If “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon is going to unseat New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a Democratic primary, she has a lot of ground to make up, according to a poll released Monday by Siena College. The new polling data was released the same day that the 51-year-old actress officially entered the race.
The 60-year-old Cuomo, who has been in office since 2011, holds a 66 to 19 percent lead over Nixon, the Siena poll shows. Among self-identified liberals, Cuomo has a 63 to 18 percent lead. Siena says Nixon performs slightly better among younger and upstate Democrats, but she does not have the support of more than 1/4 of either group.
“With an overall 20-19 percent favorability rating – 26-16 percent among Democrats – Cynthia Nixon is far from
a household name in New York, though she is better known than either Molinaro or DeFrancisco,” Siena pollster pollster Steven Greenberg said, referencing the Republican candidates for governor, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and State Senator John DeFrancisco. ““Looking at potential general election matchups, Cuomo has strong early leads over both declared but littl eknown Republicans, DeFrancisco and Molinaro. Cuomo has the support of more than 80 percent of Democrats against either, while two-thirds of Republicans would support either over Cuomo. Cuomo has the support of a small plurality of independents against either and strong support from downstate voters, while upstate voters are closely divided between Cuomo and either Republican.”
You can see more details from Siena below:
The polling was conducted before Nixon officially entered the race, but she has been rumored to be a potential candidate for several months. The polling took place between March 11 to March 16 and was conducted through telephone calls to 772 New York state registered voters. There is a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.
You can see the poll crosstabs below:
Nixon, who bills herself as a “progressive fighter,” on her campaign website, says in her campaign announcement, “Cynthia Nixon is a lifelong New Yorker, actor, and progressive advocate who is running for governor to fight for a better, more equal New York. Cynthia hasn’t been bought and paid for by corporate interests, and won’t be accepting any corporate contributions in this campaign. Cynthia grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and in Yorkville, where she was raised by her single mother in a one bedroom, fifth-floor walk-up apartment. She is a proud graduate of New York public schools and an even prouder public school parent. Her three children, Sam, Charlie and Max, are all New York City public school students or graduates.”
Christine Marinoni, Nixon’s wife, is a political activist. She recently left her job as a special advisor for community partnerships with the New York City Department of Education in anticipation of Nixon’s gubernatorial campaign.
Nixon’s campaign says she plans to spend the next several weeks traveling across the state to listen to voters. She is also potentially aiming for the endorsement of the New York Working Families Party, which backed Cuomo in 2014 after “a contentious internal debate,” according to CNN. The news network reports that Nixon could split state progressives who have clashed with Cuomo.
“Our endorsement in the Governor’s race will be determined by our state committee, which is comprised of 232 labor, community and grassroots activists from across New York State,” New York WFP director Bill Lipton told CNN. “Stay tuned.”
In the 2014 primary, Cuomo defeated Zephyr Teachout by a margin of 62.9 to 33.5. Teachout, a Fordham law professor and progressive activist, is backing Nixon and will be her campaign treasurer.
“I think she’s going to be the next governor,” Teachout told Spectrum News after Nixon’s announcement. “This is in sort of a post-Trump era where Democratic primary voters are totally paying attention. … I think over the next few months, people are actually going to get to know who she is. “I see this race about two totally different candidates.”
A spokesman for the Cuomo campaign said, “It’s great that we live in a democracy where anyone can run for office. Governor Cuomo has delivered more real progressive wins than any other Democrat in the country, including passing marriage equality, the strongest gun safety law in the nation, a $15 minimum wage, free college tuition, paid family leave, record setting funding for public education, expanding and protecting healthcare for our most vulnerable, and banning fracking. We look forward to building on that record as we continue to fight and deliver for New York families statewide.”