The state's budget might be the least of Governor Paterson's monetary woes. New filings reveal that Paterson has just $620,000 in available cash to spend on the upcoming Democratic primary, while his likely rival Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has a whopping $12 million on hand. With Cuomo sitting on nearly 20 times as much money as Paterson, insiders are already saying the Governor doesn't stand a chance. "A governor with $600,000 on hand less than a year before the general election is a dead duck," said Democratic political consultant Hank Sheinkopf.
The Daily News notes that Paterson's cash on hand couldn't even cover the cost of a week of TV spots, and "[i]f Paterson keeps spending at this rate and doesn't manage to raise sufficient cash to cover his costs, his campaign committee could go broke before the end of next month." So far, Paterson's campaign has spent nearly $3 million on an early TV ad campaign that helped improve his approval rating. But polls have indicated that voters support Cuomo by a ratio of 4:1.
Paterson, however, is confident he'll remain in office. The Governor gathered supporters including Rep. Charlie Rangel, former Mayor David Dinkins, and failed mayoral candidate and former Comptroller Bil Thompson in Harlem yesterday to draft a "winning strategy." Paterson's campaign manager, Richard Fife, says money isn't a worry. "Since the first of the year, we have brought in more than $1 million, and we now have 38 major events either on the schedule or awaiting confirmation of a date," Fife said. "That's more than the entire last period. We will have what we need to win this race."