Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Poll Shows Paladino Closing On Cuomo

This is certainly unexpected news for the Cuomo campaign, which had seen itself coasting to an easy victory in November. Carl Paladino has closed the gap according to a Quinnipiac poll among likely voters.
According to a poll released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University, voters surveyed prefer Cuomo over Paladino 49 to 43 percent. In previous polls, Cuomo has led by 20 points or more.
“The question was whether Carl Paladino would get a bounce from his big Republican primary victory. The answer is yes,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “He’s within shouting distance and – you can count on it – he will be shouting.”
The poll found that Cuomo’s job approval in his current position as attorney general remains high — 67 percent — and that 51 percent of voters view him favorably, compared to just 36 percent for Paladino.
The two men have traded barbs this week. Paladino’s campaign sent Cuomo a letter questioning if he had “the manhood” to debate Paladino, and on Friday released a flier depicting Cuomo in the shower, washing mud from the waist-up vision of his naked body. The Democratic State Committee responded with a flier showing Paladino as a pig.
Quinnipiac 092210 NY GOV + BP That compares to a Rassmussen poll that showed Cuomo comfortably in the lead (54/38 in a phone poll. Rassmussen still calls the race as solid Democrat.

Paladino appears to have gotten a bounce from his win in the GOP primary against another lackluster GOP handpicked candidate - Rick Lazio, but I would be wary of thinking that this will somehow extend to a GOP/Tea Party win in November in New York.

It would take a tremendous showing by the GOP and independents to overcome a strong Democratic voter advantage. Thus far, Democrats don't seem willing to give Paladino a chance, and independents are only slightly more willing.

Paladino has previously graced these pages claiming that the state should use eminent domain to stop the Cordoba House project near Ground Zero and has also been known to send inappropriate emails containing racist and bigoted messages.

Paladino is right that the economy in the state is a mess, but I doubt that Paladino has any solutions for the problem - he's too busy calling out Cuomo on his manhood and turning the campaign into a street fight, and Cuomo's political allies at the state party are more than willing to do Cuomo's fighting for him.

The state needs positive messages about how the prospective leaders will deal with a dysfunctional state government, out of control spending, and a legislature and political culture that is rife with graft and corruption. That message isn't forthcoming.

Paladino says that he wants to challenge Cuomo to debates. Cuomo has said that he and his team would need to work out the details. No doubt, if there is a debate, it would be entertaining with the mudslinging and potentials for quote-worthy comments. Given that Cuomo has learned from his prior political experience to do more with less, and Paladino's inability to know when to turn off the verbal spigot, it would be a contrast in styles to say the least.

It's clear that Paladino lacks the tone and tenor of another independent/GOP candidate from recent history, Tom Golisano (who it should be noted failed to win in his electoral efforts). Some folks think that Paladino's style reminds them of Eliot Spitzer, but I don't see that. Paladino is far more bombastic than Spitzer ever was (and Spitzer ended up flaming out in a sex scandal).

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