From the NY Times, “Cuomo, Up for 2nd Term, Tries to Steer G.O.P. as It Picks His Rival“:
“Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has raised an imposing $33 million, is riding high in the opinion polls and is expected to cruise to a second term this November. But for a political tactician as restless as Mr. Cuomo, a nearly foregone conclusion is not good enough …”
Those opinion polls are biased and do not accurately reflect public opinion. While I do give Cuomo the edge, I also believe he can be defeated this fall.
“… Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, is taking the unusual step of involving himself in the selection of his challenger, telling some top Republicans that they should be leery of nominating Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive, who is expected to announce his candidacy soon …”
It’s not that unusual a step for a one party to mess with another party’s candidates. It goes on all the time in New York.
“… People with knowledge of the conversations have offered differing explanations for the governor’s motives. Some think he is simply trying to muddle the Republican race in hopes of gaining a stronger margin of victory when he seeks re-election in November. Others suspect that Mr. Cuomo may view the ambitious Mr. Astorino, who won re-election last year in the heavily Democratic suburbs north of New York City, as a more capable rival than he is letting on …”
I’m going with the later.
“… A third explanation, however, is full of palace intrigue: A number of people who have spoken to Mr. Cuomo say he also has expressed his desire to ensure that his eventual opponent is not far to the right on social issues. This, he has argued, could alienate moderate Republicans and other voters so much that Republican candidates for the State Senate could suffer too, potentially costing Republicans control of the chamber …”
I do believe Cuomo wants to keep the Republicans in more or less control of the Senate mostly because so many of the Senate Democrats are thugs, crooks and crackpots.
“… In Mr. Cuomo’s conversations with Republicans, officials say, the governor has specifically warned that he would campaign hard against Mr. Astorino, painting him as a hard-line conservative — by highlighting his opposition to same-sex marriage, abortion rights and strict gun laws approved last year …”
Do it. Gun control has been a big stinker for Cuomo. That is why he devoted only two sentences on the topic in last month’s State of the State. Nobody can seriously argue it has been a political plus for him.
“… “He’s told me that if Astorino runs, he is going to pound the hell out of him and talk about guns and gays, and it won’t be pretty and will hurt all of us,” said a Republican senator who asked not to be named …”
This is one of the Long Island RINOs talking.
“… Some Republicans say that in making a case against Mr. Astorino, Mr. Cuomo is also trying to undermine a potential challenger. Mr. Astorino, they say, has built a reputation for fiscal belt-tightening in wealthy Westchester, where Democratic voters outnumber Republicans two to one — roughly the same as the electorate statewide. Democrats portrayed Mr. Astorino as a right-wing Tea Party extremist last year, but he campaigned on holding down taxes and easily defeated his Democratic opponent …”
This is what Cuomo is really worried about.
“… In addition to offering his commentary on Mr. Astorino, Mr. Cuomo has also tried to woo Republican donors and others who might be inclined to support a Republican. Last month, and on Monday, the governor talked up his record to business leaders at the Harvard Club in Manhattan …“The room was filled with the kind of people you need to run a successful race statewide,” said Michael McKeon, who helped organize the two gatherings. Mr. McKeon, who served as a top aide to the state’s last Republican governor, George E. Pataki, also recruited Republican support for Mr. Cuomo when he ran for governor in 2010 …”
These are the last people any Republican candidate needs to associate with. They’re a bunch of wealthy RINOs who deserve a lot of credit for helping to run the NY GOP into the ground.
“… A number of top Republicans said they have decided to back Mr. Astorino regardless of Mr. Cuomo’s wishes …”
The rest are spineless jellyfish.
“… A spokesman for the Senate Republicans, Scott Reif, said they planned to focus their re-election campaigns on subjects like job creation and tax cuts more so than social issues …”
Two issues which they’ve done absolutely nothing about to distinguish themselves from Cuomo and the NYC Democrats. They are setting themselves up for failure.