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Both Sides Working for Voter Turnout in Democratic Primary for Governor

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Albany/HV: Both Sides Working for Voter Turnout in Democratic Primary for Governor
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Close to 6 million New Yorkers are enrolled in the Democratic Party. But only a tiny fraction of those will actually vote in the Democratic gubernatorial primary next month. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman reports.

Getting out the vote. It's an important aspect of political campaigns that's rarely seen publicly by voters, but deeply important for candidates. For the primary campaigns of Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu, they're relying on a combination of grassroots support and labor groups that have endorsed them.

"My members are ready and they're out there and there working on positive changes because they're concerned not only about their own jobs and the staffing and the constant attack on government services, but they're concerned with the services themselves and the people who need them," said Susan Kent, of the Public Employees Federation.

Teachout and Wu are hoping for a groundswell of support -- and anger among the Democratic faithful that tend to vote in low-turnout primaries -- to help them win on September 9.

"I think there are a lot of people who dissatisfied with the Cuomo administration," Wu said.

In his campaign against former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul, Wu believes some Asian voters may also be interested in making history.

"I also think my Chinese-American and Asian-American brothers and sisters are really interested in the possibility of having the first Asian statewide elected official," Wu said.

But Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Hochul have advantages as well, including the backing of key labor unions that specialize in turning out voters: 1199 SEIU and the Hotel Trades Council. And they have county chairs who can target regions, like western New York.

"Getting out the vote in this area for the lieutenant governor will be very important for her and will add to her winning margin," said Joe Morelle, the Monroe County Democratic chairman.

Hochul recognizes the importance of western New York as well, where she is best known after representing the area in Washington. She's traveled the state to meet with officials, but this week focused heavily on the Buffalo area.

"I know I need to get my message out, especially in western New York where people have supported me for many, many years," Hochul said.

And if it comes down to costs, Cuomo and Hochul do have the advantage. The governor's re-election committee reported raising more than $600,000 in just 20 days. But the campaign spent heavily, too, on polling, a multi-day trip to Israel and more than $80,000 on TV ads.

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