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Blog Home Page --> Governor -- New York

New York Republicans Facing Another Schism?

The New York Republican Party, no stranger to controversy in the past year, has a new internal battle brewing over its gubernatorial nominee that could lead to a New York-23 like split for the GOP.

Rick Lazio, the former Long Island Congressman who unsuccessfully challenged Hillary Clinton in the 2000 U.S. Senate race, appeared well on his way to securing the nomination. Endorsements included former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Gov. George Pataki, as well as a slew of county chairmen and local officials. But others in the party, said to be concerned over what is described as "lackluster" fundraising, have reportedly opened the door to a Democrat, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, to contest for the GOP nod.

Levy, without mentioning which party he'd run in, outlined his potential platform in a New York Daily News op-ed this morning. He's considering a run "because I believe I am the most qualified candidate to bring our state back from the brink of fiscal disaster," he writes.

In reporting on his potential party switch, the New York Times describes Levy as a "blunt-spoken fiscal hawk and contrarian," who "can tap into the public's anti-incumbent sentiment and frustration with Albany's overspending." He told the paper he wants voters to think of him as "Scott Brown II." Lazio has been making a similar argument, as he told RCP earlier this year.

Continue reading "New York Republicans Facing Another Schism?" »

Paterson: "I'm Black, I'm Blind, And I'm Still Alive"

Gov. David Paterson (D) continues to fight back against "outrageous" rumors that he said have distracted from his ability to govern the state. Appearing on Don Imus' show on Fox Business Network this morning, he described his efforts to tamp down a supposed "bombshell" coming from the New York Times.

A frustrated Paterson bemoaned his "dismal, almost Kafka-esque situation where you can't even respond because you can't respond to the rumors about the rumors." And he also suggested that his political adversaries were at fault here.

"For a person that has such weak poll numbers and hasn't raised enough money and has diminishing political support, someone is going very far out of their way to see that I'm not a candidate this year," Paterson said.

Imus immediately interjected, "I wonder if that's Cuomo," referring to state Attorney General and likely Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo.

"I don't know who it is, and for me to speculate on it would be for me to commit the same act I'm complaining about. I just know that it's a well-orchestrated attempt to do this," Paterson responded.

Working against the perception of him as an ineffective leader, Paterson described his successes in tackling the state's fiscal woes. He also claimed, "For the last four months, in the 15 largest populated states, only one governor's poll numbers have consistently gone up. And you're looking at him."

"I'm black, I'm blind, and I'm still alive. How much better do they want me to be?" he joked.

Continue reading "Paterson: "I'm Black, I'm Blind, And I'm Still Alive"" »

NY Sen, Gov Poll: Cuomo +42

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D), still not in the gubernatorial race, leads potential foe Rick Lazio (R) by 42 points -- which is actually a 4-point margin decrease since the last survey in December, according to a new Siena poll (Jan. 10-14, 806 RV, MoE +/- 3.5%).

Lazio and Erie County Executive Chris Collins (R) fare far better against Gov. David Paterson (D) and Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy (D). Paterson is the only Dem not to lead either Republican.

In the Democratic primary, Cuomo leads with 59%, followed by Paterson (21%) and Levy (6%).

Governor
Cuomo 66 - Lazio 24
Paterson 42 - Lazio 42
Levy 40 - Lazio 33

Cuomo 65 - Collins 23
Paterson 40 - Collins 40
Levy 42 - Collins 26

Meanwhile, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D), facing a possible challenge from former congressman Harold Ford Jr. (D), now has an upside-down favorable rating and trails former governor George Pataki (R) by double digits. In a primary matchup, Gillibrand leads Ford 41%-17%.

A former congresswoman, Gillibrand was appointed a year ago to Hillary Clinton's Senate seat, yet she still remains unknown to more than a third of the state. Asked if they would vote to elect her or for someone else, 29% of voters said they'd choose her and 45% said someone else.

Senate
Gillibrand 38 - Pataki 51
Ford 32 - Pataki 54
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In New York, Lazio Sees Brown As Model For Success

The special election in Massachusetts hasn't even happened yet, and the result is still very much up in the air. But already, the campaign of Scott Brown is already being cited by fellow Republicans as an example of how the party can have success in 2010, particularly in blue states.

Rick Lazio, running for governor in New York this year, cited Brown's effort as more proof of a strong shift in the public mood that he predicts will crest this fall against the Democratic Party.

