Difference between revisions of "New York gubernatorial election, 2010"

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"I'm not intimidatable. I'm not politically correct. I'm an outsider. I plan on really restructuring our government. I plan on taking out these bad guys. And Andrew Cuomo's at the top of the list. He's a despicable character, he's an angry man, he's got an ego that's bigger than this city, he's got an arrogance about him -- he wants to be President of the United States. He made a bad decision running for governor of the state of New York because we're going to vet him out to the people. We're going to show the people what a despicable character he is."<ref>[http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/09/29/ny-gov_paladino_im_not_intimidatable.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=rcp-today-newsletter ''Real Clear Politics'', "NY-Gov: Paladino: "I'm Not Intimidatable," September 29, 2010]</ref>
"I'm not intimidatable. I'm not politically correct. I'm an outsider. I plan on really restructuring our government. I plan on taking out these bad guys. And Andrew Cuomo's at the top of the list. He's a despicable character, he's an angry man, he's got an ego that's bigger than this city, he's got an arrogance about him -- he wants to be President of the United States. He made a bad decision running for governor of the state of New York because we're going to vet him out to the people. We're going to show the people what a despicable character he is."<ref>[http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/09/29/ny-gov_paladino_im_not_intimidatable.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=rcp-today-newsletter ''Real Clear Politics'', "NY-Gov: Paladino: "I'm Not Intimidatable," September 29, 2010]</ref>
Lest anyone mistake his desire to win the governor's mansion, Palladino ended the interview by vowing, "It's going to get nastier.... This is your life Andrew Cuomo ... I don't mind being nasty, OK?" - a nod to the increasingly brutal campaing ad war the two have been waging.<ref>[http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/09/29/ny-gov_paladino_says_campaign_going_to_get_nastier.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=rcp-today-newsletter ''Real Clear Politics'', "NY-Gov: Paladino Says Campaign "Going To Get Nastier"," September 29, 2010]</ref>
Lest anyone mistake his desire to win the governor's mansion, Palladino ended the interview by vowing, "It's going to get nastier.... This is your life Andrew Cuomo ... I don't mind being nasty, OK?" - a nod to the increasingly brutal campaign ad war the two have been waging.<ref>[http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/09/29/ny-gov_paladino_says_campaign_going_to_get_nastier.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=rcp-today-newsletter ''Real Clear Politics'', "NY-Gov: Paladino Says Campaign "Going To Get Nastier"," September 29, 2010]</ref>
==Gubernatorial electoral history==
==Gubernatorial electoral history==

Revision as of 12:56, 7 July 2014

Current Governors
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Current Lt. Governors
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Breaking news

In the New York gubernatorial election of 2010, held on November 2, 2010, Democrat Andrew Cuomo defeated Republican Carl P. Paladino. Incumbent Governor David Paterson, a Democrat, was serving as an appointee in the wake of Eliot Spitzer's resignation and chose not to pursue a full term. Cuomo was inaugurated Saturday, January 1, 2011.[1]

In the September 14, 2010 primary elections, Andrew Cuomo, the current Attorney General, won his party's nomination decisively. The Republican establishment had backed a former Congressman, Rick Lazio, and given him the formal nod at their state convention in the spring. However, Carl Paladino, a Buffalo based businessman, worked strong Tea Party connections and won an upset on primary day.

New York state allows what is referred to as fusion voting. Candidates may accept the nominations of multiple parties and their name is printed on the ballot for each party they are representing. Candidates then receive the total number of votes cast under all the appearances of their name. Under fusion laws, Rick Lazio briedly remained on the ballot as the Conservative Party nominee after his primary defeat. However, he left the race in late September.

Throughout the fall, Carl Paladino's lightening rod personality kept the race in national focus. Adding a final ingredient to a chaotic election season, New York's State Board of Elections voted to fire its chief, George Gonzalez, for reasons related to September's poorly handled primary and to mistakes in printing general election ballots.[2]

November 2, 2010 general election results

Results are now certifed.[3]

New York Governor/Lt. Governor, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngAndrew Cuomo/Robert Duffy 61% 2,910,876
     Republican Carl Paladino/Gregory Edwards 32.5% 1,547,857
     Green Howie Hawkins/Gloria Mattera 1.3% 59,906
     Rent is 2 Damn High Jimmy McMillan/No candidate 0.9% 41,129
     Libertarian Warren Redlich/Alden Link 1% 48,359
     Anti-Prohibition Kristin Davis/Tanya Gendelman 0.4% 20,421
     Freedom Charles Barron/Eva Doyle 0.5% 24,571
     Blank - 2.3% 107,823
     Void - 0.1% 3,963
     Scattering - 0.1% 4,836
Total Votes 4,769,741
Election Results via New York State Board of Elections

September 14, 2010 primary

From the mind-bogglingly dense crowd of hopefuls st the starting line, New York's gubernatorial field whittled itself down one way or another until there was but a single primary pairing. Rick Lazio had four terms in the U.S House and a U.S. Senatorial bid against Hillary Clinton under his belt. As the favored candidate of the New York GOP, he handily defeated Carl Paladino, a millionaire businessman from Buffalo, at the state convention.

