Chuck Schumer's reelection was never in doubt, even for a moment, but there were a couple days in mid-September, right after the Republican primaries, when the campaigns of Andrew Cuomo and Kirsten Gillibrand were ever so slightly threatened. Carl Paladino down 6 points? Joe DioGuardi down by one point? Could it be? Could Cuomo or Gillibrand actually lose?!?
No. They couldn't. Paladino soon blew any momentum he had achieved by fabricating rumors of Cuomo having an affair, getting into a verbal altercation with the Post's Fred Dicker, and making various disparaging remarks about gays. In addition to his bestiality e-mails, his Hitler comparisons, and a whole lot more, voters quickly decided that Paladino's temperament made him unfit to be governor. In a Republican wave year, in a state disgusted with Albany insiders like Andrew Cuomo, an outsider businessman promising huge tax cuts and spending reductions could have had a shot against Cuomo. Just not Paladino. The race was called for Cuomo tonight as the polls closed.
As for Gillibrand, she was probably the luckiest Senate candidate in America this year. Not only were half a dozen Democrats dissuaded by Schumer and the White House from running against her, but big-name Republicans like George Pataki and Rudy Giuliani declined the opportunity as well. DioGuardi, a Westchester congressman 20 years ago, was almost entirely unknown, and never had the money to change that. Like Schumer and Cuomo, the networks were able to declare her the winner even before any votes were counted.
At the Democratic victory party inside the midtown Sheraton about half an hour ago, Schumer took to the podium and shouted, "I love New York!"