10:46 am Feb. 15, 2013
It's not exactly news at this point when Hillary Clinton dominates an early 2016 poll, even when she's posting an eye-popping 80 percent net favorability rating, like she did among Democrats in a University of New Hampshire poll released yesterday.
Clinton's ability to clear-cut the field is well-established, at least for the moment, and the real jockeying is among those hoping she won't run.
So: The New Hampshire poll suggests Andrew Cuomo is held in relatively high regard among Democrats in the first primary state.
He only receives five percent support among the current possibilities, but that's good enough for third, behind Clinton's 63 percent, and Vice President Joe Biden's 10 percent.
More significantly, if we're envisioning a scenario without Clinton, Cuomo is viewed favorably by 56 percent of primary voters, and only 16 percent view him unfavorably.
And Cuomo is much better known than most of his rivals, again with the exception of Clinton and Biden.
Only 20 percent of likely primary voters said they didn't know enough to assess Cuomo, which is only slightly more than the 13 percent who said they don't know enough about neighboring Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick.
By comparison, 80 percent said they don't know enough about Maryland governor Martin O'Malley, and 50 percent said they don't know enough about Cory Booker.
Unlike O'Malley or Booker, Cuomo has mostly avoided explicitly national political plays and primetime speaking engagements, though he's generated favorable coverage on networks like MSNBC for his action on nationally relevant issues, most notably for legalizing same-sex marriage, and most recently for passing the first gun control bill since the shooting in Newtown.
Cuomo also has the advantage of a famous last name. The plane that Mario infamously left idling on the tarmac was, in theory, bound for New Hampshire.