Primary Day: What you need to know


NY gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon called on her primary opponent, sitting Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to apologize for a mailer paid for by the state Democratic Party headed by Cuomo which questioned her support for issues important to Jewish voters.

Nixon, a longtime activist and a former star of "Sex and the City", has hammered Cuomo over New York City's beleaguered subways and failures to address income inequality and corruption.

While the contours of the Democratic race in NY look similar to those upsets, Nixon, best known for her Emmy-winning role on HBO's "Sex and the City", has steadily trailed Cuomo by 30 points or more in opinion polls. A Quinnipiac University poll similarly found Cuomo with a 36-point lead. She denounced as a smear campaign a Democratic Party mailer that implied she was anti-Semitic, to which Cuomo pleaded ignorance.

"With anti-Semitism and bigotry on the rise, we can't take a chance with inexperienced Cynthia Nixon, who won't stand strong for our Jewish communities", the mailer said.

Cuomo's campaign suffered a series of missteps over the last weekend of the race.

And in July, Mr. Cuomo was dragged into ugly headlines after the architect of his six-year-old plan to revitalize upstate NY - dubbed "Buffalo Billion" - was convicted in a bid-rigging scheme involving state contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Nixon has also said she is a member of the actors union. In the process, she would have to explain how she would surmount the tangled politics of the state capital and what she would do for the third largest economy in the United States. "This president has brought an attitude and philosophy to this country that is exclusionary, that is divisive, that is bigoted, that is sexist, that is racist". The effects of the mailer on Nixon's campaign, or of the ensuing controversy on Cuomo's, are unclear.

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Though both are supported by prospective gubernatorial candidates, they can win on their own, meaning they can still win the lieutenant governor race if the candidate who backed them doesn't win, which can create a "fascinating dynamic" and possibly "cause tension" in Albany, according to Pehme.

Many observers believe the lopsided polls may not reflect the state of the race. "There's no way to make a prediction".

Should Cuomo win, he would be heavily favored against Republican Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, in the November general election.

Not so for Mr. Cuomo, who is a political legacy - his father was three-term New York Gov. Mario Cuomo - and who has been a Cabinet secretary in the Clinton administration, served as New York's attorney general then won the governorship in 2010.

There is also a three-way contest for the 136 District Assembly seat.