NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Republican Marc Molinaro has cut into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s once-commanding lead in the polls.
A new Siena College survey finds Cuomo’s lead against Dutchess County Executive Molinaro is now 13 percentage points, 49 to 36. That’s down from a 22-percent difference last month, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Monday.
There were cheers for Cuomo at a Brooklyn get-out-the-vote rally — the last of the campaign — where the man who has run the state of New York for two terms told voters they should choose him, not Republican Molinaro, because the upstate county executive would be a clone of President Donald Trump.
“It is his agenda. It is his rules. It is his values that they want to bring to New York,” Gov. Cuomo said. “And what we are saying is, very simply, no how, no way are you bringing Trump’s polices to the state the of New York.”
The attack came as a new poll shows the race tightening. The Siena poll shows Molinaro with a 41-34 lead among independent voters.
Team Molinaro said the poll gave them hope of pulling off the same kind of upset that occurred in 1994, when George Pataki beat Mario Cuomo.
“It is playing out in our internal polls, which suggest this race is even closer,” Molinaro said.
On Monday, Molinaro campaigned with Pataki, who said he thinks 2018 could send another Cuomo packing.
“People understand they want a change in Albany. They want a governor who is not going to ignore the plight of the subway system and work to fix it and who is going to put behind us the scandals that have rocked Albany,” Pataki said.
“George Pataki was back when they had sane moderate Republicans, right? He was pro-choice George Pataki. He believed in gun control. This has nothing to do with my opponent, who is pro-life, who is pro-gun, who refuses to release his taxes. I say to him George Pataki released 15 years of taxes. Why won’t you?” Cuomo said.
Meanwhile, New York City Board of Election officials are warning voters that casting a ballot this year is more complicated. In addition to the need to flip the ballot to weigh in on three propositions, voters then have to split the ballot in half and put each half into the machine separately, Kramer reported.