Amid Talk of a 2020 Run, Cuomo Must First Deal With 2018

Terry Gipson, a former state senator and another possible Democratic challenger, said he had been particularly troubled by the governor’s willingness to deal with the Independent Democratic Conference in the Senate. The conference is an eight-member coalition that collaborates with Republicans, allowing that party to control the chamber despite being outnumbered by Democrats.

“There’s been a wide variety of progressive legislation that was blocked by the I.D.C. and that seemed to have no real support from the governor,” said Mr. Gipson, who represented a portion of the Hudson Valley before losing his seat in 2014. “Democrats feel that the state needs a real Democrat to move it forward.”

In 2014, the governor’s progressive bona fides were questioned by activists who felt that his often cozy relationship with Republicans in Albany had come at a cost for liberal policies. Members of the Working Families Party, which sits to the left of most mainstream Democrats and has a tense relationship with Mr. Cuomo, have entertained the idea of a third-party run against the governor next year, either in a primary or general election.

Zephyr Teachout, who used a similar sentiment to mount a surprisingly strong challenge to Mr. Cuomo in 2014, said she believed that a primary was the biggest threat to the governor, as the Democratic base has been fired up “in Trump times.”

“There’s been this massive shift in Democrats in New York, and Andrew Cuomo has no sense of that,” she said.

And while the talking points vary, there are similar themes to each of the potential challengers’ themes, including a perception that Mr. Cuomo — who prides himself as an efficient manager of Albany’s often dysfunctional dynamics — cares more about good press than good government.

“I think people are more interested in long-term solutions than short-term headlines,” said Ms. Miner, who has had several public run-ins with Mr. Cuomo. “People are looking for problem solvers.”

They are also looking at the political problems for Mr. Cuomo, of course, including the looming federal corruption trials of several of his former aides. The most critical of those — and the most painful for the governor — is that of Joseph Percoco, who once functioned as his political enforcer and was referred to as a member of his family. Mr. Percoco’s case is expected to begin in January, something that seems to give Republicans a…

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