August 7, 2017

Andrew Cuomo’s Bad Political Headlines Grow

Last week, America Rising PAC launched the Andrew Cuomo Initiative to great fanfare in New York. One of the Initiative’s main goals was to highlight why Governor Cuomo was more vulnerable next year than many people expect. With the “Summer of Hell,” his unethical administration, and the looming Buffalo Billions trials next year, this wasn’t a difficult case to make.

Today’s New York Times reinforces our message from last week. The Times story today outlines Cuomo’s many weaknesses, noting that his epic MTA incompetence has politicians in both parties looking to challenge him next year:

“Over the last several months, Mr. Cuomo has been politically snakebitten by the New York City subway crisis and dogged by a series of lesser hiccups, including a late budget and an extended legislative fight over mayoral control of the city’s schools. And now, it seems, potential challengers in both parties are mulling whether the governor’s sudden swoon, as indicated in two recent polls showing middling approval ratings, could mean an opening for them. Last week, the No. 2 Republican in the State Senate, John DeFrancisco, an irascible straight shooter from the Syracuse area, said he was exploring a run. Ditto for that city’s mayor, Stephanie Miner, a Democrat.”

Zephyr Teachout, Cuomo’s 2014 primary opponent, used the Times story to hit the Governor for being out of touch with New York Democrats:

“‘There’s been this massive shift in Democrats in New York, and Andrew Cuomo has no sense of that,’ she said.”

While Democrats and Republicans alike are looking to challenge Cuomo next year, there’s growing speculation that they might not have the opportunity. The thinking goes that given Governor Cuomo’s many weaknesses, plus the fact that he’s already planning a 2020 run, he might drop a bid for a third term next year:

“Andrew Cuomo watched as a third-term dragged down his father Mario, scuttling his national aspirations and ultimately leading to an embarrassing defeat in 1994. Now, a quarter century later, he faces a similar dilemma. If Cuomo is serious about running for president in 2020, as many in New York political circles think, would he be better off not running for a third term of his own next year?”

Over the weekend, Politico highlighted the “third-term curse” that would hang over Governor Cuomo and could doom his national ambitions:

“Third terms are ‘a rough ride,’ according to George Arzt, a one-time aide to Ed Koch. Greenberg referred to them as ‘difficult’ because the economy could go south. Or, as Bill Cunningham — a former adviser to Mario Cuomo, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Mayor Michael Bloomberg put it — ‘a challenge for anybody’ because aides, most of whom have already turned over since Cuomo took office in 2011, begin to atrophy.”

Governor Cuomo’s dropping poll numbers testify to the fact that even without a “third-term curse,” the Governor is in a politically dangerous spot. With significant negative events already looming for Governor Cuomo, it’s all downhill from here.