Incumbent New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was re-elected for a second term on Nov. 4 with 54 percent of the vote and 99 percent of the precincts reporting. Cuomo defeated Westchester County executive Rob Astorino, who secured 40.6 percent of the vote.
Cuomo, who campaigned on his successes legalizing gay marriage, enacting stronger gun control laws and balancing the state budget, said during his acceptance speech he would tackle several new issues in his second term.
“We are just getting started,” Cuomo said. “We’re going to raise the minimum wage for working families. We’re going to pass the Women’s Equality Act because discrimination and inequality against women stops in New York State.”
Astorino, who gave his concession speech 10 minutes after the polls closed, implored the governor to consider the arguments he made about term limits during the campaign.
“I called for state term limits in my campaign, and I hope Governor Cuomo will keep his pledge to seriously look into that idea,” Astorino said. “We are too good a state. New Yorkers are too hard-working to be embarrassed by their government year after year.”
Politics professor Larry Mead said Cuomo’s skill as a manager and his successful legislative record were the key to his victory.
“He’s gotten the legislature to do whatever he wants and keeps the budget under control, which shows he’s a good governor,” Mead said. “He’s done some things that are controversial, like shutting down the Moreland Commission, but those matter less to average voters.”
Politics professor Patrick Egan agreed and said Cuomo’s performance in the election could set him up for a presidential campaign in the future.
“It’s a very strong result for Cuomo, and his results are going to end up being some of the strongest for any incumbent governor in the country,” Egan said. “It positions him well for a presidential run, particularly because he’s managed to do quite well without having to move too far for the left.”
As a result of the other races across the country, the Republican Party won the six seats needed to take control of the Senate for the first time since 2006. The Republicans also maintained their majority in the House of Representatives and gained 31 governorships.
While voter turnout numbers will not be available for a few days, Egan said the makeup of the electorate during midterms contributed to the Republican victory.
“What we are seeing nationally is a pattern that tends to be the case in midterm elections as opposed to presidential elections is that young people are much less likely to turn out for midterm elections, so what you see if a voter turnout that is much older and much less racially diverse,” Egan said.
President of the NYU College Democrats and CAS senior Sophie Tunney said she thinks Astorino’s platform was not well-developed.
“What Rob Astorino proposed was very limited,” Tunney said. “When he came to NYU, the only thing he really talked about was changing term limits, which although I do agree, it is not something that you can run for governor on.”
Michael DeLuca, secretary of the College Democrats and CAS sophomore, said he is looking forward to seeing Cuomo’s policy in his next term.
“We are excited about his progress on issues like gay marriage and gun control, and to see him deal with some of the criticism that were lodged against him during the race like his dealings with corruption,” DeLuca said. “We’re hoping that is something to be addressed in his upcoming term.”
NYU College Republicans president and Stern senior John Catsimatidis said Astorino’s loss was unfortunate, but ultimately the midterms were successful for Republicans.
“It is a tough thing to compare, but it is nice to see the majority of the House seats in New York State going to Republicans just because we’ll have representatives from New York who follow the Republican ideals in the Senate forming national and international policies,” Catsimatidis said.
Jack Sterne, CAS junior, and Chloe Chik, Gallatin junior, from the NYU College Democrats comment on the midterm elections.
John Catsimatidis Jr., Stern senior, and Spyridon Mitsotakis, CAS alumnus, from the NYU College Republicans comment on the midterm elections.
Additional reporting by Alanna Bayarin and Ella Kuzmenko. A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Nov. 5 print edition. Email the News Desk at [email protected]