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Does Cynthia Nixon Have a Shot in Hell Against Andrew Cuomo in New York?

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | March 19, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | March 19, 2018 |


Former Sex and the City star and political activist Cynthia Nixon announced today that she would be running for Governor of New York, taking on relatively popular Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary. She led with one hell of an opening salvo:

I don’t know that much about New York politics, despite having lived in the state for three years, but that ad made me swoon. I would vote for her based on that ad, I think. But also, Cuomo seems like a pretty decent Governor, who is fairly popular in the state despite some recent troubles. He’s also on the right side of most social issues, best I can tell, and won his last two elections handily.

So does Nixon have a shot?

It’s early yet, but according to the NYPost, Andrew Cuomo — who’s approval ratings sit at a pretty decent 52 percent — would trounce Nixon among Democratic voters, 66 to 19 percent.

That’s before the state gets to know Nixon, however, and it looks like they have until June 26th to figure out who she is. Meanwhile, the subways are falling apart, Cuomo has been loosely connected to a corruption trial, and according to one current New Yorker and one relatively recent New Yorker on staff, he’s not so popular in NYC.

One troubling spot in this poll for Cuomo is that, though he is holding nearly a 30 point advantage over his Republican competitors, only 48 percent of New Yorker say that they’d vote for him for a third term, compared to 46 percent who say they would prefer someone else.

Nixon is “someone else,” and she’d be coming out Cuomo from the left, so she could peel off a lot of younger voters, plus a smattering of others who might vote for her based on name recognition, and another group of voters who might vote for her simply because she’s someone else. She does not have a lot of time, however, to make up a lot of ground.

If I am a New Yorker, however, I’m probably thinking that two great choices are better than one lousy choice. A matchup like this, at the very least, should boost participation in the New York primary in June.