"I think what it says is that in a state that is more Democratic than New York, that independents and Democrats are willing to take a look at somebody who is going to reflect some of what they're worried about," Lazio said in an interview with RCP in Washington Thursday. "I think it's very powerful. And talking about a state like Massachusetts, with the legacy of that seat, it's impossible to discount the power of where this guy is polling right now."

Lazio, a former Congressman from Long Island, also cites the result of elections in November in New Jersey and suburban New York counties, where Republicans were elected in Democratic-majority jurisdictions, some of which were considered major upsets. That, and the lessons he's learned since his failed 2000 Senate campaign against Hillary Clinton, give Lazio confidence that he can overcome a steep deficit in the early polling and take back Albany for the GOP.

"Who would have thought Scott Brown would have been competitive?" he said. "And I think that in terms of experience, political positioning in terms of my politics, my experience and background, the experience of our campaign team, the state of the economy in New York, I think we're in infinitely stronger position than Scott Brown found himself in a month ago."

Continue reading "In New York, Lazio Sees Brown As Model For Success" »

NY Poll: Paterson Still Struggling

Even after a recent ad buy aimed at improving his numbers, New York Gov. David Paterson (D) looks like a sure loser in either the primary or general election next year, a new Siena poll (11/8-12, 800 RVs, MoE +/- 3.5%) finds.

The TV ads may have bought the governor a slight improvement in his fav/unfav rating, but that's about it. His job approval rating is still an abysmal 21 percent, compared to 79 percent who disapprove. Only 17 percent say they'd vote to elect him in 2010, while 69 percent prefer someone else. Here are how the primary and general election matchups pan out:

Gubernatorial Primary Election Matchup
Cuomo 75 (+5 vs last poll, 10/14-18)
Paterson 16 (-4)

Gubernatorial General Election Matchups
Giuliani 56 (unch)
Paterson 33 (unch)

Lazio 42 (+5)
Paterson 39 (unch)

Cuomo 53 (+3)
Giuliani 41 (-2)

Cuomo 67 (+1)
Lazio 22 (+1)

"While it's true that the Governor's new commercials had only been airing for less than a week while Siena was polling, it seems clear that he's going to have to spend a lot of campaign funds very early to even have a chance of improving the measurements by which voters judge David Paterson," Siena's Steven Greenberg said.

Fifty-two percent of voters prefer that Andrew Cuomo run for governor instead of another term as attorney general. Just as many say he has time to wait, while 33 percent want him to declare now.

Favorable Ratings
Paterson 27 / 61
Lazio 29 / 22
Cuomo 67 / 20
Giuliani 62 / 34

After the jump, a look at Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's improving re-election prospects.

Continue reading "NY Poll: Paterson Still Struggling" »

Siena Poll: Paterson Numbers At Record Lows

The likelihood of Gov. David Paterson's (D) name appearing on a ballot next year appears to be increasingly unlikely as a new Siena poll (624 RVs, 10/14-18, MoE +/- 3.9%) finds his numbers show no signs of improvement. While Andrew Cuomo remains a surer bet for Democrats to hold the office in 2010, Rudy Giuliani has narrowed the gap against the attorney general in a hypothetical matchup.

Gubernatorial Primary Election Matchup
Cuomo 70 (+4 from last poll, 9/13-17)
Paterson 20 (unch)

Gubernatorial General Election Matchups
Giuliani 56 (+4)
Paterson 33 (-2)

Cuomo 50 (-2)
Giuliani 43 (+4)

Paterson 39 (unch)
Lazio 37 (+2)

Cuomo 66 (+2)
Lazio 21 (+3)

Paterson's job approval rating is just 19 percent, with 79 percent disapproving. An all-time high of 72 percent of voters say they'd prefer someone else in 2010. Meanwhile 49 percent of voters say they want Cuomo to run for governor, while 36 percent want him to seek re-election. "A potential Democratic primary is now less than a year away, and while a year is a political lifetime, the hill that the Governor must climb is incredibly steep," Siena's Steven Greenberg said.

Favorable Ratings
Paterson 27 / 61
Lazio 23 / 27
Cuomo 67 / 20
Giuliani 60 / 35

Now about one-third of voters say they want Giuliani to run for governor, while 21 percent want him to run for Senate, and 43 percent don't want him to run for either. After the jump, Siena's polling on the Senate race.

