The new Quinnipiac poll of New York finds that state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo continues to have a very wide lead over incumbent Gov. David Paterson in a potential Democratic primary match-up. The poll also finds that voters do not believe race would end up being a divisive issue, if such a primary were to occur.
Among registered Democrats, Cuomo leads Paterson by 55%-23% in a primary. The poll also asked: “Some people say that if Andrew Cuomo runs against David Paterson in a Democratic primary for Governor that it would be racially divisive. Do you agree or disagree?” The top-line number was only 14% agree, 80% disagree. Among Democrats it was 15%-78%, among whites it was 13%-79%, and among blacks 22%-73%.
As the pollster’s analysis notes, black Democratic voters favor Paterson in such a match-up, by a 42%-34% plurality. At the same time, though, black Dem respondents give Cuomo higher approval numbers for his job as attorney general, at 78%-12%, compared to their 60%-30% approval of Paterson as governor. So although race can often be a third rail in American politics, in this case it doesn’t appear that it would end up being all that divisive.