Cuomo maintains commanding lead over Nixon, poll shows

Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds a commanding 2-1 lead over rival Cynthia Nixon in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary — but his running mate, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, is locked in a surprisingly close race against insurgent Jumaane Williams, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Cuomo, who is running for a third term, leads Nixon 60 percent to 29 percent, with 11 percent undecided in the Siena College poll.

But Hochul is only ahead of Williams, a Brooklyn city council member, 30 percent to 21 percent, with half the voters undecided.

Although she’s been lieutenant governor for four years, 68 percent of Democratic voters said they did not know or had no opinion of Hochul.

Williams actually leads in New York City, 27 percent to 18 percent.

Hochul, a former Buffalo area congresswoman, clobbers Williams in her upstate base 48 percent to 11 percent, while leading by 7 percentage points in the suburbs.

Although Cuomo and Hochul are running as a ticket, they are elected separately — meaning Cuomo could end up with Williams, a critic, as his lieutenant governor.

The Democratic primary race for attorney general is also wide open.

Letitia James is the front-runner with 25 percent of likely voters in her corner, compared to 16 percent for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, 13 percent for Zephyr Teachout and 4 percent for Leecia Eve.

But a plurality — 42 percent of those surveyed — are undecided.

In the governor’s race, Cuomo beat the “Sex and the City” actress in every region of the state and among all ethnic, racial, age and ideological groups.

In the downstate suburbs, he was trouncing her 74 to 16 percent.

He was also in a 60-to-31 percent runaway in New York City and has a 54-to-33 percent margin upstate.

There were a few bright spots for Nixon on the issues.

Voters said she would do a better job of tackling corruption in state government — 46 percent compared to 40 percent for Cuomo, whose administration has been rocked by pay-to-play and bid-rigging convictions.

Meanwhile, 45 percent of voters said Nixon would advance progressive policies compared to 40 percent for Cuomo.

But despite declining transit service on his watch, Democrats by a 61 percent to 26 percent margin said Cuomo would do a better job fixing New York’s infrastructure.

Elsewhere, more Democrats — 51 percent to 30 percent — said Cuomo would create a tax structure fair for all New Yorkers, and more of them said the incumbent would do a better job improving public education, 48 percent to 34 percent.

The poll surveyed 630 likely Democratic primary voters from July 23 to 26 and has a plus or minus 3.9 percentage-point margin of error.

In its response, the Nixon campaign questioned the methodology of the Siena College poll — just as it did two weeks earlier when the Quinnipiac University poll showed Cuomo with an even bigger lead, 59 to 23 percent.

“Polls clearly aren’t capturing the kind of Democrats who have been turning out to vote in recent primaries. This isn’t your father’s electorate. It’s much younger, and, Grandpa, they call themselves progressives, not liberals now,” said Nixon spokeswoman Lauren Hitt.

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