New York Republicans may have thought they had neatly disposed of primary headaches, only for Paladino to collect 30,000 signatures and get onto the ballot, anyway. Throughout the primary cycle, Lazio paid little heed to his opponent, finally addressing Paladino's novice status in an campaign stop during the final weekend before the primary. By that time, the wave of Tea Party support that Paladino was raising had the GOP concerned.

Polls opened with indicators and polling suggesting that Paladino could pull off a coup and take the nomination from Lazio. Paladino did just that and then some.[4] With just over half of precincts reporting, Paladino led Lazio 2:1, enough for the race to be called in his favor.

However, the story of an undaunted outsider and a seasoned veteran who had lost touch had more depth than that. Paladino brought on a trio of experienced campaign consultants, who helped steer a campaign that targeted not only Rick Lazio but also took on Andrew Cuomo from the beginning for good measure. Lazio, who reportedly earned the nickname "Lazy-o" from state Republican leadership, never engaged in the intense campaigning and furious schedule of appearances he may have needed to win. His loss came as a blow to those in GOP leadership who backed him.[5]

Paladino faced Democrat Andrew Cuomo for the governorship of the one of the Union's most reliably Democratic states. Few observers expected Paladino had any real shot at winning, but his primary victory was more than an upset to the beleaguered New York Republican Party; it was an indication of the severity of voter anger at incumbents and at the establishment picks to replace them.

Race ratings

See also: Gubernatorial elections 2010, Race tracking

2010 Race Rankings New York
Race Tracker Race Rating
The Cook Political Report[6] Solid Democratic
Congressional Quarterly Politics[7] Likely Democratic
Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball[8] Safe Democrat
Rasmussen Reports Gubernatorial Scorecard[9] Solid Democratic
The Rothenberg Political Report[10] Currently Safe Democratic
Overall Call Democratic


1. Larry J. Sabato moved race from "Likely Democrat" to "Safe Democrat" on October 28th.



2010 Race for New York Governor - Quinnipiac
Date Reported Paladino (R) Cuomo (D) Other Don't Know
September 16-20, 2010[11] 43% 49% 7% 1%
(Sample)[12] n=751 MoE=+/- 3.6% p=0.05

Quinnipiac University's first poll of the general election showed something astonishing. Carl Paladino was within striking distance of Andrew Cuomo - and Cuomo had not cracked the 50% support mark. Compared to the other major national polls, which showed Cuomo, as expected, enjoying a wide lead, Quinnipiac's numbers raised the question of whether the Tea Party might be powerful enough to put a Republican in charge of New York.

Carl Paladino was, no doubt, brash and unpredictable. The state's GOP leadership would have preferred a candidate more content to play by the unwritten rules of campaign politics, but the Buffalo businessman brought a highly energized Tea Party with him and his first foray into politics was almost immediately a fixture in national press.

A mere 18% of Empire State voters identified as members of the Tea Party, but they supported Paladino to the tune of 77%. Paladino also won among men, Republicans, and Independents. The last was the most surprising of all.

Among "likely voters," Cuomo still got good news. 67% of voters approved of his job performance as Attorney General and his total approval sat at 51%. Paladino commanded 36% "favorable" and 31% "negative" ratings; it was the 31% of voters who say they did't know enough about Paladino to express an opinion that may paid dividends in the following weeks.

Had Paladino been able to sell himself as an outsider who shared voter angry at the political class, his provocative campaign tactics may have in turn been perceived as an admirable refusal to observe the niceties of the establishment. Yet those same uncouth ads were ripe to the nearly one-third of voters with unformed opinions to view Paladino as too much.

New York's voters listed "change" as the number one thing they wanted to see in a candidate. "Experience" came in at the bottom, with only 10% of those surveyed saying it would be a key factor as they cast a ballot. Maurice Carroll, who directs polling at Quinnipiac, pointed out something that was Cuomo's only real worry against Paladino:

"Attorney General Andrew Cuomo might be a victim of his own excess. Politicians and polls have depicted him so relentlessly as a sure thing that he might be a victim of the 'throw the bums out' attitude that hits incumbents in this angry year."

