September 27, 2010

Paladino (R) vs. Cuomo (D) - Steel-Cage Death Match, Loser Leaves Town!

Hatched by Dafydd

In this follow-up to a follow-up, we have one new and very welcome piece of news on the New York governor's race. Our two previous posts on this topic are here:

In our second post above, I included this mini-prediction:

And despite the possibility that Rick Lazio could run as a third-party Conservative -- which I doubt, actually, if it looks like it would throw the race to Cuomo -- the Quinnipiac poll found only 1% of respondents saying they planned to vote for someone other than Cuomo or Paladino in the election; so it's a two-man race.

Well now it's officially a two-man race (aside from fourth-party loony-tunes), as Rick Lazio has bowed out of the race for exactly the reason we predicted:

Lazio, who lost the Republican primary to Paladino, said at a Manhattan news conference today that staying on the ticket made a Cuomo win more likely....

“While my heart beckons me forward, my head tells me that my continued presence on the Conservative line would simply lead to the election of Andrew Cuomo and the continuation of an entrenched political machine,” Lazio said.

Instead, Lazio will accept a nomination to the New York Supreme Court -- which is what most states would refer to as Superior, District, or Circuit Courts, since it's an ordinary trial court. (What the rest of us call a Supreme Court in that state would be the New York Court of Appeals.) Evidently, this is one of the few ways he can actually force his own removal from the ballot.

He had been representing the Conservative ballot line; historically, Republicans rarely get elected statewide in New York if they don't represent both the Republican and Conservative lines; and the Chairman of the Conservative Party of New York, Michael Long, really hates Carl Paladino:

As recently as last week, however, Long intimated he'd rather lose the governor's race than see Tea Party Paladino win it, slamming the WNY businessman's "hateful rhetoric" and praising Lazio's intention to tackle an "out-of-control" Legislature.

During their meeting, Long, Lazio and Paladino discussed "the right way to do this. Carl wanted Rick's support, and Rick wanted Carl to stay focused on the issues about what's wrong with Albany and leave out the personal attacks," the second source told Lovett.

However, Long appears to have come to his senses. In the Bloomberg story linked above, he says:

Lazio, who lost the Republican primary to Paladino, said at a Manhattan news conference today that staying on the ticket made a Cuomo win more likely. The Conservative Party will probably vote to nominate Paladino on Sept. 29, Chairman Michael Long said.

“If there’s anything that all conservatives are in agreement on, it’s that Andrew Cuomo should not be the next governor,” Long said in an interview.

Long said he intends to campaign for Paladino, and the party will nominate Lazio for a judgeship.

On the polling front, Cuomo still leads Paladino by a wide margin; but on the other hand, a second nationally respected pollster, SurveyUSA, joins Quinnipiac in showing Cuomo below the magical 50% level, indicating the Man Who Would Inherit the Governor's Mansion still hasn't closed the deal with New York voters.

Keep watching the skies, and let's see how much of Lazio's Conservative support Paladino picks up over the next couple of weeks.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 27, 2010, at the time of 5:38 PM

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