The former "Sex and the City" star said she has been encouraged by support upstate and in the suburbs, though New York City remains her core base.
The endorsement comes a day before Democratic voters in NY vote to decide whether to give Cuomo a shot at a third term in the governor's mansion.
Cuomo, for his part, rejected what he called "reparations" during the debate, but struck a more cautious, pro-legalization position ー a leftward policy change that may have developed only at Nixon's prodding.
Insurgent candidates can benefit from an incumbents lack of urgency. Cuomo's inability to win voters over on the issue - and only a slight 2-point lead on "advancing progressive issues" - are the only two areas where the poll shows Cuomo looking vulnerable.
Veteran political operative Bob Shrum remembers a time when the polls showed an incumbent well ahead before a NY primary, but the challenger's more enthusiastic support swayed the outcome. Even though there are restrictions for when and where they can vote, Republicans have pushed back saying Gov. Cuomo is putting the public's safety at risk. The New York Times reported that the Cuomo administration offered incentives for the contractor to finish the job before the primary, and Cuomo's insistence that the state does not control the Tappan Zee contrasts with his self-presentation as an effective and engaged manager.
Yet in the final weeks of the campaign Cuomo himself turned out to be one of his campaign's biggest liabilities. "We have said all along that the mailer was inappropriate and a mistake and have worked with the state party to change the approval process going forward to ensure this never happens again".
Some primary voters might be inspired by the controversies to hit Cuomo with "a "rolled up newspaper across the nose" by voting for Nixon, according to political consultant Bill Cunningham, who worked in the past for Gov. Mario Cuomo".
While Williams is an underdog, the race for attorney general is seen as wide open, and Nixon, Williams and liberal groups have gotten behind the anti-corruption, anti-monopoly candidacy of Zephyr Teachout.
Two Democrats who were not in the IDC, Simcha Felder and Martin Dilan, also are facing challengers. Teachout is running on a platform of tackling corruption in Albany.
"In Cuomo's calculus it's a good idea because any time he talks about Trump he gets favorable reactions", Muzzio said. Along with fellow rapper Despot, El-P is an investor in the well-reviewed New York Jewish deli Frankel's, which is helmed by a sibling duo that includes Alex Frankel of the DFA act Holy Ghost!. Rep. Sean Maloney (D) and Verizon Vice President Leecia Eve jumped into the race, with Maloney transferring money from his congressional campaign to run TV ads that pushed him into a tie with James.