Siena Research Institute

No sooner had Quinipiac's numbers made headlines, raising the surreal possibility that New York could elect Carl Palldino as its governor than a new poll released starkly different numbers. Siena Research Institute confirmed the earlier Rasmussen poll and the common perception that Cuomo was simply on his way to trouncing Paladino.

Key to the Siena poll, respondents were given Rick Lazio, on the Conservative ticket, as a possible choice. Much like in [Colorado gubernatorial election, 2010 | Colorado], the third party candidate was not even pulling in enough vote share to split the ticket. Lazio's single digit vote share, while the far less tested Paladino still garnered a quarter of likely voters, was enough to widen the ultimate gap between Cuomo and Paladino, but not to decide the race.

Even were Lazio to leave the race, it's not certain Paladino would pick up all of Lazio's support, Siena suggested. When Lazio indeed did leave the field, the businessman carrying the GOP banner in New York still had a double-digit shortfall to make up.

2010 Race for New York Governor - Siena Research Institute
Date Reported Paladino (R) Cuomo (D) Lazio (C) Other Not Voting Don't Know
October 3-4, 2010[13] 32% 56% N/A - - 11%
(Sample) n=636 MoE=+/- 3.9% p=0.05
September 16-17, 19-21, 2010[14] 24% 57% 8% 0% 1% 10%
(Sample) n=801 MoE=+/- 3.5% p=0.05


2010 Race for New York Governor - CNN/Time
Date Reported Paladino (R) Cuomo (D) Other Don't Know
October 1-5, 2010[15] 41% 55% 2% 1%
(Sample) n=585 MoE=+/- 4.0% p=0.05

Marist College

2010 Race for New York Governor - Marist College Institute for Public Opinion
Date Reported Paladino (R) Cuomo (D) Other Don't Know
September 27-29, 2010[16] 38% 53% 1% 8%
(Sample) n=5943 MoE=+/- 3.5% p=0.05

Survey USA

2010 Race for New York Governor - Survey USA
Date Reported Paladino (R) Cuomo (D) Other Don't Know
October 11-13 2010[17] 33% 59% 6% 3%
(Sample)[18] n=633 MoE=+/- 3.9% p=0.05


2010 Race for New York Governor - Rasmussen Reports
Date Reported Paladino (R) Cuomo (D) Other Don't Know
October 19, 2010[19] 37% 51% 5% 6%
September 16, 2010[20] 38% 54% 2% 6%
August 24, 2010[21] 38% 54% 2% 6%
(Sample) n=500 MoE=+/- 4.5% p=0.05


The November Ballot – Who Made It? New York Governor[22][23]
Nominee Affiliation
Andrew Cuomo Democrat
Carl P. Paladino Republican
Warren Redlich Libertarian
Howie Hawkins Green
Howie Hawkins Socialist Workers
Kristin Davis Anti-Prohibition
Carl P. Paladino (Enrico Anthony "Rick" Lazio left the race on 9/27/10) Conservative
Charles Barron Freedom
Jimmy McMillan Rent is 2 Damn High
Steven Cohn Tea Party
Kenneth D. Schaeffer Working Families
Dan Fein Democratic write-in
This lists candidates who won their state's primary or convention, or who were unopposed, and who were officially certified for the November ballot by their state's election authority.

Lieutenant Governors are elected on a ticket with gubernatorial candidates.

New York election law allows candidates to receive endorsements from, and campaign under the names of, multiple parties, accounting for the fact that some candidates are listed under multiple party headings. Candidates have an incentive to do so as their name appears on the ballot next to each party whose endorsement they have gained and they are allowed to count the total votes received under all ballot lines with their name.


  • Ralph C. Lorigo
  • with John Andrew Kay for Lieutenant Governor


  • Jan D. Johnson entered the governor's race on March 3, 2010. Before that, she had been seeking the U.S. Senate seat.


  • Jimmy McMillian, left the Democratic field for his own "Rent is 2 Damn High" party
  • Incumbent David A. Paterson, Lt. Governor under Eliot Spitzer, assumed the office when scandals triggered Spitzer's resignation. Paterson was himself soon engulfed in charges of ethical lapses. He had indicated the desire for a full term in his own right early on a declared a candidacy on February 20, 2010. It turned out to be very short lived and he withdrew his name less than a week later.

  • Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy left the Democratic primary, effective March 19, 2010, and began campaigning as a Republican

Democratic and Independence

  • Andrew Cuomo, the Attorney General of New York, picked up steam quickly. With the press already full of rumors of a pending announcement, he formalized his candidacy on May 22nd, days ahead of the Democrats' state convention. At the convention on the 25th, he won the endorsement of the Independence Party. The next day saw him pick up a running mate and he finished the week with the Democratic endorsement on the 27th. On June 3, 2010, Cumo announced that he will not be seeking the Working Families nomination in addition to the two he already has.
  • with Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy for Lieutenant Governor

Green and Socialist Party USA

Independent and New York Freedom Democratic Party


  • Sam Sloan ultimately dropped out of the race.

Libertarian and Reform and Anti-Prohibition

  • Kristin Davis entered the race on the Libertarian ticket and announced, on June 27, 2010 and July 8, 2010, respectively, that she is additionally seeking the ballot line from the Reform and Anti-Prohibition parties.


  • Art Luse

Republicans, No Longer Candidates

  • Chris Collins, Erie County Executive, left the field in late January of 2010, simply annoucning, "It becomes apparent to me that my message of real reform and change has not been embraced by those who are happy with the status quo."
  • Former NYC mayor and Presidential hopeful Rudolph W. "Rudy" Giuliani briefly explored a candidacy and decided against running shortly before Thanksgiving, 2009.
  • Ken W. Goewey
  • Steve Levy, after switching from a Democratic to a Republican candidacy, was unable to gather enough signatures to petition onto the ballot. He still considered his campaign to be active at that time and was looking at petitioning on with a third party, possibly the Taxpayer's Party.
  • M. Myers Mermal ended his campaign at the Republican convention after Rick Lazio secured the nomination, thanking his supporters and saying, "Earlier today Rick Lazio was selected as the Republican nominee ... I wish Rick all the best ... I want to thank you for the support you gave our campaign."

Republican and Conservative

  • Enrico Anthony "Rick" Lazio, a former Congressman, received the nomination of the state Republican Party on June 2, 2010. However, he lost the primary and gave up his remaing ballot line, with the Conservative Party, on September 27, 2010.
  • with Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards for Lieutenant Governor
  • Lawyer and Army veteran Carl P. Paladino floated the ideas of both running as a Tea Party candidate and of running a petition drive to secure a position on the ballot. Having lost the Conservative nomination to Mr. Lazio, he continued a petition drive that was ultimately successful and parlayed that into into a primary victory.

Socialist Workers' Party

  • Dan Fein, as a write-in candidate

Working Families

  • Kenneth D. Schaeffer
  • with Elon Harpaz

Positions on the issues


At an October 11, 2010 campaign event with Orthodox Jewish leaders, Republican Carl Paladino made a rather unequivocal stance against gay rights, saying he does not want his children being "brainwashed" into thinking "homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option."[24]

Before the conservative audience, his comment drew applause. A copy of Mr. Paladino's prepared remarks obtained by Newsday show his speech originally included the sentence, "There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual," a comment he ommitted when he made his remarks.[25]

Paladino added, "Don't misquote me as wanting to hurt homosexual people in any way. That would be a dastardly lie. My approach is live and let live." However, his next sentence was the one in which he worried over his children being "brainwashed" - words that caused immediate outcry.

Paladino was equally quick to make a public refusal to apologize or back down.

CBS News' 'Carl Paladino address his own comments'.

CNN' 'Carl Paladino on Homosexuality'.

Continued fallout

While Paladino's attempts to justify his statements and his refusal to make an explicit apology fell short of the mark, one member of his own camp is publicly spoke out against the candidate's comments.

Roger Stone, a self described libertarian Republican and the man who talked Eliot Spitzer's one-time madam, Kristin Davis, into running a third party candidacy, has been advising Paladino for some time.

After his speech before a Brooklyn community of Hasidic Jews, Stone distanced himself from Paladino and soon came to the verge of getting out of the campaign entirely. Stone told The Daily Beast, "It's astounding...Based on his anti-gay rant, any advice that I’m giving this guy is no longer having any effect.”[26]

Stone pointed to Paladino's apparent unwillingness to learn to modify his behavior under the intense scrutiny of a key gubernatorial race and to Cuomo's new, carefully planned public image after his own failed 2002 race: ."..the scrutiny in a general election is much, much greater than the scrutiny in a primary… I don’t think Carl recognized that the scrutiny level is very different, and every single word you utter will now be covered.”

Paladino issued a six point article as a mitigation of his statements that still pointedly refused to apologize.[27]

Campaign advertising

Campaign flyers

No stranger to controversy and ploys aimed at garnering media attention[28], Carl Paladino began releasing highly provocative ads within days of his primary win. The Paladino campaign mailed out a flyer asking voters who wanted to "Clean up Albany" to start with Andrew Cuomo, his Democratic opponent.

