Stephen Reader covers politics for It's a Free Country, WNYC's interactive politics site. He joined the station in 2010 and has also worked for Studio 360, WNYC's Peabody Award-winning show about art, culture, and creativity.
Polls closed at 9 p.m. on Tuesday night in New York. By 9:01, it was projected that Andrew Cuomo would be the state's next governor.
Carl Paladino appeared to be trounced, in a word. Since upsetting Rick Lazio in September's Republican primary, Paladino's politically incorrect gaffes and suggestively violent rhetoric damaged his momentum and he had been trailing in the polls by double-digit numbers for weeks.
In an election cycle where the political establishment was villified, Cuomo's win is a bit of an aberration. The son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo was active in his father's administration, served in President Clinton's cabinet as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and is New York state's current Attorney General. He was practically an incumbent compared to Carl Paladino; in 2010, that might have put the odds in Paladino's favor.