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Poll: Cuomo holds 2-1 lead over Nixon; AG, lieutenant governor races closer

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in Westbury on April

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in Westbury on April 27, and Cynthia Nixon in Brooklyn on March 28. Photo Credit: Composite photo; Howard Schnapp, left, and Corey Sipkin

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has a 2-1 lead over Democratic primary challenger Cynthia Nixon, but a large number of the likely primary voters questioned remain undecided about the crowded field for attorney general and for lieutenant governor, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Cuomo led Nixon, the activist and actress, 60 percentage points to 29 percentage points in the Siena Research Institute poll. He led by 58 percentage points in the New York City suburbs, including Long Island, by 29 points in New York City, and 21 points upstate.

Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said liberal Democrats are strongly with Cuomo. Liberal Democrats from New York City are expected to be the major factor in the Sept. 13 primary.

Cuomo’s running mate, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, has a 30-21 percentage point lead over New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, who is running with Nixon. In New York State, primary voters choose a lieutenant governor separate from the governor’s race, but the pair that wins the primary then runs on a single ticket in the November general election.

Nixon spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said the poll doesn’t reflect young, progressive Democrats who triggered upsets in congressional primaries this year.

“This isn’t your father’s electorate. It’s much younger,” Hitt said. She said Nixon beat Cuomo on an important question about which candidate would do a better of job advancing progressive policies by 45 to 40 percent.

Cuomo, however, beat Nixon on questions about who would be better at combating corruption, fixing roads and other infrastructure, improving public education and creating a fairer tax system. Nixon has devoted much of her campaign to criticizing Cuomo’s record on public education and corruption.

There was no immediate comment from Cuomo’s campaign.

In the Democratic primary for attorney general,  New York City Public Advocate Letitia James led with the support of 25 percent of likely primary voters, according to the poll. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney had 16 percent; Zephyr Teachout, the Fordham law professor who challenged Cuomo for governor four years ago, had 13 percent; and Leecia Eve, a former aide to Sen. Hillary Clinton, had 4 percent; 42 percent of Democrats questioned in the poll were undecided. Eric T. Schneiderman resigned as attorney general in May when four women he dated accused him of abuse. Barbara Underwood, whom the State Legislature appointed to succeed him, is not seeking election to the post.

The poll questioned 630 likely Democratic primary voters from July 22 to Thursday. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

The winner of the attorney general primary will face Republican nominee Keith Wofford, a Manhattan attorney. The Democrats’ choice for governor and lieutenant governor will face Republican nominees Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, and Julie Killian, a former Rye city councilwoman.

Also running in November’s general election for governor will be Stephanie Miner, the former Syracuse mayor on the Serve America Movement line; and Howie Hawkins, a labor activist running on the Green Party line.

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