The flyer was photoshopped to show Cumo, covered in dirt, showering.[29]

Reached for comment on the flyer, Paladino's spokesman Mike Caputo explained the campaign's strategy thusly:

"We're going to continue beating on Andrew Cuomo until he comes out and answers questions and agrees to a series of debates. Every day, every week, we're going to come up with any creative solution we can to make that happen. Today, it's Andrew in the shower. Tomorrow, watch this space."

The next day, September 20, 2010, brought another round, with Paladino publishing an open letter reading, in part, "Frankly, i dont (sic) think you have the cojones to face me and the other candidates in a open debate," as Paladino reiterated his challenge to Cuomo to agree to deabtes.[30]

In response to Paladino's ads, rumors began emerging that Cuomo's camp was weighing the merits of "going negative."[31] Within 24 hours, his campaign indeed released their first attack ad, called "One Job."[32] The title is in reference to Paladino receiving $1.42 million in state funds under a job creation grant program, but only reporting to have added a single job to his company in the next year's tax filings.

TV spots


Andrew Cuomo for Governor' 'The Choice is Clear' ad.

Andrew Cuomo for Governor' 'One Job' ad.


Paladino for the People' 'October 7, 2010 message'.

Paladino for the People' 'Message to Republicans' ad.

Andrew Cuomo for Governor' 'Nancy' ad.

Issues in the race

Explicit emails

In early April, 2010, New York based WNYMedia received, anonymously, a series of eight emails, all of which either continued explicit pornography or racist content, or both, that were purportedly forwarded by Carl Paladino to a long list of business and political associates.[33]

Paladino later admitted he indeed had forwarded the emails and that the comments he had added before sending them on were also genuine.

On October 14, a second round of sexually explicit emails Paladino and sent to contacts came out.[34]

Paladino's insistence that he was a values candidates and such statements as "We must stop pandering to the pornographers and the perverts who seek to target our children and destroy their lives…," made at an October 10, 2010 event, made his email indiscretions a popular target for political commentators and gossip sites, alike.

Carl Paladino's illegitmate child

The national eye having settled on Carl Paladino's wildly unconventional maiden campaign, all aspects of his life were fair game. And that included his highly private wife, Catherine, and her adventures in adjusting to the life of a political spouse. However, in her case, the resentment of media intrusion was particularly warranted. Carl Paladino fathered an illegimate son who was nearly years old before Mrs. Paladino knew anything.[35]

It was in the hours just after losing her oldest son in an auto accident that she was hit with two more shocks; her husband had fathered a child with another woman and almost everyone in their social circle, including her own children, already knew. However, according to Catherine, she was already numb by the time she heard that a brief affair with a coworker had resulted in a daughter:

"I think when you lose a child . . . everything changes. So when he told me about Sarah . . . it was a very short affair, it was 10 years prior, and um . . . my first thought was, 'How lucky. Every child's a gift.' That was my thought. I wasn't angry, you know. I can deal with one family crisis at a time."

While the Paladino's handled the news and Sarah is now a fully integrated member of the family, media and voter perception took a far harsher tone to the news.

For at least some journalists, news of the illegimate child was a field day. After New York Post photographers tracked down Paladino's daughter and her mother, Paladino accused Post editor Fred Dicker of sending "goons" after his family and of being Andrew Cuomo's "bird dog" before threatening to "take you you."

The heated exchange was captured on film and led to Paldiono's three-minute TV message on October 7th, explaining and apologizing for the comments.

News Media Feed' 'Carl Paladino Threatens Reporter'.

Eliot Spitzer weighs in on Andrew Cuomo

Spitzer, whose 2008 resignation from office was forced by a prostitution scandal, put in his two cents on the race coming to Carl Paladino's defense when he described the firebrand as, "is not as crazy as the media has portrayed him to be."[36]

The former governor went on to lambaste Andrew Cuomo, opining that the, "problem Andrew has is that everybody knows that behind the scenes, he is the dirtiest, nastiest political player out there and that is his reputation from years in Washington."

Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto struck back subtly, saying, "The attorney general's record, credibility and honor speak for themselves, as do Mr. Spitzer's."

The Cumo-Spitzer fued was not new in 2010. In the summer of 2007, when Spitzer's popularity was waning, Cuomo issued a Attorney General's report that concluded Spitzer had improperly gotten information from state troopers and then used the information to attack a top Republican member of the legislature.[37] Spitzer's public image never fully came back from the report's impact and he told members of his inner circle that Cuomo, who unsuccessfully pursued the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2002 and saw his ambitions for 2006 fade when Spitzer entered the race, had been politically motivated to release the report.

