New York is a dark blue Democratic state. That helps explain why no Republican has won an election statewide since Governor George Pataki’s election to a third term in 2002.
However, there is a possibility that this year’s Republican-Conservative gubernatorial candidate, Duchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, could make the election a real horse race or pull off an upset victory.
Before you dismiss my thesis give me a chance to explain.
Andrew Cuomo is not very popular with rank-and-file Democrats and extreme leftists.
He’s viewed as a pol who stands for nothing except holding onto power. Party regulars perceive him as a bully and a control freak. He treats them like dirt and they know he will throw them over the side if they get in his way or dare to disagree.
Leftists consider Cuomo a political chameleon and they don’t trust him. They also believe his administration has been corrupt; that he is owned by oligarchs who finance his campaigns.
Four years ago, Cuomo’s far left primary challengers, Zephyr Teachout and Randy Credico, received 192,210 votes and 20,760 votes, respectfully, for a total of 37.08 percent. Cuomo’s 361,380 votes totaled 62.92 percent.
That November, Cuomo won with 52.73 percent of the vote versus Republican-Conservative Rob Astorino’s 39.16 percent. The leftist Green and Sapient minor parties received 189,382 (4.86 percent).
I think it’s fair to say that most of Teachout’s supporters, unable to bring themselves to vote for Cuomo, cast their ballots for the minor party candidates.
Cuomo’s primary challenger this year, Cynthia Nixon, received a percentage of votes close to Teachout’s in 2014, 34.4 percent. However, the votes she received, 512,585, were more than double Teachout’s total.
Obviously, a lot more Democrats are tired of Cuomo or fed up with him.
If all these dissident Democrats vote for either the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins or the Independent candidate, Stephanie Minor — the former mayor of Syracuse and Co-Chairman of the State Democratic Party — then Cuomo’s total could be down another 300,000 votes.
Assuming the off-year election turnout is roughly the same as 2014, then the best-case scenario for the governor could look like this: Cuomo, 46.4 percent of the votes cast; Molinaro, 40.3 percent; and the Minor Parties, 13.1 percent.
The worst-case scenario for Cuomo: Molinaro beats him by a small plurality.
Leftists punishing Cuomo at the polls helps Molinaro. But that’s not enough for him to win. He must rally economically-distressed upstaters who Cuomo has failed to help, particularly pro-fracking voters, to come out in force for him. And he must get suburbanites angry over high taxes to flock to the polls for him by stressing he will make the 2 percent cap on local municipal and school district taxes permanent.
On Tuesday, November 6, I’ll be voting for Marc Molinaro for a number of reasons.
He has been a competent County Executive and has proven to be a fiscal conservative. He knows firsthand the burden unfunded state mandates place on county governments and its overburdened taxpayers, and he is committed to eliminating them.
His scandal-free record in public service positions him to take on Albany’s culture of corruption and to fight for genuine ethics reform.
He would also end Cuomo’s crony capitalism giveaways that have cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars on failed investments and have led to convictions of the governor’s closest political pals.
Readers should know that Molinaro did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016; but neither did I, so I don’t hold that against him.
Molinaro is certainly a dark horse and the odds on him winning are slim. But stranger things have happened.
And even if Molinaro falls short, if he and the minor party leftist candidates keep Cuomo’s total under 50 percent of the vote — that could kill Cuomo’s presidential aspirations. A candidate who can’t get a majority of the votes in his home state can’t be expected to get majority support from the nation at large.
Think about it.
George J. Marlin, a former executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is the author of "The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact," and "Christian Persecutions in the Middle East: A 21st Century Tragedy." He is chairman of Aid to the Church in Need-USA. Mr. Marlin also writes for TheCatholicThing.org and the Long Island Business News. To read more George J. Marlin — Click Here Now.
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