NEW YORK (CBS 2 / WCBS 880 / 1010 WINS/ AP) –New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has endorsed Democrat Andrew Cuomo in the New York governor’s race, and Cuomo said he was taking a new poll with “a grain of salt.”

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports | 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Independent, said the state attorney general was best equipped to fix problems in Albany.

“He’s been willing to take on the big issues, he’s been willing to fight the big interest groups,” Bloomberg said. “But he also knows that real change requires reaching across the aisle, building coalitions, and recognizing that no party has a monopoly on good ideas.”

RELATED STORY: Poll Shows Paladino Closing In On Cuomo

The endorsement came on the same day a new poll shows Cuomo’s Republican opponent gaining ground. The Quinnipiac University poll showed Cuomo with a 49 percent to 43 percent lead over Carl Paladino among likely New York voters.

Cuomo said that an increase for Paladino was to be expected since Paladino was coming off a long-shot primary victory last week over former Congressman Rick Lazio. But Cuomo said the campaign has just begun.

The mayor said he’s never met Paladino, but back in July, he said the outspoken Buffalo real estate developer, who won the Republican primary by a 2-1 margin, didn’t have a chance of winning.

Meanwhile, state Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long said he and Rick Lazio were discussing whether the ex-congressman will drop out of the race to consolidate forces behind Paladino.

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