First, there was the whole small donor debacle. Ever since announcing her challenge to Cuomo, Cynthia Nixon has been touting the fact that she is almost exclusively receiving small-dollar campaign contributions, proving that she has a solid base of voters.
Cuomo, on the other hand, was dubbed the “Master of the $50,000 Fundraiser” by the New York Times, so you can probably guess who can afford to contribute to his campaign.
To try and change the narrative, a handful of Cuomo backers decided to make a bunch of small-dollar contributions to his campaign to bring down the average contribution and raise the percentage of contributions to his campaign that came from small donors.
The problem is that they didn't do a very good job of disguising what they were doing. Campaign filings showed that a relative of a Cuomo staffer made 69 individual donations of $1, $3 and $5 over the course of the last reporting period. They came to a grand total of $77.
And just last week it was discovered that the Cuomo campaign skirted privacy laws and tracked down kids who scored one of the state's new Excelsior Scholarships for tuition-free college, trying to get them to appear in campaign ads touting the governor.
Students records are protected, but the campaign used a list of scholarship recipients that were invited to the 2018 State of the State address to get their contact information.
One student who was contacted told the Post he was surprised to receive the call, and told the campaign rep that he couldn't be in an ad because he is actually going to vote for GOP candidate Marc Molinaro.
How's that for gratitude?!
But the Cuomo campaign has been working hard to tout the endorsements of as many elected officials, unions and other entities that it can.
On July 19, staffers sent out a press release announcing the endorsement of Borough President Melinda Katz and nearly the entire Queens City Council delegation. Only Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who is endorsing Nixon, and Robert Holden, who...well, who knows, maybe they just never asked him...were absent from the list.
He did the same for Brooklyn, with ten City Council members signing on, and the Bronx, but that also came with a little bit of controversy. Immediately after it was released to the press, Bronx Councilman Ritchie Torres contacted reporters to set the record straight that he never said the words that were attributed to him in a quote supporting Cuomo.
In fact, he specifically rejected the quote when it was shown to him, opting to tout Cuomo's record on gun control, LGBT equality and taking on Wall Street rather than the creation of economic opportunity for youth in the Bronx and criminal justice reform. Cuomo's campaign ran with the jobs and justice angle anyway.
Torres said the campaign called to apologize, and said that he was still supporting Cuomo.
As for the aforementioned donations, while Cuomo might be trying hard to show that he has support among the little guys, he doesn't have to try very hard to get the support of the big ones. While Nixon may have a lot of small-dollar donors, the flip side is that Cuomo has a lot of big-dollar contributors, something to the tune of $6 million this year alone.
Reports state that he has about $31 million in his campaign coffers. Conversely, Nixon ended the reporting period with just $660,000 on hand.
If it all came down to money, Cuomo would win in a landslide.