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Poll shows wide gap in Governor's race

WBFO File Photo

A poll conducted fifteen weeks before Election Day shows incumbent New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is maintaining a wide lead over his nearest challenger.

According to the Siena Poll, Cuomo is 37 points ahead of Republican challenger Rob Astorino.   The incumbent Democrat also has a high favorability rating, while 60 percent of voters have never heard of Astorino.

Candidates’ financial statements were released earlier this month, and Cuomo reported having $35 million to Astorino’ s $2.4 million in the bank.  

Siena’s Steve Greenberg says the GOP challenger has “a gigantic hole to climb out of,” is he wants to make the race competitive. The poor showing in the polls makes it all the much harder to raise money.

“He’s in a Catch 22,” Greenberg said. “He’s got to find a way to raise enough money to become known to voters.”

The poll contains some good news for Astorino. The Republican challenger has created a new ballot line, called the Stop Common Core party, to attract New Yorkers who are opposed to the controversial implementation of the new federal learning standards. 49 percent of New Yorkers are against Common Core, while 39 percent are for it. The poll finds  New Yorkers continue to be divided about whether hydro- fracking should be allowed, with 42 percent saying no and 41 percent saying yes.   

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.