Governor Andrew Cuomo is coasting into November with a large lead in polls over Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. According to a former elected GOP insider, however, Astorino may have a future in the party beyond this election should the polls remain accurate.
Astorino is a lot of what the Republicans did not have the last time they challenged Cuomo. He articulates policy well, he holds an important office, and is not new to New York politics. This is already a big plus for the party, which ran Carl Paladino against Cuomo four years ago as more of a rejection of Rick Lazio.
Although Cuomo is poised to win in November, there are two statistics that any state politician should be concerned about. People in all 50 states are uncertain about the economy and employment, but New York residents are even more apprehensive when it comes to confidence in those same areas.
A recent Gallup Poll asked people in all states where they would rank their confidence in their state’s economy on a scale of minus-100 to 100. The national average was 23, but it was only 8 in New York.
On the average, Americans in the same poll said that there was a 40 percent chance to land a decent job in their areas. New Yorkers, however, came in at 27 percent. In fairness, a “decent” job in New York has to be a very good job in order to keep up with the cost of living, but these are still big differences.
New York is where people used to come to find work, and now people are suggesting that the prospects of this might be better elsewhere.
These polls may not seem that worrisome, but if the governor wants to seek national office, they will re-surface. This is still a state that is overtaxed and under-employed. The governor does not have to debate Rob Astorino on the campaign trail on these issues, but his second term should be focused on restoring economic confidence.
Mike Grimm and the 11th CD
A man can be alone in a crowd in the most public of places.
The Republicans in Staten Island must look at Congressman Mike Grimm’s legal troubles and press missteps and feel a sense of déjà vu. The only time incumbent Republicans lose in Staten Island is when they lose their way...outside of politics.
Democrats in Staten Island have come to rely on it. Grimm can still win this November, because as Tip O’Neill liked to say, “all politics is local.” Grimm, like Vito Fosella (the last GOP representative in that district), has a voting record that fits the district. But this election is about Grimm and his upcoming trial for fraud. This is why he is vulnerable.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is spending money helping Grimm’s opponent, Domenic Recchia. The money may be helping, as polls are starting to show a tighter race
Why would the Democrats invest this much on winning the 11th Congressional District seat, when they won’t take the majority in the House with this seat? A troubled Republican in the House might actually be more beneficial to the national Democrats than what will only be a placeholder seat.
If Grimm loses, the GOP will most likely win the seat back in two years, thus making all that spending on campaign advertising kind of misplaced.
And do the Republicans even want to hold this seat right now? This upcoming trial is a headache for Speaker John Boehner, which can be remedied in two years during the next election. This means Grimm has to fight this battle alone, which does not mean he loses, it just means it’s a lonely last month of the election cycle.