The results in New York tonight cut at Cuomo in two ways, though he wasn’t on the ballot. The first and most obvious is an energized conservative base, which chose a real outsider — Buffalo developer Carl Paladino — as a more plausible, if extremely longshot, vessel for a “mad as hell” anti-Establishment campaign against the “status Cuomo” than would have been the Establishment Republican, a former bank lobbyist.
Back in reality, here’s Buffalopundit who, unlike Ben Smith, bothered to look at the election returns:
I think Paladino will be a formidable challenger and give Cuomo some bad headaches over the next six weeks, but the general election is a very different animal than the Republican primary. But it was clear yesterday that Paladino was going to massacre Lazio in WNY, and massacre him he did – winning 93% – 7% in Erie County. While Paladino’s stunning win came about thanks to about 440,000 Republicans voting, the dull AG race on the Democratic side saw almost 600,000 Democrats vote statewide. Not a lot of enthused, energized Democrats turning out for what became a three-way Schneiderman/Rice/Coffey race.
In other words, the most motivated, angry, tea party guy pulled in 30% fewer votes than the two top Democratic AG candidates in a 5-person race. Cuomo remains the overwhelming frontrunner.
The AG race was the only real one on the Democratic ballot, and it was a total snore. At 5:30 yesterday, I was the 22nd Democrat to vote in my district, which has at least a couple hundred Democrats. Even a uninterested, unmotivated base will let Cuomo beat Carl Paladino and his desire to put the poor in remodeled prisons where they can be taught “personal hygiene”.