Cuomo maintains monster lead over Molinaro

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is maintaining a large lead over Republican challenger Marc Molinaro thanks largely to overwhelming support from voters in the Democratic stronghold of New York City, a new poll released Thursday found.

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Cuomo ahead 58 to 35 percent three weeks before Election Day.

Five percent of voters are undecided and 13 percent who do name a candidate say they could change their minds by Election Day, Nov. 6.

Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, is holding his own in the downstate suburbs, losing to Cuomo 45 to 52 percent.

Molinaro is ahead upstate, 51 to 41 percent.

But in New York City, the Republican is getting clobbered 77 to 13 percent.

Conventional political wisdom is that a Republican running for governor has to hold the Democrat to under 70 percent in the city to have a realistic chance.

A Siena College poll released Oct. 1 showed Cuomo with a similar 22-point lead.

Molinaro’s uphill trek is compounded by a massive fundraising disadvantage. Cuomo has 45 times more campaign cash on hand — $9 million to $200,000 — to spend for the final stretch, according to the most recent fundraising reports.

And nearly half of voters — 48 percent — still don’t know Molinaro’s name.

“Besides running in a deeply blue state against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a two-term incumbent with a big advantage in campaign funds, the lack of name recognition for Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is a huge hurdle to overcome in less than three weeks until Election Day,” said pollster Mary Snow.

President Trump’s unpopularity in New York is another hurdle for Republicans.

Voters disapprove of Trump’s job performance 60 to 37 percent, with the strongest displeasure in the city, with nearly three-quarters of voters giving him a thumbs down.

The poll’s release coincides with Cuomo’s refusal to agree to debate Molinaro. Candidates with large leads typically try to stay away from debates to avoid giving any exposure to their rivals.

The race for US Senate is equally lopsided, with Democratic incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand topping Republican challenger Chele Farley 58 to 33 percent.

The poll of 852 likely voters has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points either way.

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