Cuomo’s Lead Over Paladino Cut in Half

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Andrew Cuomo is still the clear favorite in the governor's race, but Carl Paladino has solidified his support with conservative voters after his primary victory against Rick Lazio last week, according to the first poll of the race since he captured the Republican nomination. Over the past few months, various polls measured Cuomo's lead over Paladino as anywhere from 29 percent to 45 percent, but today's Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters puts Cuomo up by "only" sixteen points.

A couple of caveats, though: The survey was taken on September 16, two days after Election Day, and it's not unusual for victorious candidates to receive a temporary bump in the polls. The Rasmussen poll also doesn't ask respondents about Rick Lazio, who will still appear on the ballot on the Conservative Party line (unless he eventually decides to withdraw) and siphon boring, moderate Republican voters away from Paladino. Still, caveats notwithstanding, sixteen points is hardly an insurmountable gap, and Democrats take this race for granted at their peril.

Election 2010: New York Governor [Rasmussen]