Continue reading "Siena Poll: Paterson Numbers At Record Lows" »

Team Romney Says Lazio Fundraiser No Rudy Snub

PolitickerNY has the invitation for a fundraiser in New York next Wednesday for gubernatorial hopeful Rick Lazio, hosted by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Lazio, the 2000 GOP nominee for U.S. Senate, is currently the party's only candidate in the 2010 Empire State race. But Rudy Giuliani, a Romney rival for the 2008 presidential nomination, is also considering a run. The former New York Mayor is said to be weighing his options, with a major factor being whether Gov. David Paterson or Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is the Democratic nominee.

Eric Fehrnstrom, a Romney spokesperson, said not to read that much into the event.

"Rick Lazio was very helpful in raising money for Mitt Romney's campaign and he's now returning the favor," he tells RCP.

"Rick is seeking support from all quarters and is thankful to have Governor Romney's help with his campaign for sweeping, fundamental change in New York state," Lazio spokesman Barney Keller said.

Henry Kissinger and Dan Quayle are listed as honorary co-chairs of the event, with other guests heavy on Wall Street pedigree. President Obama will be in New York the day before raising money for Democrats.

NY Poll: Cuomo +13 vs. Giuliani

New York Gov. David Paterson has reportedly rebuffed the White House in its attempts to nudge him from the 2010 gubernatorial race, but a new survey from Siena College finds that an overwhelming majority of voters feel he isn't getting the job done and doesn't possess the leadership skills necessary to be governor (Sept. 13-17, 792 RV, MoE +/- 3.5%).

Paterson has a 29% favorable rating and just 18% say he's doing a good or excellent job as governor -- 80% say he's doing fair or poorly, while 59% have an unfavorable opinion of him. Matching the months of April and May, 71% again say they would prefer someone else if Paterson runs in 2010.

"Even Democrats, by a significant margin, believe the Governor is well intentioned, ineffective, bad on fiscal issues and lacking leadership," said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg This may explain why Paterson is again near record low favorability and job performance ratings."

Nearly half of voters want Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to run for governor next year, rather than run for re-election. If he does, he currently holds significant leads over Paterson in the Dem primary, and Rudy Giuliani and former Rep. Rick Lazio in the general election.

Dem Primary
Cuomo 66 (+1 vs. last poll, Aug. 24)
Paterson 20 (-3)
Und 14 (+2)

General Election Matchups
Cuomo 52 (-1)
Giuliani 39 (-1)
Und (+2)

Cuomo 64 (-2)
Lazio 18 (+2)
Und 18 (nc)

Paterson 39 (+1)
Lazio 35 (-2)
Und 26 (+1)

Giuliani 52 (-4)
Paterson 35 (+2)
Und 13 (+2)

In the Senate race, Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand still hasn't registered with the general public, as just 53% know enough about her to form an opinion -- 29% favorable, 24% unfavorable. That could be having an effect on her horse race numbers, as Giuliani currently leads her in a hypothetical matchup, 46%-38%.

Pataki: Obama Wrong To Pressure Paterson

George Pataki said today that the White House pressuring Gov. David Paterson to not to run for re-election further undermines his ability to right New York's economy in challenging times, and he suggested President Obama's time was better served focusing on policy and not politics.

"I just think it's wrong," Pataki said when asked about reports that Obama aides are urging Paterson not to run for a full term in 2010. "New York state is facing very difficult times. We're going to have an extraordinarily difficult challenge in dealing with the state's financial situation. ... To weaken and undermine the governor beyond the weakness that already exists, at a time when he will be the governor for the next 15 months, to me just doesn't serve the interests of the state, doesn't serve the interests of our country."

Pataki, who served as New York's governor for 12 years, said on a conference call hosted by the RNC to rebut Obama's visit to the Albany area that any officeholder or potential candidate's decision to run is a personal one, and should be made not just based on the likelihood of winning, but because a person has the "ideas" and "vision" to lead.

"That's what this decision should be made on, not on poll numbers," said Pataki, who is a potential U.S. Senate candidate.

Asked if he was, indeed, considering a bid, Pataki said he's been flattered by people urging him to run for office again, but would not say what if any office he might seek. He also indicated a decision won't come soon.

Continue reading "Pataki: Obama Wrong To Pressure Paterson" »

Paterson and Cuomo With Obama In Troy

Word of President Obama delving into the New York governor race could not have come at a more awkward time, as he now speaks within miles of the state capital in Albany. Gov. David Paterson (D) met Obama at the airport when he arrived, and is now attending his event at Hudson Valley Community College.