Debating the debates

Much of Paladino's eyebrow raising ads aimed, according to the candidate, at forcing Cuomo to agree to debates. Cuomo was, for the first part of the fall, willing to agree to one debate that one include himself, Mr. Paladino, and Rick Lazio, who lost the GOP primary but was then still on the ballot with the Conservative Party.

Paladino, however, preferred a series of debates that would be open to minor party candidates, including a former Black Panther and a one-time madam with ties to the prostitution scandal that brought down Eliot Spitzer. Brooklyn City Councilman Charles Barron, running as a Democratic write-in, and Kristin Davis, who has the distinction of being New York's first gubernatorial candidate to be on probation during her candidacy, along with other minor candidates, were almost certain to attack Cuomo far more than Paladino if they got on a stage with the two mahor party nominees, the reason for Paladino's eagerness, and Cuomo's reticence.

Paldadino challenged Cuomo debate as soon as the primary was decided. Cuomo's refusal to respond led to Paladino's website adding a prominently placed counter displaying the days since his unanswered challenge to Cuomo. Paladino, in his brash style, drove the point home by questioning why a seasoned politician refused to debate a man who had never run for office before.

October 18, 2010 debate

Two weeks away from the election, the entire slate of gubernatorial hopeful finally made it onto the stage. Paladino ultimately did get his way on having all minor parts contenders allowed to debate, but Democrat Andrew Cuomo's resistance to the idea turned out to have been ill-founded.

Democratic strategists had feared an us-against-him messaging assault that portrayed Paladino, well behind in the polls, and the assorted third party hopefuls, in a unified front against front-running Cuomo would arouse public sympathy and hurt their own campaign.

Instead, the peculiar array of key issues that third parties brought to the debate and Paladino's trouble staying on message allowed Cuomo to walk away as the winner. His appearance alone got attention as he had been an increasingly media-shy candidate.

Sharing the stage were an ex-madam running on a platform to, among other things, legalize prostitution and marijuana; a Black Panther activist, and "Rent is 2 Damn High" candidate Jimmy McMillan, who goes by Papa Smurf and wore dress gloves during the entire debate.

Libertarian Warren Redlich was the lone candidate to press Cuomo on special interest donors to his campaign and what that would mean for his tenure in Albany. It was Charles Barron, of the Freedom Party, who pointed out what Cuomo had adroitly avoided saying about his own plans to slash spending and streamline state government; namely, that the trimming process is bound to be painful.[38]

Ultimately, Paladino missed out on throwing any similarly insightful barbs at his main opponent. The beleaguered candidate instead repeatedly confused Medicare and Medicaid and consistently went over his allotted time, leading to his microphone being cut off more than once.

The proliferation of candidates may also have lead to a loss of clarity in any one speaker conveying a point and answering rebuttals; the need to give 90 seconds for comments and another half minute for follow-up to each of seven participants worked against coherence.

Cuomo touted his years of political experience and discussed a platform that probably sounded familiar to a lot of Republicans - the need to restrain spending, eliminate redundant and wasteful government programs, and even to cut state tax rates. Despite concerns that the vicious tone the major gubernatorial candidates had taken against each other in the media would infuse the debate, there were no outright insults from either Paladino or Cuomo.[39] Nor did Paladino use the stage to deliver up proof of a sex scandal that would tar Cuomo, something he had been promising he had coming.

Instead, Paladino left many in the audience confused when he made an uannounced exit from the stage in the midst of closing statements. He later explained that he'd needed to find a restroom.

The day after the debate, Paladino declared the format had been "terrible" and fumed that it kept Cuomo from facing a real "grilling."[40] However, said he was pleased with his own performance and noted, "I think we illustrated that we’re not the Angry Carl.”[41]


Andrew Cuomo

  • Michael Bloomberg
  • Assemblyman Joe Errigo
  • Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
  • former New York state comptroller Bill Thompson
  • former state G.O.P chairman Pat Barrett

Carl Paladino

  • Associated Builders and Contractors
  • NY Tea Party (for a full list of all the New York Tea Party affilates who have formally endorsed Paladino, see his press release.
  • NY 9/12 Project
  • Chemung County Committee Republican Chairman Michael Krusen
  • Seneca County Republican Committee and Chairman Ken Padgett
  • Niagara County Republican Executive Committee and Chairman Mike Norris
  • Cayuga County Republican Executive Committee and Chairwoman Cherl A. Heary
  • Genesee County Republican Chairman Richard Siebert

Rick Lazio

  • The New York Observer
  • Albany Times-Union
  • The New York Times (primary endorsement)

Race background

While race watchers nearly across the board fully expected the state to remain under Democratic governance and that led to rather justified confidence from Empire State Dems, the GOP had an 11th hour scare in the form of the unexpectedly robust challenge to party favorite Rick Lazio from self-financing businessman Carl Paladino, a political neophyte. Lazio's campaign ignored Paladino for the bulk of the primary cycle. Yet, on the last campaign day before the primary, his supporters rushed ads to TV and Lazio took to attacking Paladino's political credentials.[42]

The tendency for the minority party to gain seats in midterms and ferocious anti-incumbent sentiment, along with the energy of Tea Party voters, offered New York's Republican party a rare chance to challenge Democratic control in Albany. Mr. Paladino was himself a Tea Party favored candidate.

