Tea Party's Carl Paladino Within a Few Points of Andrew Cuomo in N.Y. Gov Race

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Despite trying to remain above the fray today, Cuomo will feel pressure to change tactics and begin tapping his huge campaign war chest to go on the offensive, independent strategists said.

The poll found that 31 percent of voters do not know enough about Paladino to have an opinion about him, presenting an opportunity for the Cuomo campaign. By highlighting some of the controversies surrounding Paladino, Cuomo campaign can begin to fill in the blanks,

It has been revealed that Paladino has forwarded racist and pornographic e-mails to friends. And he once referred to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is an Orthodox Jew, this way: "If I could ever describe a person who would fit the bill of an anti-Christ or a Hitler, this guy is it." Paladino later explained he was not a bigot. "I don't have an anti-Semitic bone in my body," he said.

The Quinnipiac survey did not include Lazio, who will appear on the ballot under the banner of the Conservative Party. Lazio has not said if he will actively campaign. If he does, he would likely draw more support from Paladino than from Cuomo.

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