Cuomo vs. Paladino -- stop the landslide?

cuomo and paladino

For what seems like forever now, the conventional wisdom has been that Andrew Cuomo will cruise to an easy win in the race for governor. And the poll data backed up this view.

Until now. (With a caveat.)

A Quinnipiac poll out today of likely voters reports that Cuomo leads Carl Paladino by just 6 points, 49-43 (margin of error 3.6). And Paladino leads Cuomo among independents, 49-43.

These results are quite a contrast to other poll results. A Rasmussen poll out earlier this week reported Cuomo was up 54-38. And in mid-August, the Siena poll reported that Cuomo was ahead of both Lazio and Paladino by more than 30 points in hypothetical matchups.

It's not surprising that Paladino has gotten a bump after all the attention from winning the Republican primary -- there were people who probably didn't know, or only vaguely knew, who he was before that.

But here's the caveat to today's Q poll: it doesn't include Rick Lazio (nor did the Rasmussen poll). And, so far at least, Lazio is still in the race on the Conservative Party line. And if he stays in, you gotta think he's going to draw votes that would otherwise go to Paladino.

Political stat nerd Nate Silver tweeted today that leaving Lazio out of the poll was "pretty clearly wrong." As of yesterday, Silver's model was forecasting Cuomo had an almost 97 percent chance of winning the governorship. But the model has its own caveats -- among them, it was based on the mid-August Siena poll.

So take all these numbers with a grain or two of salt. There are 41 more days until Election Day.

Cuomo photo: Cuomo campaign Facebook | Paladino photo: Paladino campaign Facebook


To AOA:Please conduct a poll on this question.

Who would you rather drink a beer with?
A. Cuomo B. Paladino

The results to such a webpoll would be worthy of press release.

One take-away from this poll, which surveyed “likely voters,” seems to be that Cuomo’s success will hinge on Democrats turning out at the polls on November 2.

I would be surprised if Lazio stays in the race, even for a weasel like him he's got to understand that he should step aside.

These polls rarely include so-called "third party" candidates. I think what we're seeing here is a backlash to the attitude that Cuomo will and should win in a landslide no matter his views or policies on anything.
If these polls included information about Howie Hawkins, for example, I would bet he would "take away votes" from Palladino (though according to Democrats Green party candidates only "take votes" from their candidates).

There are some pretty insightful comments on the 538 entry about this, with detail on exactly why Lazio being on the ballot as the Conservative Party candidate is important. I highly suggest anyone interested read it; unlike most political blogs, the comments there are really solid. Kind of like AOA, but a little less witty.

As I see it, for all the noise being made in the upstate region of the state, Palladino has to convince voters in Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk and Erie counties that he's a viable candidate and worth voting for.

The other issue to consider is that the election is six weeks away. That's a long time. And in the days and weeks ahead we will see what colorful language and proposals come from him.

In any event, Nelson Rockefeller is likely spinning in his grave...

neither of them should be governor because something is not right with them

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