He was denied a spot on the ballot at the state Republican convention but was able to defy the party by collecting 30,000 valid signatures. With that accomplishment, he cobbled together support and chipped away at Lazio's once overwhelming lead. Supporters pointed to Paladino's blunt messaging style for winning them over, but it is that same manner that had New York GOP leaders afraid of how he would behave on the campaign trail if he won the primary.

In an attempt to boost the chances of someone beating Cuomo, Conservative Party nominee Rick Lazio ended his campaign on September 27, 2010.[43] Citing his wish not to be vote splitter on the right, Lazio bowed out, but the impact of shoring up support for the controversial Paladino campaign is unclear.

Lazio stopped short of endorsing Paladino, something that might have helped New York's fractured Republican Party but almost certainly wouldn't have been enough to win the race. Most of the GOP's other 2010 candidates did endorse Paladino.

Going into the October sprint, Paladino was highly critical of Cuomo and highly vocal about his own 'no-quarter-given' campaign style. Speaking to press on September 29th, he slammed Cuomo using his trademark bravado:

"I'm not intimidatable. I'm not politically correct. I'm an outsider. I plan on really restructuring our government. I plan on taking out these bad guys. And Andrew Cuomo's at the top of the list. He's a despicable character, he's an angry man, he's got an ego that's bigger than this city, he's got an arrogance about him -- he wants to be President of the United States. He made a bad decision running for governor of the state of New York because we're going to vet him out to the people. We're going to show the people what a despicable character he is."[44]

Lest anyone mistake his desire to win the governor's mansion, Palladino ended the interview by vowing, "It's going to get nastier.... This is your life Andrew Cuomo ... I don't mind being nasty, OK?" - a nod to the increasingly brutal campaign ad war the two have been waging.[45]

Gubernatorial electoral history

1998 Gubernatorial Results[46]
Candidates Percentage
George E. Patacki (R, C) 51.55%
Peter F Vallone (D, WF) 31.50%
Blaise Tom Golisano (IND) 7.30%
Betsy McCaughey-Ross (LIBERAL) 1.56%
Michael J. Reynolds (RTL) 1.14%
Al “Grandpa” Lewis (G) 1.06%
Thomas K. Leighton (MRF) 0.50%
Mary Alice France (U) 0.19%
Christopher B. Garvey (L) 0.09%
Alfred Duncan (SW) 0.05%
Total votes 4,985,932
2002 Gubernatorial Results[47]
Candidates Percentage
George E. Patacki (R,C) 48.23%
H. McCall (D, WF) 32.70%
Blaise Tom Golisano (IND) 13.94%
Gerard Cronin (G) 0.94%
Stanley Aronowitz (G) 0.89%
Thomas K. Leighton (MRF) 0.47%
Andrew Cuomo (LIBERAL) 0.34%
Scott Jeffrey (L) 0.11%
Total votes 4,690,968
2006 Gubernatorial Results[48]
Candidates Percentage
Eliot Spitzer (D, IND, WF) 65.70%
John Fasso (R, C) 27.13%
Malachy McCourt (G) 0.90%
John Clifton (L) 0.31%
Jimmy McMillan (RTH) 0.28%
Maura DeLuca (SW) 0.13%
Total votes 4,697,867

Presidential electoral history

2000 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
George W. Bush (R) 35.23%
Al Gore (D) 60.21%
2004 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
George W. Bush (R) 40.08%
John Kerry (D) 58.37%
2008 Presidential Results[49]
Candidates Percentage
John McCain (R) 36.03%
Barack Obama (D) 62.88%

1992 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
George H.W. Bush (R) 33.88%
Bill Clinton (D) 49.73%
1996 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
Bob Dole (R) 30.61%
Bill Clinton (D) 59.47%

