Republican Candidate for Governor needs a perfect storm -- sort of like James Buckley in 1970 or D'Amato in 1980
Will a Zephyr Teachout primary against Governor Andrew Cuomo be something to talk about for a generation
Governor's Attorney, Martin Connor, promises an appeal of Brooklyn Supreme Court ruling putting Teachout on the Democrat Primary line for Governor against Cuomo
In this year of the Tea Party primary take out of Eric Cantor, in a completely different state where a massive liberal independent-minded city vote can swing a primary and/or a general election, and where incumbents have lost primaries in the past: John Lindsay to John Marchi; Jacob Javits to Alphonse D'Amato; Paul O'Dwyer to Carol Bellamy; Emanuel Cellar to Elizabeth Holtzman, and Stanley Steingut to Helene Weinstein. Also it is where third parties have elected citywide and statewide officials. Given all that, the portends are there for an anything-can-happen year in New York State.
According to the New York Times, even though Zephyr Teachout has made it onto the ballot, she is unlikely to win in the Democratic Primary, because her political appeal is largely to unsatisfied liberal voters in the primary (See "Cuomo Primary Opponent Can Run, a State Judge Rules" by Thomas Kaplan, 8/11/14, NY Times [http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/12/nyregion/cuomo-primary-opponent-can-run-judge-rules.html?ref=nyregion&_r=0]). The Times' analysis is simple and apparent. "Although her candidacy has generated some interest among liberal activists, Ms. Teachout is not well known across the state. As of last week, she had $181,000 in her campaign account; Mr. Cuomo had $32 million." However, even Timesman Thomas Kaplan notes that "a strong showing in the primary by Ms. Teachout, a law professor who is appealing to liberals who have been vocal about their frustration with Mr. Cuomo on a variety of issues, could prove embarrassing to the governor."
Another matter reported-on in Mr. Kaplan's piece involves the still pending case between Governor Cuomo and challenger Zephyr Teachout. According to Kaplan's report on the court case, "A lawyer for Mr. Cuomo’s campaign, Martin E. Connor, said on Monday that the governor’s team would appeal the ruling...."
A local Brooklyn Democrat wag sees it all completely different. The Democratic Primary voters are all going to be dissatisfied about something. That's not a group that is likely to vote for any incumbent, but with the Moreland scandals likely to be still in the news, there will be a bigger and bigger anti-Cuomo vote. Ask yourself this, he said, "Who do you know who wants to vote for Andrew Cuomo ?"
The same Times reporter cited above, also thinks very little of the chances of Repubican Rob Astorino (See "Despite Criticism, Cuomo Holds Wide Lead Over Republican Challenger, Poll Finds" by Thomas Kaplan, 8/11/14, NY Times [http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/12/nyregion/despite-criticism-cuomo-holds-wide-lead-over-republican-challenger-poll-finds.html? rref=nyregion&module=Ribbon&version=context®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=N.Y.%20%2F%20Region&pgtype=article]). Based upon recent polling reported in the Times, "Mr. Cuomo was viewed favorably by 57 percent of likely voters, the poll found, and 58 percent said they would vote to re-elect him, compared with 26 percent for his Republican challenger, Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive."
In the off chance that Ms. Teachout wins the primary and becomes the nominee of the Democrats for Governor, we would be faced with a statewide three-way race like Buckley-Goodell-Ottinger in 1970 or D'Amato-Javits-Holtzman in 1980. Both of those races involved two progressive-liberals against a lone conservative candidate. If the 2014 general election pits Astorino against Teachout, and Cuomo running on a few third party lines, the same kind of dynamic would be in play.
If Teachout were to win her Democratic Primary against the incumbent. Andrew Cuomo, she would be in and to this generation what earlier notable Democrat women had been --- Brooklyn-based women progressives, people like Liz Holtzman, Carol Bellamy and Helene Weinstein, each of whom defeated older-line entrenched Democrat male leaders.
Oddly, conservative Republican Rob Astorino's best hope for an upset in November rests upon the success or failure of a liberal-progressive woman Democrat, like Zephyr Teachout.