Outgoing Gov. David Paterson said Democrats should take notice of Carl Paladino’s surprising victory over establishment favorite Rick Lazio in Tuesday’s Republican primary.
“The people polled were not the people who voted,” said Paterson, a Democrat, on cable news channel YNN. “There’s a motivation aspect. So we’re going to have get people out to vote in November. I think you’re going ot see him working very hard from now until election day.”
He added that Paladino, 64, is on something of a roll right now.
“The fact that he has gained this incredible victory by almost a 2 to 1 margin in the primary means you have to pay attention to him,” he said. “He’s surging. I think Democrats need to get out and really reignite the voters the way we did in 2008.”
Still, he also said Paladino, a real-estate developer from Buffalo, might be tripped up by his often acerbic rhetoric that could turn off some New York voters.
“His challenge is going to be where has he shown the ability to bring people together?” he said.
Democratic State Chairman Jay Jacobs was confident statewide voters would pick Democrat Andrew Cuomo over Paladino.
“GOP voters who picked Carl Paladino because they were ‘Mad as Hell’ at Albany are in for a rude awakening when they realize that Paladino embodies everything that they’re mad about,” he said in a statement. “For years, he’s profited from a cozy relationship with politicians, giving them a half million dollars in donations and pocketing millions in state contracts and tax breaks. Together with Paladino’s crude, racially inflammatory comments, New Yorkers will come out in droves this November just for the opportunity to vote against him.”