Good news for the GOP in the first post-primary poll in the New York governorship: Andrew Cuomo's lead over Republican Carl Paladino is only 54% to 38%. This may not sound all that encouraging, and Cuomo is still very likely to be elected the next Governor of New York. But in pre- primary polls, before a GOP candidate was named, Cuomo ran 30-40 points ahead of all of his potential opponents.
Since New York voters know pretty much everything about Cuomo and Paladino is a virtual unknown, Paladino has room to grow his numbers (or of course shrink them, if he proves a disastrous candidate).
The significance of a close race at the top of the ticket, even if Cuomo wins, is that it will help the GOP in many of the close House races in New York State in which the GOP has a chance to take back seat lost since 2004. After the 2004 election, the GOP held 10 of New York's 29 House seats. Now they hold but two. Seven of the seats that were lost in the last six years are now regarded as tossups or slightly leaning to the Democrat this cycle, including: NY 1, NY 13, NY 19, NY 20, NY 23, NY 24, and NY 25, and the GOP is considered to be ahead in the open seat race in New York 29.
There have not been any post-primary polls taken yet for the U.S. Senate race between appointed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who has never run statewide before, and GOP nominee Joe DioGuardi. Gillibrand led DioGuardi by 20 points in pre-primary polls, but this lead may be cut in half now that the GOP has a nominee, rather than a potential opponent for Gillibrand.
While the GOP remains a long-shot to win the governor's race or either of the two Senate races in New York this year (Chuck Schumer is also running for a full term, Gillibrand to complete Hillary Clinton's term), if the Cuomo and Gillibrand races are close enough, it forces the Democrats to spend money in an expensive state for media buys, that could have been better used in much closer Senate races like Wisconsin, Nevada , Washington State, Illinois and Colorado, or close Governors races in Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Texas. And if the GOP is to take over control of the House, picking up a bunch of seats in New York has to be part of the package. Having reasonably competitive races for Governor and the Gillibrand seat is a big plus for the GOP in New York and other states as well.