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A Surprisingly Weak Primary Victory for Andrew Cuomo

andrew cuomo

Any dreams of becoming President have been significantly curtailed

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) won his primary and will very likely go on to win re-election as governor, but it was an ugly victory. With 98.3 percent of precincts reporting Cuomo took 62.1 percent of the primary vote compared to 34.2 percent for his main opponent Zephyr Teachout, who ran to his left. That may seem like a decent margin but it is actually a very weak performance by historical standards for an incumbent governor.

It looks even worse when you consider the context. Cuomo had the advantage of incumbency and a campaign war chest which completely dwarfed Teachout’s. This is particularly important in a huge state like New York where it is difficult to reach a large share of the voters without significant campaign spending.

He basically had the full backing of the state Democratic party and even got the active support for Hillary Clinton. Through clever maneuvering and hardball tactics he was able to get the backing of the powerful Working Families Party, cutting off the biggest threat of an organized campaign on his left. Cuomo also successfully denied Teachout significant exposure by avoiding a debate with her.

Cuomo had every advantage an incumbent could have hoped for and still more than a third of Democrats voted against him. It was enough to secure victory tonight, but a big sign of weakness among the Democratic base if he is still thinking about running for higher office one day. Any dreams of becoming President have been significantly curtailed.

CommunityFDL Main Blog

A Surprisingly Weak Primary Victory for Andrew Cuomo

andrew cuomo

Any dreams of becoming President have been significantly curtailed

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) won his primary and will very likely go on to win re-election as governor, but it was an ugly victory. With 98.3 percent of precincts reporting Cuomo took 62.1 percent of the primary vote compared to 34.2 percent for his main opponent Zephyr Teachout, who ran to his left. That may seem like a decent margin but it is actually a very weak performance by historical standards for an incumbent governor.

It looks even worse when you consider the context. Cuomo had the advantage of incumbency and a campaign war chest which completely dwarfed Teachout’s. This is particularly important in a huge state like New York where it is difficult to reach a large share of the voters without significant campaign spending.

He basically had the full backing of the state Democratic party and even got the active support for Hillary Clinton. Through clever maneuvering and hardball tactics he was able to get the backing of the powerful Working Families Party, cutting off the biggest threat of an organized campaign on his left. Cuomo also successfully denied Teachout significant exposure by avoiding a debate with her.

Cuomo had every advantage an incumbent could have hoped for and still more than a third of Democrats voted against him. It was enough to secure victory tonight, but a big sign of weakness among the Democratic base if he is still thinking about running for higher office one day. Any dreams of becoming President have been significantly curtailed.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com

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