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Politics

The Race to Albany

Across the United States, many local, state and federal elections will be taking place come Nov. 6.  One of these races includes the gubernatorial race in New York State.  According to ballotpedia.org, New York is one of 36 states that is holding a gubernatorial election in 2018.

In this race, there have been many candidates across the political spectrum.  Current New York State governor, Andrew Cuomo, is running on the Democratic ticket after defeating Democratic Socialist and “Sex and the City” star, Cynthia Nixon, in the Sept. 13 primary.  On the Republican ballot, Dutchess County Executive, Marcus Molinaro, is running to unseat Andrew Cuomo.  Aside from the two main parties, there are multiple candidates running on third-party tickets.  According to AMNewYork, there are three third-party candidates. Running on the Independent Party ticket, one candidate is former Syracuse mayor, Stephanie Miner. On the Green Party ticket, Howie Hawkins is running.  The most well-known, third-party candidate is New York businessman and Marine Corps veteran,  Larry Sharpe, who is running on the Libertarian Party ticket.

Being a two-term governor hoping to secure a third term, Governor Andrew Cuomo has a huge advantage over his opponents.  The Cuomos are also a politically active family.  Andrew Cuomo’s father, Mario Cuomo, served as New York’s governor from 1983-1994.  Also, Chris Cuomo, the brother of Andrew Cuomo, has his own nighttime talk show, “Cuomo Prime Time” on CNN.

Andrew Cuomo has had his name branded even before he launched his political career.  On his side, he has a large sum of campaign funds.  According to the New York Times, Governor Andrew Cuomo has $9.2 million in campaign funds compared to Marc Molinaro’s $210,000.  All of the third-party candidates have less than $50,000 on hand.

Unfortunately for Marc Molinaro, the New York State GOP is more concerned about funding the State Senate elections, of which the Republicans only hold a majority by one seat.  According to the New York Times, a blue wave movement and a large number of Republican state senators who are retiring have the New York State GOP more concerned about senate elections.

Although Andrew Cuomo won the Democratic primary against Cynthia Nixon by a large margin, he had to further shift his political ideology to the left to gain more support from self-proclaimed Democrats.

Marc Molinaro, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary, attacked Cuomo on some of his weaker spots, including the failing subway system in New York City and a disparity in educational funding between lower-class schools and upper-class schools.

Unfortunately for Molinaro, he is not a well-known political figure in New York State.  However, he was able to appear on Fox News before the primaries, discussing Cuomo’s comment that “America was never that great,” responding to President Donald Trump’s signature label.  Molinaro went on Fox News, demanding that Governor Cuomo apologize for his words and to take back what he said.

However, Molinaro might have a little bit of leverage in this race.  Republican voters tend to turn out in larger numbers in gubernatorial election years while Democratic voters tend to show up to the polls in larger numbers in presidential election years, as noted on Spectrum News.

With every seat in the House of Representatives and 1/3 of the Senate up for re-election at the federal level, it is possible that more Democratic voters could turn up at the polls, offsetting an increase in Republican voters.

A Siena College poll taken Oct. 1 shows Cuomo leading with 58 percent of potential voters with Molinaro trailing behind with 28 percent of potential voters.  Third party candidates, which include Sharpe, Hawkins, and Miner have 2 percent, 1 percent and 1 percent of potential voters respectively, according to ballotpedia.org.

Come Nov. 6, it appears that Governor Cuomo will secure a third term.  Anything could change, though, in our current political climate.

Photo Credit: Mike Segar via Reuters