Dem strategist: Cuomo is trying to 'increase his street cred' with progressives by attacking NRA

Democratic strategist Capri Cafaro said on Monday that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) recent attacks on the National Rifle Association (NRA) are part of an effort to connect with progressives ahead of the state's gubernatorial election. 

"I have two words for you when it comes to this issue with Andrew Cuomo: Cynthia Nixon," Cafaro, who is a former Ohio state senator, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising," referring to Cuomo's progressive primary opponent. 

"He's being challenged from the left in a primary, the democratic socialists ... are gaining traction, and I think that he wants to increase his street cred with the more progressive wing of the party, and I think that's what this is all about," she added. 

Cuomo last week called on other states to consider prohibiting an NRA-branded insurance program that provides liability coverage for people who fire a gun.

The move comes ahead of the state's gubernatorial race, in which Cuomo is being challenged by Nixon, who identifies as a democratic socialist. 

Progressives and democratic socialists have gained popularity within the Democratic Party in recent months following Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's victory over longtime Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in New York's 14th Congressional District. 

A recent Sienna College survey, which was the first poll of likely Democratic primary voters, poll showed Cuomo leading Nixon 2-to-1. 

— Julia Manchester