Andrew Cuomo Can Safely Run Against a Black Man

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Excellent. Photo: Roger Kisby / Getty Images

Some allies of Governor Paterson have argued that Andrew Cuomo — who unsuccessfully challenged the state's first major-party black candidate for governor, Democrat Carl McCall, in 2002 — might risk stirring up racial divisions again by running against Paterson. Cuomo has reportedly worried about the prospect himself, though Paterson told our Chris Smith recently that he's "not really comfortable with that argument." And it turns out that the people who matter most, New York's voters, aren't comfortable with it either, according to a new poll. Only 14 percent of registered Democrats say a Cuomo-Paterson contest would be racially divisive, including, importantly, only 22 percent of black Democrats (though the poll only sampled 142 of them). It doesn't hurt Cuomo that President Obama — who maintains a 90 percent approval rating among black New York Democrats — has made it very clear that Paterson's blackness does not outweigh his wackness.

Q Poll: No 'Race Problem' For Cuomo [Daily Politics/NYDN]