According to a report from Politico, Republicans salivating at the prospect of reclaiming the governorship in New York due to Governor Andrew Cuomo's troubles are having trouble coming up with a candidate who is not closely associated with Donald Trump, who is deeply unpopular in his home state -- more so in New York City.
With one eye looking back at 2020's presidential election results where Trump only managed a meager 38 percent of the vote, Republicans would prefer a candidate in a much more moderate mold like former Gov. George Pataki, but none appear to be coming forward.
Cuomo had been buffeted by accusations of misconduct with women as well as his handling of the CIVID -19 crisis and Republicans smell blood in the water as an election looms in 2022.
That said, one New York Democratic campaign consultant compared finding a Republican candidate not tainted by Trump, thereby making them palatable to voters, to "searching for a unicorn."
According to Politico's Anne Gronewold, "The GOP is nearly decimated across the state, and with a polarized landscape on the heels of a Trump presidency, it might be impossible to find a GOP candidate who can appeal to center-right Democrats and independents."
That, she reports the field open to Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), a Trump supporter who has already amassed a large war-chest almost two years in advance to the state-wide election.
Zeldin, she reports, may have company in the primary if another notable Trump supporter with an eye on higher office jumps into the race.
"Party leaders from across the state, looking to avoid a potential civil war, have been rallying around Rep. Lee Zeldin of Long Island — a Donald Trump-loving conservative who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election and has fought ardently to oppose abortion rights. Other contenders look much the same and include upstate firebrand Rep. Elise Stefanik and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's son, Andrew Giuliani." the report states before adding the caveat, "Both are also backers of Trump, who lost the state by some 2 million votes last year."
According to Marc Molinaro who lost to Cuomo in 2018, New York's Republican Party has its work cut out for them.
My message is very simple: We just have to be unified. This is not going to be easy no matter who the candidate is," he explained.
According to Zeldin, known for his defense of Trump as well as his strident opposition to a woman's right to choose, Republicans in the state are insisting that he be the candidate --even considering the odds.
"They are saying, 'if you don't run, and you don't win, I'm leaving,'" he told reporters in mid-April. "And I'm telling you the issues that they are citing are issues related to the economy, issues related to public safety, issues related to education, and being embarrassed about the governor. And I'm just going to continue to focus on what New Yorkers are telling me they want me to be focused on."
However, as Gronewold notes, it is going to take a lot more than Republicans voting for a member of their party to reclaim the statehouse in Albany.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (R) who lost to Cuomo in 2014 -- and may jump into the trace too -- said the eventual candidate will need to have broad appeal to oust Cuomo if he is the Democratic candidate.
"Hablo español y esto es muy importante: because I'm going to be able to go into neighborhoods and espouse our virtues as a Republican, and talk about issues that are important, not just in the Hispanic community," he explained before adding, "That's how I won in Westchester."
Party registration also weighs heavily on GOP chances ins state-wide election with Politico reporting, "There are about 6.7 million registered Democrats in New York, about 3 million registered in no party, and about 2.9 million registered Republicans."
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