New York voters are going to the polls today to vote in the state’s primaries. CNN reports that today’s vote represents a big opportunity for progressives to strike a final blow in unseating Democratic incumbents nationwide.
Cynthia Nixon has launched a campaign to unseat Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo has served two terms in office, and Nixon’s campaign has been met with tough resistance from the Democratic party establishment both locally and nationally.
Nixon is running on a progressive platform that includes universal rent control, single-payer health care, new funding for public schools, and an overhaul of New York City’s subway system — which is state-run. Nixon has attacked Cuomo for not being progressive enough for one of the nation’s bluest states. This past Saturday at a Brooklyn rally, Nixon went on the attack. She stated that she had previously voted for the incumbent given the policies of his dad, the late Governor Mario Cuomo.
“I voted for him eight years ago because I remembered his dad. And because I believed that he was a Democrat, the way he said he was. But what happened? Since he’s taken office, he seems to have forgotten that he’s a Democrat. He’s governed like a Republican.”
NY Governor Democratic Primary:— Fox News Research (@FoxNewsResearch) September 13, 2018
•Andrew Cuomo vs. Cynthia Nixon
→ Cuomo, 60, seeking third term
→ Nixon, a democratic socialist, would be NY's first female and first openly gay governor
→ Cuomo outspent Nixon apx 11-to-1
•Siena Poll (9/4-9/7):
→ Cuomo leads Nixon 63%-22% pic.twitter.com/Vab5dV7g3g
New York progressives fault Cuomo for the state’s failure to pass several laws including protecting abortion rights, the state’s DREAM act, and campaign finance reform.
Cuomo has fought back against Nixon with a paid media blitz throughout the campaign, and by casting himself as a liberal that fights against President Trump. At a recent rally on Long Island, Cuomo addressed voters directly.
“The President says, ‘I’m fighting with Gov. Cuomo but it’s just Gov. Cuomo that I’m fighting with, just Gov. Cuomo — everybody else agrees with me. I want you to come out Thursday and vote for me. And I want, when you fill in that little hole there on that little ballot, I want you to be saying, ‘No, President Trump, it’s not just Andrew who disagrees with you. Every decent New Yorker disagrees with you.'”
Monday’s polls closed with Nixon behind by more than 40 points. Nixon took a hit due to Cuomo’s campaign blitz of TV ads. Prior to that, Nixon was behind by about 20 points, after getting support early on from Working Families Party, followed by Indivisible and local Democratic Socialists of America chapters. Party officials like Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden continue to back Cuomo.
The Atlantic reports that progressives hope that the Nixon/Cuomo race will be another victory for their candidates, following wins by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York City, Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts, and Andrew Gillum in Florida. However, Nixon has struggled to gain support from the state’s black and Latino voters, and state Democrats have qualms about her political inexperience.