If you’re reading this blog you might not know anyone who is voting for Andrew Cuomo.
Teachers abhor the Governor.
The 2% property tax cap has both led to an endless succession of budget cuts in the low wealth districts and made it extremely difficult to negotiate contracts around the state. The teacher evaluation law was driven by Cuomo, the rejection of the de Blasio plan to establish a tax base for the pre-k initiative and his recent unabashed support of charter schools over the objection of the New York City mayor has angered teachers.
The enormous drop in the Common Core state tests angered parents across the state.
The New York Times did not make an endorsement; neither did the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), the powerful 600,000 member union.
Yet pollsters brush Teachout aside.
Capital New York writes,
The consensus estimate among Albany’s political professionals seems to be that Teachout will win around 20 percent of the vote, plus or minus five points. There has always been liberal dissatisfaction with Cuomo—the governor casts himself as a Solomonic centrist who can get things done in once-chaotic Albany—which, generically, is worth about a quarter of the electorate.
After some prompts, a private poll taken by the Working. Families Party to judge support for a Teachout stand-in—a fictional candidate named Teresa Woodstock—gauged support for a left-flank Cuomo challenger at 23 percent. But that was before Teachout herself began to run for anything.
The governor’s campaign is now trying to set a higher mark for Teachout. A Cuomo official told the Buffalo News earlier this week that “any protest candidate is going to get in the low- to mid-high 20s,” and the paper reported “Cuomo operatives were suggesting Teachout could get as much as 30 percent of the vote.”
The Times Union agrees,
Political handicappers, however, predict she’ll garner between 20 and 30 percent of the vote
Against Cuomo, Teachout has “the potential not to beat him, not to even come close, but to embarrass him,” said Mickey Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll…
Larry Levy, executive dean of Hofstra University’s National Center for Suburban Studies, backed that up. “Twenty or 30 percent wouldn’t be shocking, but it also wouldn’t mean anything,” he said. ” … So few people will be involved in this election that, short of an outright upset, it will tell you very little about her strength and very little about (Cuomo’s) weaknesses.”
The Working Families Party (WFP) in New York State is in reality the far left wing of the Democratic Party. The WFC is funded by labor unions, primarily 1199 (hospital and health care workers) and 32 BJ (workers in apartment buildings – janitors, etc.). In local elections, both primaries and in general elections the WFP both endorse candidates and provides boots on the ground. Zephyr Teachout was seeking the WFP endorsement – she would have led a third party slate in the general, the November election. Cuomo, and the unions, twisted arms to defeat Teachout at the WFP convention – she did get 42% of the delegates. She then sought to oppose Cuomo in the Democratic primary on September 9th. Surprisingly she collected the requisite number of petition signature and survived challenges by Cuomo’s legal team.
Teachout’s problem is a lack of dollars – I’ve received five mailing from Cuomo and three robo calls, one robo call from Teachout. The sages expect the usual low turnout in primary elections – maybe 500- 750,000 of the five million plus possible voters. Upstate Teachout is virtually invisible, and, many Democrats are right of center and support the property tax cap.
I was at a teacher meeting a few weeks ago and the teachers were enthusiastically supporting Teachout – I asked my normal baseline question: are you a registered democrat? The young teacher informed me anyone can vote in a primary – it was useless to argue – he was convinced – and what could an old guy like me know? Of course New York State law requires primary voters to be registered in their party a year before the date of the primary.
Andrew Cuomo is the anti-politician – his website, each and every day, lists “The Governor will be in New York City (or Albany) with no public schedule.” He never gives interviews, he gives highly scripted speeches and he’s despised by members of the state legislature. He rules Albany with an iron hand. He is a social liberal and an economic conservative, sort of. Every policy he supports or opposes seems to be poll driven, to be driven by a careful look at the route to the democratic presidential nomination in 2016.
If Hillary decides not to run, who would be the democratic candidate? Is Elizabeth Warren too far to the left? Is Jerry Brown too old? Is there a Clinton-like democrat hiding in the South or the Midwest? A Governor? How about a socially liberal, economic conservative? And, Zephyr Teachout may be standing in the way of a run for the presidency.
Does Teachout have a chance?
It’s up to you … it’s up to the voters … and if enough teachers, parents and WFPer loyalists trek to the polls … who knows?
And, besides, Zephyr Teachout is a great name. and Teachout would reinvigorate the democratic party.