Republicans steer clear of Carl Paladino's insurgent bid in N.Y.

A new Quinnipiac poll out Wednesday showed the race for governor in New York between real estate developer Carl Paladino and state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) shockingly close given all the institutional advantages for Cuomo in the overwhelmingly Democratic state. 

But big name Republicans aren't lining up behind Paladino's insurgent bid. 

Asked if he is supporting Paladino during a conference call with reporters, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said "I don't know Carl Paladino and he has not called me to ask for my endorsement."

The ex-mayor said that "my inclination is to support a Republican but I have no basis to make a decision."

Giuliani raised eyebrows in 1994 for endorsing Cuomo's father, then-Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo, over then-state Sen. George Pataki (R), who defeated the incumbent.

Giuliani also would not comment on the candidate he endorsed in the GOP primary, former Rep. Rick Lazio. The ex-congressman lost to Paladino but won the Conservative Party nomination. He has not decided whether or not to continue running in the race.

"I don't know what he's planning to do," Giuliani said, adding that he has not talked to him.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) also excluded Paladino from the list of New York endorsements his political action committee rolled out last week. 

The Tea Party-backed candidate, who upset former Rep. Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.) in last Tuesday's primary, is only six points behind Cuomo, who leads 49 percent to 43. 

Paladino is aided by a four-to-one margin of support among voters who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement. Among the 18 percent of likely voters who identify with the conservative groups, Paladino enjoys 77-18 percent support. 

Paladino's campaign has been offbeat to say the least. He has repeatedly threatened to "take a bat to Albany" at Tea Party rallies and before the primary a series of emails he forwarded surfacing--many containing pornography and racist jokes. 

-This post was updated at 3:25 p.m.

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