Cuomo skates past Nixon to win New York primary

Cuomo skates past Nixon to win New York primary
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) swatted aside a challenge from actor and progressive activist Cynthia Nixon on Thursday after a heated campaign in which Cuomo overcame his own stumbles in the face of liberal pressure.
 
Cuomo won the race with 65.4 percent of the vote, The Associated Press projected after 81 percent of precincts had reported. Nixon, who became famous after starring in "Sex and the City," got 34.6 percent of the vote.
 
Public polls showed Cuomo with a consistent lead in the race. His lead in those surveys ranged from 22 points in a Quinnipiac poll in May, to 41 points in a Siena College survey conducted last week.
 
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One of the mailers sent by the New York State Democratic Party controlled by Cuomo sparked controversy after falsely accusing Nixon of anti-Semitism.
 
Cuomo disavowed that mail piece sent last week to Jewish voters around New York City. The mail piece was drafted by a former special assistant to Cuomo and approved by his former secretary, according to The New York Times.
 
Cuomo’s reelection bid overcame several other unforced errors, too.
 
He told Democratic activists last month that America “was never that great,” earning him universal ire — and a Twitter fight with President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE — before he clarified his remarks.
 
And the day after he appeared at a ceremonial opening of a new bridge named after his father, the late former Gov. Mario Cuomo (D), structural engineers said the bridge would not open on time because of dangers posed by the old and neighboring Tappan Zee Bridge.
 
His second term in office has been marked by nasty fights with state legislators, and with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a fellow Democrat with whom he has feuded for years. De Blasio declined to endorse either Cuomo or Nixon in the primary.
 
Cuomo will face Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro (R) in November, and a handful of minor-party candidates — including Jimmy McMillan, running on the Rent is Too Damn High Party line. 
 
He may also face Nixon, who on Thursday won the Working Families Party nomination, yet again. A Nixon spokeswoman said no decision had been made about whether she would accept that party’s nomination to appear on the ballot in November.
 
Cuomo is the heavy favorite to win a third term later this year. He won election in 2010 with 63 percent of the vote, and he won re-election in 2014 with 54 percent, by a 14-point margin.
 
Cuomo has been seen as an almost certain candidate for president in 2020.
 
After years of staying out of the national political conversation, he took on a leadership role with the Democratic Governors Association last year, a move interpreted as giving him an entree to big-dollar Democratic donors ahead of a national campaign.
 
Last month he opened a federal political action committee, another step toward building a bigger profile.
 
But he said in his only debate with Nixon late last month that the only way he would not finish his third term as governor “is if God strikes me dead.”