for instance, is the nominee of the Democrats, as well as the liberal Working Families' Party). Some voters in New York look toward the endorsements of the Conservative Party and the Working Families' Party when filling out their ballots, and they can sometimes tip the outcome in a race.
This one is a red herring argument and I'm sorry Nate, you understand the term fusion voting, but not how it plays out in this election. Here is why.
The pick of Rick Lazio on the Conservative Party line was purely a political move not an ideological one. A Party's position on the ballot is determined by the party votes in the gubernatorial race, the Conservative Party thought that Lazio would be the Republican candidate so they bet on Lazio. By doing so, they ensure that the Conservative line stays near the top. However, there is no confusion in NY that Carl Paladino is the more conservative candidate, thus the idea that Lazio's Conservative ballot line is going to draw significant conservative votes away from the more conservative candidate is a bridge too far. Still, it could mean the difference in a very close race, but it means little in polling.
The other proof is the Republican primary itself. The fact is that many, myself included, vote the conservative line but are registered Republicans. Thus, many people who normally vote the conservative line were present giving Paladino a landslide victory in the primaries.
The second meme, is that Cuomo's team is completely flummoxed by Crazy Carl. They don't know what to do and every step they take proves it.
Maggie Haberman reports:
The Daily News writes up an account of a meeting with Cuomo yesterday as his team tries to figure out the best line of attack against Paladino:
"If a guy says you have no cojones, how do you punch him back, call him an a--hole?" the Democratic gubernatorial candidate fumed in a secret talk to his team, one insider said.
"We have all this stuff [on Paladino] and we're on the defensive," Cuomo groused, the insider added.
While Cuomo's adviser Ben Lawsky and his communications team of Marissa Shorenstein, Phil Singer and Josh Vlasto listened, the unhappy candidate wondered aloud what Paladino's pit bull campaign manager Michael Caputo would do with similar dirt.
So far, Cuomo's team has stuck largely to an old playbook of identity politics and elevating Paladino's perceived negatives, without doing much more to hang flesh on the bones of the Democrat's own ideas or his public persona.
It's been a decidedly mixed bag - a letter put out by former Mayor Koch, former Republican Sen. Al D'Amato and former state Comptroller Carl McCall got a mixed reception in terms of the message, given that all three are longtime politicians and Cuomo is running as the anti-Albany reformer.
Of course, word of Cuomo wanting to call Paladino 'an a--hole' getting out publicly may have accomplished the Democrat's aim of saying what he wanted through other people, and letting supporters know they're taking Paladino seriously.
However, Paladino and his campaign manager Michael Caputo have been answering every punch with a roundhouse kick, and in their own voices. And as a smart reader noted, a 'war council' meeting, if it really was prompted just by an angry letter, seems like a strong reaction to a pretty simple campaign tactic, while word of the meeting leaking out appears indecisive.
Brace yourselves, hurricane Carl is touching down in NY.