Cuomo Leads Nixon by 36 Points in New York Gubernatorial Poll

(Bloomberg) -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo holds a commanding 36 percentage point lead over progressive challenger Cynthia Nixon in the state’s Democratic primary for governor, a new poll says, in a race that has taken on tones of the national struggle within the party.

Cuomo, the son of a three-term governor who is himself seeking a third term, leads Nixon 59 percent to 23 percent among potential voters, according to a poll out Wednesday from Quinnipiac University. Nixon, an Emmy winner who starred in HBO’s “Sex and the City,” has called Cuomo a "corrupt hypocrite" who doesn’t reflect Democrats’ core values, is beholden to corporate interests, and has let the subway system deteriorate on his watch.

Cuomo enters the final two months of the campaign with a massive fundraising advantage -- $31.1 million in the bank compared to just $660,000 for Nixon, the New York Times reported Tuesday. Still, New York’s voters have recently shown a willingness to shake things up.

Last month Democratic voters in Queens and the Bronx backed 28-year-old progressive activist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over Queens party boss Joe Crowley, a 10-term lawmaker who’d been mentioned as a future House speaker. Ocasio-Cortez, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Nixon have sought to push the party further left and a victory over the more moderate Cuomo would mark arguably the biggest victory in that political movement to date.

Right now, it’s a long shot. New Yorkers "want a gubernatorial candidate with experience in politics over someone new to it," Mary Snow, a Quinnipiac polling analyst, said in a statement announcing the findings. "Democrats, non-white voters and women, in particular, lead the charge in that preference"

Cuomo also has an advantage in the November general election over Republican Marc Molinaro, the Duchess County executive, leading 43 percent to 23 percent in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup. While Nixon has already secured the endorsement of the Working Families Party, and so could appear on the fall ballot even if she loses the Democratic primary, she would only draw 13 percent support in a general election race, the poll found.

Nixon’s campaign said in a statement that the survey of registered voters didn’t capture the sort of voters who turned out in Ocasio-Cortez’s upset win, and they said would show up again in a low-turnout gubernatorial primary on a Thursday in September.

Quinnipiac researchers surveyed 934 New York voters between July 12 and July 16 for the survey. It has an error margin of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

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