See also

External links

Candidate pages


  1. New York Times, "Cuomo Promises Emergency Plan on Finance Woes," January 1, 2011
  2. Wall Street Journal, "Election Board Fires Its Chief," October 27, 2010
  3. New York State Board of Elections, "NYS Board of Elections Governor/Lt. Governor Election Returns November 2, 2010," accessed December 22, 2010
  4. The Washington Post, "Paladino wins GOP nomination for NY governor," September 14, 2010
  5. Politico, "The immediate Paladino aftermath," September 14, 2010
  6. The Cook Political, “Governors: Race Ratings”
  7. CQ Politics, “2010 Race Ratings: Governors”
  8. Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball', “2010 Governor Ratings”
  9. Rasmussen Reports', “Election 2010: Scorecard Ratings”
  10. Rothenberg Political Report, “Governor Ratings”
  11. Quinnipiac, “Paladino Trails Cuomo By 6 Points In New York Gov Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Small Tea Party Movement Backs Republican 4-1," September 22, 2010
  12. [More complete methodology and sampling tabs are available at www.RasmussenReports.com]
  13. Siena Research Institute, “Cuomo Has Commanding Lead over Paladino Among Likely Voters”, October 5, 2010
  14. Siena Research Institute, “Cuomo Continues Better than 2-to-1 Lead Over Paladino”, September 23, 2010
  15. CNN/Time, “CNN/Time Opinion Research Poll: Connecticut, Missouri, Nevada, New York”, October 6, 2010
  16. Marist College, “Election 2010: New York Governor: Cuomo (D) 54%, Paladino (R) 38%”, September 30, 2010
  17. Survey USA, “Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll #17364”, October 15, 2010
  18. [More complete methodology and sampling tabs are available at www.RasmussenReports.com]
  19. Rasmussen Reports, “Cuomo (D) Posts Double-Digit Lead on Paladino (R)”, October 22, 2010
  20. Rasmussen Reports, “Cuomo (D) 54%, Paladino (R) 38%”, September 20, 2010
  21. Rasmussen Reports, “Election 2010: New York Governor: Cuomo (D) 54%, Paladino (R) 38%”, August 26, 2010
  22. New York State Board of Elections, “Candidate Petition List”, valid as of September 19, 2010
  23. New York State Board of Elections, “Independent Petitions Filed with the New York State Board of Elections”, valid as of September 19, 2010
  24. Washington Post, "Homosexuality not a valid option," October 11, 2010
  25. Hot Air, "Carl Paladino: Being gay isn’t a valid option," October 11, 2010
  26. The Daily Beast, "Crazy Carl's Adviser Quitting?," October 12, 2010
  27. Gawker, "Paladino's Bizarre Apology to Gays," October 12, 2010
  28. Washington Post, "Carl Paladino is a little too mad as hell," October 1, 2010
  29. The Times-Union, "Paladino wants you to think of Cuomo in the shower," September 17, 2010
  30. Paladino for the People, "Dear Andrew Letter," September 20, 2010
  31. New York Daily News, "Can I 'call him an a--hole?' Andrew Cuomo in tizzy after GOP foe Carl Paladino questions his manhood," September 21, 2010
  32. NBC New York, "Game On: Cuomo Enters Mudslinging Fest With New Attack Ad," september 24, 2010
  33. WNYMedia, "NY Gubernatorial Candidate Carl Paladino’s Racist and Sexist Email History," April 12, 2010
  34. WNYMedia, "Paladinoporn.com (NSFW)," October 14, 2010
  35. New York Post, "Paladino's wife tells of son's loss, hubby's affair & 'get over it' policy," September 26, 2010
  36. The Wall Street Journal, "Spitzer Says Cuomo 'Dirtiest' Player," September 24, 2010
  37. The New York Observer, "The Cuomo Report," July 23, 2007
  38. Huffington Post, "Carl Paladino Crumbles at Gubernatorial Debate," October 18, 2010
  39. Yahoo, "Cuomo and Paladino spar in debate for NY governor race," October 19, 2010
  40. Forbes, "Paladino: Format of NY governor debate `terrible'," October 19, 2010
  41. New York Times' CityBlog, "Nature Called, and Paladino Answered," October 19, 2010
  42. The New York Times, "A Fiery Unknown Ruffles New York’s Republicans," September 12, 2010
  43. Politico, "Rick Lazio quits New York governor's race," September 27, 2010
  44. Real Clear Politics, "NY-Gov: Paladino: "I'm Not Intimidatable," September 29, 2010
  45. Real Clear Politics, "NY-Gov: Paladino Says Campaign "Going To Get Nastier"," September 29, 2010
  46. New York State Board of Elections, “1998 General Election Results“
  47. New York State Board of Elections, “2002 General Election Results“
  48. New York State Board of Elections, “2006 General Election Results“
  49. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections', accessed July 28, 2010