- Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) has emerged as the second-favorite to be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee
- Cuomo’s odds have skyrocketed over the last six days since opening as a +2500 longshot on 24
- The 57-year-old former HUD Secretary has become “America’s Governor” in many respects during the COVID-19 crisis
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) has seen his odds to earn the 2020 Democratic Party’s presidential nomination go from as long as +2500 to as short as +750 in the span of just six days.
On the whole, Cuomo is now the second-favorite to win the Democratic nomination behind former Vice President Joe Biden — ahead of the likes of Bernie Sanders (once considered the front-runner) and Hillary Clinton.
The 57-year-old former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development has acted exemplary over the last month as New York has become the domestic epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
2020 Democratic Nominee Odds
Odds taken on March 30th.
There’s no question Cuomo has acted “presidential” — even before the severity of COVID-19 became apparent. He’s tried to be in front of the pandemic as much as possible in the Empire State. From providing free alcohol-based hand sanitizer to all New Yorkers on March 9 to shutting down the state March 22 in an effort to enforce social distancing to standing up to Trump’s threat of a proposed federal quarantine on the Tri-State area this weekend, there’s a reason Cuomo has emerged as a dark-horse presidential candidate in the last week. My colleague, David Golokhov, covered some of that rationale last week.
Much in the same way Rudy Giuliani became “America’s Mayor” in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on New York City when he was mayor of the Big Apple nearly two decades ago, Cuomo has been thrust unwittingly into the national spotlight amid chaos and shown strong leadership during dire times.
You can track Cuomo’s emergence on the 2020 Democratic nomination odds, starting as a consensus +3133 pick but now sitting at +1306 on average. But does his meteoric rise as a betting favorite make him a realistic challenger to Biden? Let’s dive in and analyze.
Not This Way
While Cuomo has expressed presidential ambitions in the past, he isn’t even in the 2020 race. And throwing his hat into the ring now would smack of a politician taking advantage of tragic circumstances for personal gain. Cuomo shut down rumors Monday afternoon.
"I am not engaging the president in politics," says NY Gov. Cuomo. "My only goal is to engage the president in partnership. This is no time for politics. I am not going to get into a political dispute with the president."
"I'm not running for president."https://t.co/jXULryB7YF
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 30, 2020
Now, is there a chance Cuomo’s momentum becomes too overwhelming to ignore? Absolutely. As we’ve seen, coronavirus has changed everything. Literally. Maybe it even changes November’s election. But I don’t see Cuomo backtracking on these comments. He has bigger fish to fry in his home state.
According to a poll released Monday by the Siena College Research Institute, 87-percent of New Yorkers approve of the governor’s handling of the outbreak. That’s compared to 41-percent approving of Trump’s handling of the crisis. Trump himself deemed Cuomo a more worthy opponent than Biden on Fox News.
“I wouldn’t mind running against Andrew. I’ve known Andrew for a long time. I wouldn’t mind that, but I’ll be honest, I think he’d be a better candidate than Sleepy Joe,” Trump said Monday on “Fox and Friends.”
Of course, we must consider the source. Trump loves to needle the Democratic Party (which he once belonged to) at any and every opportunity these days. The president went so far as even taking credit for Cuomo’s rise in popularity.
“One of the reasons he’s been successful, if I said, ‘No, we’re not giving you four hospitals and we’re not giving you four medical centers and we’re not sending you a ship’ then he’s got to, and we didn’t give them thousands of ventilators, by the way, and millions of masks, because we’ve sent them a lot of stuff. Well, one of the reasons he’s successful is because we’ve helped make him successful,” Trump added on Fox.
Yes, Trump has been a foil to Cuomo in the last month — with one of the latest issues being the president’s claim that what’s happening at New York hospitals was “worse than hoarding” personal protective equipment, including masks, during the COVID-19 fight.
But this is all grandstanding by a person who reportedly asked none other than former New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez — instead of any number of more qualified medical advisers at his disposal — for advice on how to handle the coronavirus.
Trump saying Cuomo is a better candidate than Biden doesn’t make it so.
What Happens Next?
Cuomo becoming a second-favorite to earn the Democratic presidential nomination is nothing more than a novelty. It’s akin to Oprah Winfrey being a big name on odds following her #TimesUp speech at the 2019 Golden Globe Awards. Look who else is on that table. Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama? C’mon.
The nomination is Biden’s and Biden’s alone. Yes, #PresidentCuomo may have been trending on Twitter. But Governor Andrew Cuomo is just that and will remain just that. Governor.