As he began his remarks, Obama did acknowledge Paterson, calling him a "wonderful man." He had a bit more to say about the man state and national Democrats might prefer to be on the ballot in 2010: Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. The president jokingly called him "shy and retiring," and said he's doing great work as the A.G.

When Paterson greeted Obama at the Albany airport, the two "had a brief exchange that looked cordial," according to a pool report. "The shook hands, Obama did a kind of half-embrace with his back to the press corps, and said something to Paterson, who listened for a moment and then said something back."

En route to New York, Robert Gibbs addressed the reports that Obama has asked Paterson to step aside.

"I think everybody understands the tough jobs that every elected official has right now in addressing many of the problems that we have, and I think people are aware of the tough situation that the governor of New York is in," he said. "I wouldn't add a lot to what you've read, except this is a decision that he's going to make."

Gibbs would not say whether anyone has asked Paterson not to run. But he acknowledged that Obama, as head of the party, has been involved in politics.

"To quote Paul Begala, not to be involved in politics would be like taking the math out of physics," he said.

Also joining Obama at his event today is Rep. Scott Murphy (D-N.Y.), who won a special election to represent the region earlier this year.

Paterson Still Polling Poorly, With No Signs Of Improvement

Gov. David Paterson (D) "can't catch a break" from New York voters, a new Marist survey bluntly states. Though his approval rating has ticked up slightly, it's still an abysmal 20 percent, and voters would likely dump him in either a primary or general election campaign. Only 27 percent of all voters, and 32 percent of Democrats, want him to run for re-election. Meanwhile, 67 percent of all voters, and 77 percent of Democrats, want Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) to run.

Primary Election Matchup
Cuomo 70 (-1 from last poll, 6/23-25)
Paterson 23 (-1)
Unsure 7 (unch)

The RCP Average of the potential primary shows Cuomo more than 40 points ahead.

General Election Matchup
Giuliani 60 (+6)
Paterson 34 (-3)
Unsure 6 (-3)

Lazio 43 (+3)
Paterson 43 (+2)
Unsure 14 (-5)

Cuomo and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) are still the wild cards -- should they choose to run, they both would likely be the nominees. But neither has made any moves yet. Former Rep. and 2000 Senate nominee Rick Lazio (R) will be kicking off his campaign next week. Here's the latest polling on a GOP race:

Primary Election Matchup
Giuliani 83 (+6 from last poll, 6/23-25)
Lazio 13 (-3)
Unsure 4 (-3)

Should Cuomo be the Democratic nominee, Marist finds he'll beat Lazio 71-21, and Giuliani 53-43.

The survey of 805 voters was conducted September 8-10, and had a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent. The Democratic sample of 354 voters had a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percent, while the sample of 225 Republicans had a margin of error of +/- 6.5 percent.

Half Of NY Voters Would Consider Voting For Spitzer

In a snap poll, Survey USA asked New Yorkers some questions about former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, after a report this morning that he's considering a political comeback.

Only 15 percent of voters said they'd vote for Spitzer again no matter what office he sought. Another 47 percent said they might vote for him, depending on which office he sought. Roughly two-in-five voters, 39 percent, said they would not consider voting for Spitzer under any circumstances.

One-third of York voters said they had absolutely no respect for Spitzer, while 20 percent gave him a lukewarm 5 on a scale of 10.

Though not horse races, check out these results when asked who voters considered more qualified to be governor:

Spitzer 41 - Paterson 24
Giuliani 59 - Spitzer 25
Giuliani 61 - Paterson 27

The survey of 500 adults was conducted today, and had a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percent.

It may all be for nothing. NY1 television quotes Spitzer as saying the Post story is "totally untrue."

NY Poll: Cuomo Popularity Sky High

A new Siena College poll finds 68% of New York voters would prefer someone else if Gov. David Paterson (D) decides to run for governor next year. This number has moved little since March, as his 32% favorability rating.

Matched up in a Democratic primary with Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo, Paterson trails by 42 points -- no change from last month. For the GOP primary, Rudy Giuliani continues to dominate the field against former Rep. Rick Lazio and Erie County Executive Chris Collins.

Cuomo leads Giuliani by 13 points -- an 8-point margin increase from last month when Cuomo led 49%-44%. Cuomo's favorability rating hit the 70% mark for the second time in three months.

