Nixon cutting into Cuomo’s lead in NY gubernatorial race

Cuomo has a sizable lead, but the margin is shrinking
Cynthia Nixon announced she will challenge Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for the Democratic nomination for governor in New York.
Cynthia Nixon announced she will challenge Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for the Democratic nomination for governor in New York.

Actress and activist Cynthia Nixon is cutting into the lead of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, according to the Siena Research Institute Poll released Tuesday morning.

Nixon, who won an Emmy for her role in HBO’s “Sex in the City” (1998-2004), narrowed the head-to-head gap between her and the incumbent by 16 points, from 47 to 31 percentage points. The governor may still have a sizable lead, 58 to 27 percent, but just last month his margin over Nixon was 66 to 19 percent, and the actress didn’t officially declare she was running for governor until March 19.

[Foss: How Cynthia Nixon could appeal to upstate voters]

Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said the increase in Nixon’s numbers from last month is a significant achievement, and the Democratic primary for governor won’t be held until Sept. 13.

“Since the last Siena College poll, Nixon declared her candidacy, Senate Democrats have promised kumbaya, there was a public debate over the definition of ‘qualified lesbian,’ and Nixon appears to have secured the Working Families Party line for November,” he said. “The race has just started and there’s five months to go. In a variation of Bette Davis’s famous line, ‘fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

Cuomo also maintains a large lead over his Republican rivals according to the Siena Poll, showing a 57 to 31 percent edge over Marc Molinaro and a 56 to 32 percent lead over John DeFrancisco. Cuomo’s favorability rating, however, did drop to 49-44 percent, matching his lowest numbers as governor back in July of 2015.

President Donald Trump’s favorability ratings among New York voters dipped slightly, 33 to 63 percent in March to 31 to 65 percent in April, while the numbers for U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand changed only slightly. Schumer went from a favorable rating of 54 to 36 percent in March to 53 to 38 percent, and Gillibrand moved from 49 to 25 percent in March to 48 to 29 percent this month.

The Siena College poll was conducted April 8-12 by telephone calls in English to 692 New York State registered voters. The sampling was initiated by asking for the youngest male in the household. Read more about the study on Siena College’s website.

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