Cuomo for governor

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Andrew Cuomo Gathers With Supporters On Election NightRob Astorino seems like a decent guy. He is the Executive of Westchester County. That may make him seem a little too close to the city for most upstate residents, but Andrew Cuomo was born in Queens and is a product of the city itself.

If Astorino were to win at this point it would represent a political earthquake far larger than when George Pataki defeated the present governor’s father. It would change what is expected to be a fairly bleak night for Democrats into a catastrophe. It would probably provoke some major rethinking by the Democrats, and possibly by the GOP as well. It would change the political world.

Astorino is not going to win. Polls which show Cuomo with a 20 point lead may be overstating things – it is closer to ten points among those certain to vote – but Andrew Cuomo is going to be reelected. 

On balance, that’s a good thing for New York, America and the Democratic Party. If you want to prevent partisan Democrats from controlling every lever of power in Albany, the best route is to elect Republicans to state legislature positions – in particular giving back to the GOP full control of the State Senate. Even leading Democrats seemed to welcome the end of Democratic control of the Senate. Stephanie Miner, Cuomo’s appointee as co-chair of the State Party described the current power-sharing arrangement between Republicans and Independent Democrats as “a pathway out of dysfunction”. 

Cuomo’s reelection will reinforce his position as one of the leading figures in the Democratic Party. California Governor, Jerry Brown, has already run for president three times, and is not going to do so again. Democrats will probably lose control of the US Senate. The House is already in Republican hands and the president is not running for office again. Leadership of the party will devolve to the governors, with Cuomo as the most prominent among them. He is home-state governor for candidate-presumptive, Hillary Clinton, and if she decides not to run he will smoothly inherit much of her campaign team. 

Cuomo’s influence in his party has been, and will remain, positive. He is a moderate, pro-business Democrat. Such figures are sufficiently rare – especially in the increasingly liberal North East – that his, probably decisive, reelection will embolden other moderates. 

Cuomo has been willing to enrage both conservatives and liberals when necessary to deliver the reforms in which he believes. He can twist arms and manage a divided legislature in support of such policies as gun control and gay marriage. He is willing to fight for charter schools and to revoke the privileges of the government unions, which wield so much power in his party. 

Liberals may regard him as unprincipled, but it is difficult to see what is in it for him to fight the unions. It led to a significant revolt against him within his own party and to the New York Times refusing to endorse him in his primary campaign. He has made many enemies for himself and I can only conclude that he has done so because he believes these policies are right for the state. 

Cuomo is right more often than he is wrong, and better equipped to deliver sensible policies than his opponents This column endorses him for reelection, but urges a Republican vote for State Senate.

 qlQuentin Langley is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Bedfordshire Business School as well as a freelance columnist published in the UK and all parts of the US. He blogs on social media and crisis communications at brandjacknews.com

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