Defying polls, Nixon looks to upset Cuomo in NY gov primary


ALBANY, N.Y. — Polls may show her far behind New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Thursday’s Democratic primary, but Cynthia Nixon says she knows something that Cuomo and the pollsters don’t.

There’s a movement, she says, of left-leaning voters tired of piecemeal progress on crumbling subways, political corruption and income inequality. She points to recent upset primary wins in New York, Florida and Massachusetts as proof that pundits can get it wrong, and that she has a shot at leading the nation’s fourth-largest state.

“We need fundamental change. That has come from a groundswell from the people,” the longtime activist and former “Sex and the City” star said on public radio Tuesday. “Don’t believe the polls, don’t believe the hype. We have a chance to strike a blow for real progressives.”

Cuomo, for one, takes the threat seriously. Four years ago he largely ignored primary challenger Zephyr Teachout, refusing even to shake her hand, and lost a third of the vote. This year he’s spent millions on ads, marshalled key endorsements and, intentionally or not, moved to the left on issues such as legalizing marijuana, banning plastic bags, returning voting rights to former inmates and addressing conditions in New York City public housing.

His campaign has dismissed Nixon as a dilettante while Cuomo has tried to make the race about President Donald Trump.

“I am the most aggressive governor in the United States of America in taking him on,” he said in a campaign speech Monday in Syracuse that didn’t include one mention of Nixon’s name. “This Thursday the 13th, we’re going to make it an unlucky day for Donald Trump… let’s fight back and let’s show him that his nonsense doesn’t sell here.”

The winner of the primary will face Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, an independent, in the November general election.

Throughout the campaign, Nixon has hammered Cuomo for not investing enough in New York City’s beleaguered transit system, for not addressing political corruption and for failing to deliver on economic development promises upstate.

Yet in the final weeks of the campaign Cuomo himself turned out to be one of his campaign’s biggest liabilities.

He was mocked for saying America “was never that great” during remarks criticizing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

He invited Hillary Clinton to a celebratory opening of the final span of the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge over the Hudson — only to keep the bridge closed after engineers warned that pieces from the largely disassembled Tappan Zee Bridge could hit the new bridge.

Cuomo also claimed to have no knowledge of a Democratic Party mailer that questioned Nixon’s support for Jewish people — despite Cuomo’s control of the party and a recent $2.5 million contribution to its campaign operations. Party Director Geoff Berman later said the mailer was a mistake, and Cuomo’s spokeswoman acknowledged that a Cuomo campaign worker was behind the piece.

Still, the most recent poll on the race shows Cuomo has only widened his lead. A Siena College …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News

      

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