When pitted against hypothetical opponents in next year’s bid for governor, Governor David Paterson is far from the frontrunner. In fact, a majority of registered voters in New York State say they would rather vote for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani if the election were held today. 53% would support the Republican compared with 38% who report they would back Paterson, the Democrat. Paterson continues to lose ground against Giuliani. The two were in a statistical dead heat when Marist last asked this question in January. In November, Paterson maintained a healthy edge against Giuliani — 51% to 41%.
The governor fares better when placed up against former U.S. Representative Rick Lazio. However, a notable proportion of New York voters are undecided when the two are head-to-head. While 47% say they would support the governor, 35% report they would vote for Lazio. An additional 18% are unsure about who would receive their vote.
How does the race shape up if Governor Paterson isn’t the Democratic candidate? Here are a couple of scenarios:
- If Republican Rick Lazio were to campaign against Democratic New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Cuomo would defeat his Republican opponent hands down. 71% of the state’s electorate report they would back Cuomo while just 20% would vote for Lazio.
- Cuomo doesn’t do quite as well against Rudy Giuliani, yet he still receives majority support and has a wide lead against the former mayor. 56% of voters report Cuomo would be their candidate of choice in this hypothetical matchup. This compares with 39% who would cast their ballot for Giuliani.
Party’s Over for Paterson? Cuomo’s Our Man, Say NYS Democrats
If next year’s Democratic primary for governor were held today, Governor David Paterson would not be his party’s nominee. In fact, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo receives more than double the support of New York State Democrats than does Paterson. 62% of Democrats in New York State say they would support Cuomo while just 26% would back Paterson. Across the aisle, there’s little question about whom Republicans would want on the ballot. 78% of New York’s GOP say Rudy Giuliani is the best man for the job. Just 17% of Republicans think Rick Lazio is the candidate to turn the state around.