In this unprecedented election year, everything is on the table and nothing should be taken for granted. In that vein, the idea of replacing the leading Democratic candidate for president is not as far-fetched as it normally would be.
Joe Biden was the nominal choice of Democrats to become the party’s nominee. But as Biden struggles to remain relevant during the coronavirus pandemic, and Bernie Sanders supporters lick their wounds, many Democrats are casting about desperately looking for an alternative.
A majority think they’ve found one in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo has received doting, even loving coverage from the national press for what he’s done during the coronavirus crisis. This is something of a mystery because New York has three times the number of infections and five times the number of deaths as other states. The second-worst state is New Jersey, but I don’t hear a groundswell of support for president for Democratic Governor Phil Murphy.
But Murphy isn’t Cuomo and New Jersey definitely isn’t New York. Biden, however, is still Biden, and despite the virulent hatred and hysterical media denunciations of Donald Trump, the incumbent sits in a comfortable position in the polls, just 4 points down to his challenger.
This, and Biden’s disappearance from the stage, has many Democrats wondering if the pandemic has altered the equation enough to where a totally different nominee is called for.
The national poll found 56 percent of Democrats prefer Cuomo, with 44 percent wanting to stick with presumptive nominee Biden — a 12-point margin well outside the 4.8 percent margin of error for the Democratic sample.
Hispanic voters, young people, women and self-identified liberals are most likely to favor dumping the former vice president for Cuomo.
The poll, conducted April 3-6, was commissioned by the conservative pro-market Club for Growth, which generally supports Republican candidates.
Republicans just trying to stir the Democratic pot? Or is it a genuine movement toward Cuomo?
Cuomo denied last month that he wanted to run for president, but some Democrats still are clamoring for an alternative to Biden, who faded from public view during the coronavirus outbreak, which elevated Cuomo in daily press conferences.
“With every major news event, Democrats realize more and more how bad of a candidate Joe Biden is, and Democrats now preferring Cuomo is just another example,” Kildea said.Club for Growth vice president of communications Joe Kildea told The Post that the results highlight Biden’s weakness as a candidate.
Cuomo’s advantage grows with some key Democratic constituencies.
Cuomo was also backed by core Democratic constituencies. Among black voters — who helped Biden defeat Democratic primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders — 55 percent favored Cuomo, with just 45 percent wanting to keep Biden.
Among voters age 25 to 34 of any party, preference for Cuomo hit 67 percent. Fifty-seven percent of all women and 58 percent of Hispanic voters preferred Cuomo.
The chances are slim to none that anything comes of the “Draft Cuomo” movement at the convention. I’m sure Bernie Sanders supporters would have something to say about a change of candidate at the top. And Cuomo himself might not want to see the blood on the floor of the convention if it opens up.
But it shows that Democrats sense doom ahead and are willing to entertain any ideas that will save them from a second Trump term in November.