Today is Primary Day in five states, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island. As with all primaries voter turn out is expected to be low, if not, abysmal. But these elections are even more important than the general election since it gives the members of the individual parties to voice their opinions to the party heads who, for the most part, are out of touch with the general electorate or just willfully ignoring them. This is the vote that makes the bigger difference in the direction the country takes. So, if you are eligible to vote in any of today’s primaries, get your butt to the polls and make your opinion known.
Here is the who’s who for today:
New York: The race for the Democratic nomination for governor and lieutenant governor, a separate line on the ballot in NY, has attracted nationwide attention. It pits incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo and his choice for lieutenant governor, former Representative Kathy Hochul against Fordham law professor, Zephyr Teachout and her running mate, Columbia law professor Tim Wu.
Gov. Cuomo’s refusal to debate Prof. Teachout and his obvious public snubbing her at Saturday’s NYC Labor Day parade then denying he even saw her despite evidence to the contrary, has made this race a news media delight.
What’s one way for a powerful incumbent to deal with an unwelcome primary challenger?
Act like she doesn’t exist.
That’s the model Andrew Cuomo’s campaign has deployed in fending off Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout, who has been running to the Democratic governor’s left.
The strategy was on its most vivid display Saturday when Teachout attempted to greet Cuomo at a New York City parade but was repeatedly boxed out by one of the governor’s aides as Cuomo appeared determined to ignore his opponent.
Teachout’s candidacy is built on the premise that the incumbent is too close to Wall Street and Republican lawmakers — a perhaps difficult tack given Cuomo’s progressive bona fides highlighted by the same-sex marriage law and tough new gun control legislation he pushed through in Albany.
Cuomo is expected to cruise to victory on Tuesday, but Teachout’s candidacy has been a nuisance to the first-term governor.
Cuomo began only this past weekend to campaign actively for re-election, and he suggested to the Washington Post that he could simultaneously be a “liberal Democrat” and a “moderate Democrat.”
Gov, Cuomo’s biggest problems are the federal investigation of his dissolution of his Moreland Commission that was investigating NY state election finance corruption and the fact that he isn’t a Democrat at all. He will likely win.
His running mate, Kathy Hochul, however, may not, which could have some interesting results for November if the governor doesn’t dump Hochul.
Such an action could be needed because a Wu victory would result in a Cuomo/Wu ticket on the Democratic line in the November election but potentially disastrous Cuomo/Hochul tickets on the Working Families, Independence, and Women’s Equality lines, where no primaries are slated.
Under the state Election Law, votes for a Cuomo/Hochul ticket in November would not be added to the tally for the Cuomo/Wu ticket, potentially costing Cuomo hundreds of thousands of votes.
Cuomo would have until Sept. 16 under the election law to swap Wu for Hochul, using a technique that would allow the former Buffalo-area congresswoman and lawyer to be nominated instead for a judgeship, according to an expert on legislative election law.
I love New York.
Massachusetts: Incumbent Governor Deval Patrick (D) decided not the run for a third term. Vying for the Democratic nod are:
Martha Coakley, current MA Attorney General who lost her bid in the 2010 special election for the senate seat of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy to Republican Scott Brown;
Donald Berwick, a former Obama administration health care official;
Steve Grossman, the MA state treasurer, who was endorsed by the state party, as well as the Boston Globe.
On the Republican side:
Charlie Baker, who won the Republican nomination in 2010, is the former state Secretary of Finance and Administration and the former CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care;
Mark Fisher, a businessman aligned with the tea party.
The winners will face three independent candidates in November.
New Hampshire: The Republicans who hope to unseat Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen are:
Scott Brown, former MA senator who lost his bid for a full term to Sen. Elizabeth Warren and moved across the border to NH to try again;
Bob Smith, former US senator;
Jim Rubens, a former state senator.
Hoping to challenge Democratic incumbent Governor Maggie Hassan are:
Andrew Hemingway, a 32-year-old entrepreneur and presidential campaign veteran;
Walt Havenstein, businessman and the frontrunner on the GOP side.
Delaware: Delaware voters choose today which Republican will go up against incumbent Democratic Sen. Chris Coons in November.
Carl Smink, an 81-year-old retired engineer and Air Force veteran;
Businessman Kevin Wade, who ran an unsuccessful Senate campaign in 2012.
There are two statewide offices on the ballot:
Ken Simpler and Sher Valenzuela are competing for the Republican nomination for treasurer. The winner faces Democrat Sean Barney.
The office of state auditor, currently held by Tom Wagner, the sole Republican holding statewide office in Delaware, has Democrats Brenda Mayrack and Ken Matlusky vying for the right to challenge him.
Rhode Island: Democratic and Republican voters choose their candidates for governor and secretary of state.
The Democratic ballot has three candidates:
State Treasurer Gina Raimondo;
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras;
Clay Pell, the 34-year-old grandson of late senator Claiborne Pell.
And two choices for secretary of state:
Nellie Gorbea, former head of RI’s Housing Works and deputy secretary of state;
Guillaume de Ramel, a Newport, RI businessman.
For the Republicans there are two choices for governor:
Ken Block, a moderate who ran for governor in 2010;
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, who was the first Asian American mayor in Rhode Island and would be the first Asian American governor of Rhode Island, if elected.