(CNN) – With New York Gov. David Paterson's announcement Friday afternoon that he won't run this year for a full term in office, all eyes are on fellow Democrat Andrew Cuomo, the state's attorney general.
With Paterson out of the campaign picture, Cuomo is considered the Democratic Party's likely gubernatorial nominee. While the son of former three-term Gov. Mario Cuomo has not formally indicated if he'll make a bid for governor, he hinted Friday that some kind of announcement would be forth coming.
"This is an election year and I will announce my plans at the appropriate time. In the meantime, I will continue to focus on my job as Attorney General and the many important issues we are pursuing," he said in a statement.
Cuomo added that he is "sure this is a difficult choice and a sad day for the Governor and his family. It is in the best interests of all New Yorkers that the state government function through this difficult time and address the pressing budgetary problems we face."
According to a Siena College Research Institute survey released Monday morning, Cuomo led Paterson by 42 points in a hypothetical Democratic primary matchup. The survey also indicated that Cuomo would top former Rep. Rick Lazio, the probable GOP nominee, 63 percent to 26 percent in a hypothetical general election matchup. In that same poll, Lazio led Paterson 46 percent to 39 percent. The survey also showed two-thirds of New York state voters had a favorable opinion of Cuomo.
Besides his flattering poll numbers, Cuomo has also built a formidable campaign warchest.
"We are confident that we will field a strong candidate for the general election and that the New York governorship will remain safely Democratic," says Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association.
The 52 year-old Cuomo was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in President Bill Clinton's second term. He unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in New York in 2002 and successfully won election as the state's attorney general in 2006.
Paterson was lieutenant governor when a sex scandal led to then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer's departure from the office in March 2008.
–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn
(This article was updated with new information at 4:50 p.m. EST)
All I will say is I hope that he had nothing to do with this smear campaign against Governor Patterson. This was an outrageous thing to be a part of, it really was. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I am not even a New Yorker.
I hope Cuoms will run and he will make an excellent governor. He is not afraid of Wall Street .
Funny thing about this. When going to commercial on the news, they said " Lazio closing ground on Cuomo. That story is next." Then they come back and say that Cuomo's lead over Lazio changed for 64%-25% to 63%-26%. Wow. That's news. That's like saying that a football team that is losing 40-0 is back in the game because they kicked a field goal.
Spitzer, Paterson, Cuomo and the list of famous governors from New York just keeps growing.
Another liberal Dem to run New York.
When are you idiots going to learn?
O wait a minute, you let Bloomberg extend his stay at Gracie Mansion.
You get what you deserve.
Remember daddy Cuomo was a great Governor of NY. If baby Cuomo comes 75% close he'll be a-ok.
Ha! there was this guy called Quale that was a VP to daddy Bush. Both had a conversation and Quale (whatever) called him Mario and the argument went balistic. VP Q repeated...Mario, Mario...like a little kid being told to sit and keep quiet. That was fun! I think VP Q should have stayed in the "Bush" if he was around these past eight years. maybe he would have gotten shot by the X VP C.
Go Cuomo. Enough of the repugs.
This guy is gonna move up fast to be a national figure. Watch. He was the only one in politics who put his money where his mouth is and demanded that AIG name names on the Wall Street Bailout.
There is a reason why the GOP cannot win in this state, and it has nothing to do with a acorrupt Democratic Party: it has everything to do with a GOP that is bereft of any ideas and talent. Lazio made a fool of himself 10 years ago when he ran for the Senate, and he has done nothing to build his resume since then. Their power base is dying, plain and simple.
No ideas, no people= no GOP in the Empire State. Teddy Roosevelt must be spinning in his grave.