No Republican since the eighties has won state-wide office in NY without Conservative Party backing. Carl Paladino will get that crucial boost Wednesday when Conservatives convene in Albany. Party Chairman Micheal K. Long and Paladino put aside their differences this past weekend and Monday Rick Lazio agreed to give up the Conservative endorsement. Lazio expected to beat Paladino in the Republican primary but instead was sacked in a two to one rout. The Conservatives wouldn’t allow the Buffalonian to run in their primary leaving Lazio unopposed. The Republicans also wanted Lazio, but Paladino gathered the 30,000 signatures needed to get him in the GOP’s primary. Meantime he formed the Taxpayer Party as an alternative to the Conservatives. He now will appear on three lines Nov 2, and all three parties are united behind him: the Taxpayer because its his baby, the Conservatives because they need to garner 50,000 votes in the general to stay viable under NY election law and the Republicans who now sense a real chance to reverse a long decline.
Most of the early polls didn’t include numbers for the Conservative Party, but at least one did and showed Lazio getting eight per cent. Regarding the Cuomo-Paladino contest several polls have shown disparate results although Cuomo leads in every one. However polls using “likely” voters show a tighter race than those employing registered voters. Going into last weekend the Paladino campaign suggested its surveys showed their man about nine points behind.
NY registered Democrats outnumber Republicans about five to three and recent state-wide elections reflect that imbalance. But voter turn out primary day heartened the Paladino camp. He carried his home county, Erie which includes Buffalo with a dizzying 93 to 7 majority. The vote across upstate was not quite that lop-sided, but still overwhelming.
Primary day also demonstrated anecdotal evidence that Paladino will have considerable cross-over appeal. NY’s primaries are strictly party affairs; you only get to vote in your party’s primary. Apparently many registered Democrats and Independents told poll workers they had come to vote for Paladino and left disappointed. No such restriction will apply come Nov 2. It seems unlikely that only Republicans overwhelminly favor Paladino in districts like Erie County which includes Buffalo, a Democrat bastion. Ninty-three to seven is not going to happen in the general but seventy-thirty will work. Paladino will need big numbers upstate to counter Cuomo’s likely big numbers downstate.
Carl Pasquale Paladino is the son of immigrants. He is a self-made multi-millionaire. His business reputation is good. His achievements speak for themselves. He is not the result of focus groups nor political gurus. Meanwhile Andrew Cuomo’s campaign offers a 250-page book !!! purporting to show the way forward for New York. High falutin’ for sure, but Monday in New York Cuomo was bleating (and honestly he does bleat) that his opponent was an extremist and a “Tea Party type” and of course, a racist. May not work this time Andrew. Stay tuned.