Every time I think we’ve heard the last from Cynthia Nixon and her quixotic primary challenge against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo she manages to fool me. The primary race is well behind us and we’re only five weeks away from the election, but thus far all efforts to get Nixon off the ballot on the Working Families Party line (WFP) have come to naught. There was some talk a couple of weeks ago about Nixon going along with one of the WFP’s plans, but she wanted Cuomo to first apologize and take responsibility for the dirty tricks mailer that was sent out to Jewish families in New York City the week before the primary election. Cuomo passed on that idea and we heard no more about it.
Now the clock is running down and one of the major unions that supports both the Democrats and the WFP is getting nervous. They want the WFP to come up with an answer quickly because they fear the actress and activist could actually endanger Cuomo’s otherwise assured victory next month. (New York Post)
Teachers union President Michael Mulgrew is urging the Working Families Party to dump Cynthia Nixon from its ballot line for governor in the Nov. 6 general election, saying she’ll siphon too many votes on the left away from two-term Democratic incumbent Gov. Cuomo and improve the slim chances of a Republican victory, The Post has learned.
Mulgrew shared his opinion with WFP member Jonathan Westin, director of New York Communities for Change, a source said.
NYCC is a group that the United Federation of Teachers has generously funded over the years, pumping $301,704 into the UFT’s coffers last year…
“Mulgrew supports the move to get Nixon off the line. It’s too great a risk at this time to elect a Republican,” the source said.
As we discussed previously, the WFP had an exceedingly complicated scheme lined up for this eventuality which could have prevented this mess. They have a placeholder candidate on their line for the State Assembly district where Nixon lives in New York City. The idea was to nominate that candidate for an open judgeship, pulling him off the ballot, and nominate Nixon in his place. That would allow the party to legally pull her off the ballot for governor and endorse Cuomo. But the plan required Nixon going along with it and filling out all the forms, etc. There’s no sign of her doing so yet and at this point, the only other way she could legally get off that line would be to either die or move out of the state in the next week or so.
But what’s the union so worried about, anyway? I mean, Cuomo’s still going to win the race in a walk over Republican Marc Molinaro, right? Well… maybe. But keep in mind that Nixon’s largely socialist wing supporters are still pretty ticked off over how the primary played out, and while she lost badly, her base of support was very energized and enthusiastic. Nixon lost the primary by a 2-1 margin, but she drew more than 500,000 votes. Keep that number in mind for a moment.
During Cuomo’s last outing in 2014, with a far less unsettled political landscape than today, he handily defeated Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. But the vote split came in at roughly 2,069,000 for Cuomo and 1,537,000 for Astorino. Just sketching this out on the back of the napkin, that’s a victory margin of right around 550,000. In the primary, Nixon pulled 512,585. And Molinaro is arguably a significantly better candidate with the ability to mount a decent campaign in the final stretch. If a serious percentage of Nixon’s supporters want to pull the lever for her again next month on the WFP line, Cuomo could suddenly find himself in a dogfight.
The likelihood of that happening? I’d still call it a long shot, and that’s being generous. But it’s 2018 and stranger things have happened this year. So it’s really not that surprising that the unions are getting nervous and pressuring the WFP to find a way to get Nixon off their ballot line.