Dem Primary
Paterson 23 - Cuomo 65 - Und 12

GOP Primary
Giuliani 73 - Lazio 6 - Collins 8

General Election
Paterson 33 - Giuliani 59 - Und 11
Paterson 38 - Lazio 37 - Und 25
Cuomo 53 - Giuliani 40 - Und 7
Cuomo 66 - Lazio 16 - Und 18

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D), appointed to Hillary Clinton's former seat, received mixed numbers in the poll, as more than half of voters still don't know much about her. Just 24% said they would definitely vote to elect her, while 35% said they would prefer someone else and 41% were unsure. In general election matchups, Gillibrand leads Rep. Peter King (R) 46%-24% and trails former governor George Pataki (R) 39%-42%.

The survey also asked registered voters to compare the New York state politicians of today versus those of 40 to 50 years ago. And, well, you can see for yourself how today's politicians did.

8-24-09_NYS Politicians Poll.jpg

NY Gov Poll: 3 in 10 Like Paterson

Based largely on the battle for the state Senate, 63% of voters now believe New York is headed in the wrong direction -- a Siena polling record.

The survey (June 15-18, 626 RV, +/- 3.9%), released today, finds voters are also down on their governor, David Paterson, who took over for the disgraced Eliot Spitzer more than a year ago. Paterson's favorability rating went up 4 points since last month but is still a dismal 31%, and just 20% feel he's doing an excellent or good job. Should he run for governor next year, just 15% say they'd vote for him while 70% say they'd prefer someone else.

He still trails Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R), neither of whom have said they're running, by wide margins.

Dem Primary
Cuomo 69 (-1 vs. May)
Paterson 16 (-3)
Und 15 (+4)

General Election
Giuliani 57 (-2 vs. May)
Paterson 27 (-4)
Und 15 (+5)

Cuomo 49 (-4 vs. May)
Giuliani 40 (-1)
Und 11 (+5)

N.Y.: The State to Watch in Primary Season

With rumblings today that Rep. Steve Israel may jump into the Democratic primary mix for Senate, New York will be the state to watch next year for intraparty fireworks.

Israel joins fellow Reps. Carolyn McCarthy and Carolyn Maloney as a potential challenger to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's vacant seat. Gillibrand's politics in her first two years in office fit her upstate congressional district well (she won re-election in 2008 by 24 points), however she'll likely have trouble if one of the three Dems from NYC decides to run.

A Marist poll released last week found Gillibrand leading Maloney by just 5 points in a hypothetical primary contest. Add to the drama the Will he/Won't he aspect of Sen. Charles Schumer's potential to steer votes toward Gillibrand, whom the New York Times reported last week Schumer has taken under his wing.

Should any of the three run for Senate, their decision not to run for re-election would also set off a rush of Dems to fill their shoes.

Then, of course, there is the gubernatorial showdown, in which Gov. David Paterson (D) -- also appointed to his post -- is getting pulverized in the polls by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D), not to mention potential GOP opponents.

It seems unlikely anyone would run in such harsh conditions. But if Paterson does, the race will be interesting to watch at the very least.

NY Gov, Sen Poll: Paterson's In Deep Trouble

NY Gov: If the election were today, New York Gov. David Paterson would get crushed in a Democratic primary with Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo, according to a Quinnipiac poll released today (April 1-5, 1528 RV, MoE +/- 2.5%).

Cuomo's lead over Paterson has grown from 32 points in February to 43 points in the latest survey. Paterson's approval rating has tanked, dropping to a dismal 28% -- Cuomo's has now hit 75%. In potential general election matchups, Rudy Giuliani (R) defeats Paterson by 21 points (they were tied in February), while Cuomo beats Giuliani by 17 points.

Dem Primary
Cuomo 61 (+6 vs. last poll, Feb. 17)
Paterson 18 (-5)
Und 17 (-3)

General Election
Giuliani 53 (+10 vs. last poll, Feb. 17)
Paterson 32 (-11)
Und 9 (-1)

Cuomo 53 (+2 vs. last poll, Feb. 17)
Giuliani 36 (-1)
Und 9 (nc)

NY Sen: In a potential 2010 Senate primary, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D) continues to lead appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D), though her 10-point lead in February has shrunk to just 4 points. In a potential general election matchup with Rep. Peter King (R), Gillibrand's lead slips to 12 points.

After being in the Senate for just a few months, almost two-thirds of voters still haven't heard enough about Gillibrand to form an opinion of her. The same goes for King and McCarthy. A side note: Gillibrand announced this morning that her Senate campaign raised a healthy $2.3 million in the first quarter.

