It seemed like Gov. Andrew Cuomo was putting his money on a long shot.
Last year, Cuomo was praising former Vice Joe Biden as the candidate best suited to take on President Donald Trump. Cuomo did so over the canddiacy of fellow New Yorker Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, against all the conventional wisdom that suggested at the time Democrats would nominate a younger candidate, not a 77-year-old white man.
Tonight, Biden accepts the Democratic nomination for the presidency, solidfying a hold on the Democratic Party that is strikingly similar to Cuomo's in New York politics.
And, after Cuomo's early assessment of Biden as the candidate to back in the race, it's worth exploring why.
The relationship for both men stretch back years, not surprising given both have been in and around politics their adult lives. While vice president, Biden made several appearances with Cuomo to talk about an issue near and dear to his heart: infrastructure investment.
Biden's earthy complaint that LaGuardia Airport felt like being in a "third world country" was music to the ears of a governor trying to get a massive renovation underway.
In 2018, as Cuomo faced a progressive challenge for the Democratic nomination from Cynthia Nixon, it was Biden who spoke at the state party's convention to endorse the incumbent and appear in a TV ad.
As the Biden campaign lurched to a start against younger candidates who were more nimble on social media, the former vice president's campaign was assuring itself that platforms like Twitter are not reflection of the broader electorate. That's a plank straight from Cuomo playbook.
Both men have an overlapping electorate that in 2020 is the backbone of the party: Voters of color, women and suburbanites.
“Joe Biden and Andrew Cuomo share an electoral coalition that I like to call the iron triangle of Democratic primary politics," said Bruce Gyory, a former gubernatorial advisor and a SUNY Albany adjunct professor. "At its base lies minority voters and on one side are highly educated women voters from the metro clusters (urban and suburban) and on the other side lies white ethnics (in New York that means predominantly Jewish and White Catholic voters). A majority of Democratic primary voters lies within that triangle."
This is not a new coalition, not even close. Gyory pointed to the late former Gov. Mario Cuomo building similar support.
"In a general election if a Democratic candidate can add to that iron triangle a strong turnout surge from under 30 voters who are trending Democratic, as well as carrying independent voters, that is sure path to winning in November," he said.
This an electorate that also informs their approach to politics -- namely finding areas of commonality to strike a deal and get the accomplishment in the books. This can rankle progressives who worry the guts of what are important can be sacrificed in the final agreement.
It's a strikingly straight-forward coalition, though one that's hard to knit together and sustain given the countervailing forces in American politics at the moment. Can it survive another election cycle? That remains to be seen.
But for now, even in an age where the media finds itself in a feedback loop where the loudest voices are amplified online, this analogue coalition can re-elect governors and nominate Joe Biden.