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Hillary Clinton boosts Andrew Cuomo with late-game robocalls

Hillary Clinton’s intervention is surprising not only because she does little politicking, but because Andrew Cuomo has increasingly found dissent on his left.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo during the annual West Indian Day parade held on Sept. 1, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo during the annual West Indian Day parade held on Sept. 1, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

Just ahead of Election Day, Hillary Clinton recorded a robocall urging New York Democrats to support Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his running mate Kathy Hochul, who have faced a tougher than expected primary challenge on their left.

“Hi, this is Hillary Clinton, and I'm calling to urge you to vote for Andrew Cuomo for governor and his running mate, Kathy Hochul, for lieutenant governor in Tuesday's Democratic primary,” the former New York senator says in the recorded message, according to the state Democratic party.

The bulk of Clinton’s message is focused on boosting Hochul, a former one-term congresswoman who is lesser known than Cuomo and believed to be more vulnerable.

“As a New Yorker, I'd be proud to have Kathy fighting for our state. When she was in Congress, Kathy showed she knows how to find common ground but also stand her ground for what's right. As our lieutenant governor, she'll never, ever give up on New York's families,” Clinton goes on to say.

Cuomo and Hochul have faced a surprisingly competitive fight on their left flank from Democrats Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu, who are capitalizing on some liberals’ growing angst with the more moderate Cuomo.

But Teachout isn’t worried about the call from one of the world’s most famous political figures -- in fact, she sees it as good news. “It shows that he’s scared,” Teachout told msnbc.

There has been no public polling in the race, though Cuomo is thought to be in an overwhelmingly strong position. Hochul may be weaker. Cuomo’s campaign is believed be only ones that has done any surveys.

“There’s something that’s happening in those polls that’s making him calling in all his chips,” said Teachout, adding that she expects “the upset of the century on Tuesday.”

Clinton has done very little campaigning since stepping down from the State Department, restricting her political work so far to three family friends, including Cuomo. She will also soon hold a series of fundraisers for Democratic campaign committees.

Clinton’s intervention in Cuomo’s race is notable not only for the infrequence of her political work, but because Cuomo has increasingly found dissent among New York liberals, and there’s a chance it could rub off on Clinton.  

Cuomo and the Clintons are tied together. Cuomo served in the Bill Clinton administration and is especially close to the former president. The popular New York governor has long been rumored to be eying a presidential bid, but he would likely not run against Clinton.