Dem Primary
McCarthy 33 (-1 vs. last poll, Feb. 17)
Gillibrand 29 (+5)
Und 33 (-6)

General Election
Gillibrand 40 (-2 vs. last poll Feb. 17)
King 28 (+2)
Und 28 (nc)

Paterson Breaks Polling Record

New York Gov. David Paterson broke the wrong kind of record today, with The Marist Poll announcing that Paterson's approval rating came in lower than any other governor in the pollster's 30 years of tracking.

With just 26% saying Paterson is doing an excellent or good job -- including 30% of Democrats, 26% of Republicans, 20% of independents -- he drops below Gov. Eliot Spitzer's 30% approval in March 2008, just before resigning from office. Paterson's rating has dropped 20 points in just over a month.

Paterson is also falling way behind in potential 2008 primary and general election matchups. Tested against Paterson were Democrat Andrew Cuomo, and Republicans Rudy Giuliani and Rick Lazio. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) is likely facing a difficult election in 2010 as well, and Marist tested Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, and Republicans Rep. Peter King and former Gov. George Pataki.

Here is how they matched up:

Continue reading "Paterson Breaks Polling Record" »

Paterson's Bumpy Road

Check out our story on New York Gov. David Paterson's troubled path to re-election, currently posted on RCP's front page.

Almost one year since taking over as the Chief Executive of New York State, Governor David Paterson has seen his standing among voters decline dramatically. Paterson has recently been taking heat for a range of issues, including his widely panned handling of choosing a replacement for Senator Hillary Clinton and the Empire State's current budget trouble.

According to a new poll from Quinnipiac University, Paterson's favorability rating has dipped below 50 percent for the first time since just after taking office -- when almost half of voters didn't know enough to form an opinion of him. Now that most people know Paterson, less than half have a favorable opinion of him or approve of the job he's doing as governor.

You can read the rest here.

Spitzer Fallout Grows

The prostitution scandal that engulfed former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer continues to reverberate this morning, even as Spitzer continues to reportedly mull a resignation.

Wasting no time in taking advantage, the National Republican Congressional Committee slammed several freshmen Democratic members of Congress from New York who have accepted Spitzer campaign money. The releases, targeting Reps. Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Arcuri and John Hall, called on each to return money Spitzer gave them, accompanied by photographs of each with the former governor.

"Kirsten Gillibrand should put personal party loyalty aside and do the right thing by giving back campaign contributions she took from Eliot Spitzer," NRCC Spokesman Ken Spain said in one release that echoed the others. "Candidates like Gillibrand can't run under the theme of 'change' on the one hand while defending the politics of corruption on the other."

The committee also targeted Eric Massa, who is making a second run for Congress after losing narrowly to Republican Rep. Randy Kuhl, and Dan Maffei, who is running again after barely losing to retiring Republican Rep. Jim Walsh.

Spitzer's would-be exit would also impact the presidential campaign. Spitzer, a super delegate in his capacity as governor, had endorsed fellow New Yorker Hillary Clinton. Though David Paterson, Spitzer's replacement, has also endorsed Clinton, the presidential candidate would still lose a vote in Denver: Paterson is already a super delegate, serving as an at-large member of the Democratic National Committee.

Paterson will likely resign as an at-large member, now that he has the governor's vote. And while the DNC may appoint a Clinton supporter to replace Paterson, that decision is, at the moment, very much up in the air.

The man once seen as a potential presidential candidate is now reportedly contemplating how to leave the governor's mansion after just one year. Spitzer may be charged for his role in the prostitution ring or prosecutors may decide not to press charges, but a once-promising political career crashed and burned last night, in a way in which it likely cannot be salvaged.

Spitzer Linked To Prostitution Ring

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer told top aides this morning he will be linked to a prostitution ring, a source told the New York Times today. Spitzer canceled his events for the day and has remained with aides in his apartment in Manhattan. After the Times asked about the scandal, Spitzer scheduled an announcement for 2:15 p.m., about 15 minutes ago.

A federal prosecutor arrested four people in connection with a high-priced prostitution ring, one in which Spitzer is expected to be named, another source told the Times.

Spitzer has had a rough first year in office, buffeted by scandals involving his battles with Senate Republican leader Joseph Bruno and by a number of failed legislative initiatives. If he were to resign, Lieutenant Governor David Paterson, also a Democrat, would take over the governor's mansion.

Update: Spitzer issued his statement just now, nearly an hour later than planned. He did not resign, saying he needs time to rebuild his family. The Republican Governor's Association has called on Spitzer to resign.