Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Oof: Paladino Within Six Points of Cuomo

As the impending GOP tide threatens to consume the Democrats come November 2, we always figured one sure Democrat winner would be Andrew Cuomo in the New York gubernatorial contest. His victory, of course, would be trumpeted loudly on CNN and MSNBC on election night as a sign of a Democrat wave or something, before they got back to crying on national television.

Well, I might have to pull back on that forecast. If Cuomo can't beat Carl Paladino, is any Democrat safe?
Flame-throwing Republican Carl Paladino is within striking distance of overtaking longtime gubernatorial frontrunner Andrew Cuomo, a shocking new poll finds.

Among likely voters, the Democrat Cuomo has a paltry 49% to 43% lead over Paladino, the blowhard Buffalo businessman who won a shocking and decisive victory last week in the GOP primary, the Quinnipiac University poll finds.

Quinnipiac's findings are in stark contrast to a Rasmussen Reports poll released Monday that showed Cuomo with a more robust 54% to 38% lead.

Cuomo "might be a victim of his own excess," Quinnipiac pollster Maurice Carroll said. "Politicians and polls have depicted him so relentlessly as a sure thing that he might be a victim of the 'throw the bums out' attitude that hits incumbents in this angry year."

Neither the Quinnipiac nor the Rasmussen polls included Rick Lazio, who Paladino beat in the Republican primary, but who won a spot on the Conservative line.

Lazio, who many experts believe would draw more votes from Paladino than Cuomo, is deciding whether to remain on the ballot.

In the two-way race between Cuomo and Paladino, Quinnipiac found that Cuomo has strong leads among Democrats and women.

Paladino not only crushes Cuomo among Republicans and those who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement, but he also leads by a 49% to 43% margin among independents - a key voting bloc.

The tough-talking Paladino also leads among men by a 49-46% margin, Quinnipiac found.

Nearly 80% of voters say their minds are made up.

"The question was whether Carl Paladino would get a bounce from his big Republican primary victory," Carroll said. "The answer is yes. He's within shouting distance and - you can count on it - he will be shouting."
While Paladino has flown under the national radar as opposed to Congressional and Senate races involving declared Tea Partiers, his often eccentric and belligerent behavior has begun to attract notice of the drive-by media. As their obsession with Christine O'Donnell wanes, they'll likely move on to the bomb-throwing Paladino and make him the template representative of all things Tea Party. It won't work, but they'll give it their best as ordered by their Democrat bosses.

Oh, and memo to Rick Lazio: Get out now and throw your support to Paladino. At this point it doesn't mean much, but man up and do the right thing.

Consider also that the overwhelmingly Democrat New York State has both senators facing the voters November 2, albeit against token opposition. Yet still Kirsten Gillibrand leads by only 10 points against a virtual unknown. Is it possible a surge for Paladino could endanger Gillibrand?

It's a shame no Republicans of any note stepped up to challenge Chuckie Schumer. Now there would be a nice scalp for the GOP to claim on election night.

One more thing working in favor of Paladino: The douchebag Mayor of New York City will likely be endorsing Cuomo.

Thanks to Instapundit and Hot Air for the links.

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