New York Democrats will begin nominating their statewide ticket this morning, as a new poll shows their candidates with commanding leads.
The state Democratic Committee will kick off its political convention at 10 a.m. at the Hilton Long Island Huntington in Suffolk County, with state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman slated to accept their spots on the November ballot later in the day.
Democrats will formally nominate Gov. Andrew Cuomo for re-election on Thursday, along with his yet-to-be-announced running mate. Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy announced earlier this month he would not be seeking re-election.
A Quinnipiac University poll released this morning showed the Democratic incumbents with large leads over their challengers.
Cuomo holds a 29-point lead over his Republican opponent Rob Astorino, according to Quinnipiac. Fifty-seven percent of those polled said they back Cuomo, compared to 28 percent who opted for Astorino, the Westchester County executive.
The lead is cut dramatically, however, when a more liberal candidate is thrown in the mix. If the Working Families Party ran a candidate of its own — as the third party has threatened to do — Cuomo’s share of the vote would drop to 37 percent, compared to Astorino’s 24 percent and the unnamed liberal candidate’s 22 percent.
“A Working Families Party liberal would cut heavily into New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s support, especially among younger voters, but he’d still be an easy winner over his Republican challenger, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino,” Quinnipiac pollster Maurice Carroll said in a statement.
Schneiderman also holds a large lead, though he is known by far fewer New Yorkers than Cuomo, the poll found. A total of 46 percent of voters said they would vote for Schneiderman, compared to 27 percent for Republican John Cahill, a Yonkers resident and former top aide to then-Gov. George Pataki.
Quinnipiac found 50 percent of voters would vote for DiNapoli against an unnamed Republican opponent, compared to 29 percent who back the Republican. But the poll didn’t mention DiNapoli’s GOP challenger by name; Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci captured the Republican nod last week.
“It looks like a Democratic year,” Carroll said. “The Republicans trail in all three state-wide races.”
Quinnipiac polled 1,129 state voters between May 14 and 19, according to the poll, which carries a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.
(Photo of Cuomo by Tina Macintyre-Yee / Democrat and Chronicle)