February 3rd, 2010
09:10 AM ET
8 years ago

Poll: Cuomo challenge of Paterson not racially divisive

Most New Yorkers don't think state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's possible challenge of Gov. David Paterson would be racially divisive, according to a new poll.

Most New Yorkers don't think state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's possible challenge of Gov. David Paterson would be racially divisive, according to a new poll.

(CNN) - Most New Yorkers don't think state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's possible challenge of Gov. David Paterson would be racially divisive, according to a new poll.

A Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday morning indicates that 8 in ten voters, including three-quarters of black voters, say a Democratic primary challenge by Cuomo, who is white, of Paterson, who is black, would not be racially divisive.

According to the poll, 78 percent of New Yorkers are not impatient with Cuomo's delay of any announcement on his possible plans to challenge Paterson, with the high level of patience consistent among all political and racial groups and in every region of the state.

"Unlike the media, New Yorkers aren't impatient for Attorney General Cuomo to admit he's running for Governor," says Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The survey indicates that Cuomo leads Paterson 55 to 23 percent among Democrats in a hypothetical primary matchup, with Cuomo ahead 66 to 15 percent among white Democrats and Paterson ahead 42 to 34 percent among black Democrats. But black Democrats rate Cuomo higher on job approval and favorability.

Cuomo has held a very large advantage over Paterson in primary matchups in state polls dating back a year.

Paterson was lieutenant governor when a scandal led to then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer's departure from the office in March 2008. In September, the White House would not confirm or deny a New York Times report that the Obama Administration was urging Paterson to withdraw from the race. But sources told CNN that White House Political Director Patrick Gaspard met with Paterson, one of only two African-American governors, to let him know about the administration's concerns he could not win the governor's race, a problem that could affect races down-ticket.

According to the survey, Cuomo tops former Rep. Rick Lazio, the probable GOP nominee, 57 to 25 percent in a hypothetical general election matchup, while Paterson and Lazio are deadlocked.

The Quinnipiac Univeristy poll was conducted January 27-February 1, wtih 2,182 New York State registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.

- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: David Paterson • New York
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Mike in NYC

    Even asking this question implies that once a "minority" holds a high office, it should remain racially apportioned in perpetuity.

    Can't wait until 2012. Yep, it'll be just plain wrong for a white to run against the O-Man.

    February 3, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  2. Ed

    What does it matter if the Cuomo challenge of Paterson is or is not racially divisive? What oes not even really mean and why on earth is it a polling issue? Is Obama being President racially divisive? Should Cuomo or Obama not run for office if it is racially divisive? Is taking this poll racially divisive?

    Time for all the garbage like this poll to stop. For a society that claims to want everyone to be treated the same, we sure spend an awful lot of time looking for and making issue of anything no matter how small or stupid.

    February 3, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  3. jp,michigan

    When ever, for what ever reason, a African -American is challenged politically or other wise by an Caucasian person, people can not wait to state," there has to be racial implications".

    February 3, 2010 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  4. Melissa

    Why would one even consider it racially divisive? Just because a white man may run against a black man? Give me a break.

    February 3, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  5. Steve (the real one)

    Are we that weak in the knees and jelly-backed to think everything is racially motivated? Thank God most New Yorkers saw through that question. Why was it even posed and why the media obsession?

    February 3, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. inofritzn

    POLL: Majority of Americans wouldn't even have thought of the racial side of this if previous poll wouldn't have suggested so.

    February 3, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  7. southerncousin

    That smary Cuomo reminds me of Chuck Schumer. Go Patterson.

    February 3, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  8. Mark

    Maybe this fact put an end to the nonsense that blacks automatically and overwhelmingly vote for black candidates as a rule. We vote for qualified black candidates.

    February 3, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. Dave


    This endless reporting of race only perpatuates it.

    This story is basically reporting that there is no race issue. This is ridiculous. Stop dividing Americans up into racial, economical, and political categories.

    There are only three categories that matter:
    1. Radical muslims who are at war with us and basically supported in theory by every muslim
    2. Far, far left wing radicals (like the democrats now running the country into the ground)

    3. The rest of America.

    February 3, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  10. Scott, Tucson

    Seems the only ones who still have hang ups over Race are Democrats.

    February 3, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  11. Fed Up

    Please, don't leave the position you are in. The people of NY need someone to fight big business. You have done a great job as Attorney General. The US needs more AG's like you.

    February 3, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. D.U.T.C.H.

    How did race get brought up in this? Cuomo is clearly the better guy for the job.

    February 3, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. JD

    The only people pitching this whole "racially divisive" thing are the liberals who know they'd be out of a job without racial tensions.

    February 3, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. Erasmus

    Cuomo is in the pocket of the unions. He has refused to go after MTA when they repeatedly trot out their doomsday budgets which include increases in salaries and benefits for their army of workers, but no layoffs. I am a Democrat, but he will never get my vote.

    February 3, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. Alban from Canada

    So now Obama thinks you are a racist if you run against a black man? Sounds to me like he is doing a great job of bringing Americans together. Just like the great job he is doing on the economy.

    February 3, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. Gale

    That is totally ignorant. Every time someone disagrees with a black policy maker, even the president, they're accused of racism!! Every time someone gets robbed or victimized by a black person, the white person doesn't scream racism!! Why can't these issues be two way streets instead of just one way. There would be way less racism if some instigators would leave it alone!

    February 3, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |