The Expectation Game: Paterson-Cuomo Edition

The latest round of campaign-finance numbers will come out later this week, and the debate about how much money embattled Governor David Paterson needs to stave off a challenge from Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is well underway.

The question is how much Paterson needs to raise his poll numbers in an effort prevent a rush towards Cuomo, particularly considering what Paterson has already spent on television advertising

On Inside “City Hall” last night, Democratic consultant Risa Heller said that, for Paterson, poll numbers trump whatever fund-raising deficit may exist between Paterson and Cuomo.

“It’s not necessarily going to be about money. I think what the governor needs to show is that he’s righting the ship of state, and if that happens and he turns it around, I don’t think it’s going to matter that he has much less than Andrew,” she said.

Republican consultant Susan del Percio agreed, saying the money Paterson and Cuomo raised are “almost different things.”

“Cuomo’s money will show what he’s running for in November, whether it’s governor or A.G. Everyone knows basically that’s what he’s looking for,” she said.  

“Governor Paterson is looking to get his numbers up in the next 60 days, so if has enough money on hand to continue doing the advertising, to keep getting his message out, he can get above 40, maybe 44, he then puts Andrew Cuomo in a very different position, no matter how much money Andrew Cuomo has. He’s going to re-question ‘Is Paterson so vulnerable?’ “

On his radio show yesterday morning, Fred Dicker took a different view, saying if Paterson has only $3 or $4 million “against Andrew Cuomo’s $15 or $16 million, lots and lots of people out there, insiders and people that want to be with a winner are going to conclude, as many already have, that Andrew Cuomo is going to be the winner, and not David Paterson.”

Dicker went to to say that if Paterson declares that his campaign has less money on-hand today than it did six months ago—which would probably be because of the TV ads—”that would really be astounding. I think it could produce, if not a stampede, a public movement towards Cuomo by several very influential Democrats.”


The Expectation Game: Paterson-Cuomo Edition