Sources are divulging that at a private Saturday night meeting, a majority of upstate Democratic leaders voiced support for Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as the party’s nominee for governor, and some even called for Gov. Paterson to drop out of the race. According to one report, 15 of the 17 Dems present said they either supported Cuomo outright, or will support him when he officially declares his candidacy. "It's not working. Paterson's a decent man, but there's a question as to whether the leadership qualities are there," one attendee, Vincent Monte, chairman of the Rockland County Democratic Committee, told the Times Union. "With Cuomo, there's no question. I'm very supportive of his candidacy."

The meeting took place despite the best efforts of Gov. Paterson, who called at least three of its attendees earlier in the week, asking them to hold off endorsing the attorney general. Though most were reluctant to speak, more than one leader confirmed his probable fears: "The overwhelming consensus in the room was that Andrew Cuomo should run," said Orange County Democratic Chairman Jonathan Jacobson. "People expressed either outright support for him, or said he should run."

Of course no one can say exactly what went on behind closed doors, and some tried to spin the consensus the other way, or deny inclinations in either direction. Unlike the Post and the Times Union, who called the meeting in favor of Cuomo, the Daily News said the vote was still out. They quoted Schenectady County Democratic Chairman Brian Quail: "I support the governor, and I think the governor has the overwhelming support of party leaders across the state." Yet another attendee coyly stated that the public would have to stay tuned: "You're not going to know what the statewide ticket is no matter how many ways you ask that," said June O’Neil, a St. Lawrence County Democrat. "You've got to keep your powder dry a little bit longer."