DemDaily: Sex, The City & Politics

April 17, 2018

Now less than seven months out from the November 6, 2018 elections, some of the Democratic primaries have started to draw the attention of the greater populace, including the New York Governor's race.

The Empire State's two-term Incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing high-profile primary opposition from actress and education activist Cynthia Nixon.

Son of New York's legendary three-term Governor, Mario Cuomo (1983 to 1994), Andrew Cuomo was first elected to the Governor's mansion in 2010 with 63%.  He previously served as the state's Attorney General (2006-2010) and, from 1997 to 2001 as the  U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Bill Clinton.

Re-elected in 2014 with 54%, Cuomo is widely considered to have presidential ambitions, and is on any list of 2020 contenders.

Despite having legalized same-sex marriage and enacted landmark gun control legislation during his tenure, he is considered a centrist.

In the September 13th Democratic primary, Cuomo will face actress and activist Cynthia Nixon.

Nixon, who is best known for her starring role in the hit series "
Sex In The City" and is a self-proclaimed liberal, announced her candidacy March 19th.  She immediately came out of the gate swinging with attacks on Cuomo as an "insider," a partner in corruption surrounding the city's subway system, and on "backroom deals" with the state's GOP.

Nixon has hired campaign aides close to Mayor de Blasio, a Cuomo detractor, and her treasurer is Zephyr Teachout, who ran and lost against Cuomo in 2014.

Nixon's insurgent campaign received a boost on Saturday when she received the endorsement of New York's Working Families Party, which represents the left wing of the party.  Nixon, a lesbian, is married with three children and has been an increasingly vocal advocate on education issues.

New York Politics
New York is traditionally a blue state, voting to deliver its 29 electoral votes to the Democrat in the last five presidential elections. In the 2016 election Hillary Clinton won 59.01% to Trump's 36.52%.

Democrats have a "triplex" or control of the state's top positions of Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State, but power is divided in the legislature.

Republicans have held the majority in the New York State Senate since 2011, while Democrats have maintained control of the State Assembly.

Polling
An April 8th-12th poll by the Siena Research Institute shows Cuomo with a comfortable lead over Nixon among registered Democrats, 58 % to 27%, in a potential primary matchup.

Cuomo also leads the two major Republican candidates, besting State Senator John DeFrancisco (R-DeWitt) 56% to 32%, and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro 57% to 31%.

The poll also shows that, despite his significant lead, Cuomo may still be vulnerable. About 49% of New York voters now view Cuomo favorably, compared to 44% with an unfavorable view.

New York is one of 36 states with Gubernatorial elections in 2018. 26 of the 33 states with a Republican governor (including 12 open seats), and nine out of the 16 states with a Democratic governor (including four open seats), are up for election.

DemList will keep you informed.

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Kimberly Scott
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Sources: Syracuse.com, Ballotpedia, NewYorkTimes, NewYork Post

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