New York, NY — The NY State Attorney’s race between Democrat Eric Schneiderman and Republican Dan Donovan is anybody’s game.
According to the New York Law Journal , a Quinnipiac Poll showed Schneiderman with 37% of the vote and Donovan with 36%. It sounds like a tight race, but it is not. The pollsters were asked to make a snap judgment. Most pollsters said they had not formed a definite opinion, yet. And Donovan had an advantage over Schneiderman among Independents.
A Siena Poll showed Schneiderman with 45% and Donovan with 32%. This makes it sound like Schneiderman is winning. But it is not so. 63% of the pollsters said they had not formed an opinion of Schneiderman and 77% felt the same about Donovan.
In both polls, about half of the people who chose a candidate said their minds were not made up and might change by the election.
In the Quinnipiac Poll, “most said they had not yet heard enough about either candidate to form an opinion,” per the New York Law Journal. Clearly, the candidates are not making themselves clear to the people. Neither candidate impresses a majority of voters. There is no front-runner.
I have been following the candidates closely and I’ve researched them on the Internet. Still, my mind is not 100% made up, but I am leaning toward one candidate.
Part of the reason this is such a tough call is that the candidates appear equally matched. They both appear qualified and likable, albeit in different ways. They both seem like nice guys. Yet, there are differences between them and these differences will make the difference on Election Day.
Experience – Schneiderman has been in the Senate for 12 years. He has a record of fighting for important causes. Read about them here. As a New Yorker who is fed up with the MTA (you wouldn’t believe how long I waited for trains today) I’m impressed that he was the “lead attorney for the NYPIRG Straphangers campaign in a series of historic lawsuits against the MTA,” according to his website.
Donovan’s experience is impressive, also. He has been the Staten Island District Attorney for seven years. Donovan has a 94% conviction rate. It is the highest in New York City. Read more about his accomplishments here. Every time I step out into the city, I face the threat of crime. Donovan’s knowledge of the criminal element is a major asset for Attorney General.
Endorsements – Schneiderman has more endorsements than Donovan. And he has Cuomo. However, Donovan has some heavy-hitters such as NYC Mayor Bloomberg and former NYS Governor Pataki.
Campaign Tactics and Integrity – Back in July, Schneiderman was involved in a fender bender. He was in a vehicle with his driver/aide when she hit a parked car. They drove off. To leave the scene of an accident is illegal. I watched Schneiderman explain on NY1 that he didn’t know they had hit anything. He apologized. He did not seem sincere to me but rather scripted. Now, he is calling Donovan a “racist” because Donovan won’t denounce Carl Paladino’s racist remarks. Donovan claims, “it would be inappropriate for a sitting DA to reveal his opinion on the matter,” according to the NY Daily News. Schneiderman’s “racist” claim against Donovan is ridiculous. Both of these incidents shine a negative light on Schneiderman’s integrity.
I have not heard of any incidents that dim Donovan’s integrity.
So far, due to his toughness on crime and high-road campaigning, I am leaning toward Donovan. Of course, like many New Yorkers, I’m waiting to hear more from and about these candidates.
The New York Law Journal, “Polls: Tight Race Between Schneiderman, Donovan”
Eric Schneiderman, “Meet Eric,” Schneiderman 2010
Dan Donovan, “Meet Dan Donovan,” Donovan New York Attorney General
Kathleen Lucadamo, “Attorney general wannabe Dan Donovan says he’s no racist,” NY Daily News