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At Columbus Day Parade, Focus is on Politics

At Columbus Day Parade, Focus is on Politics
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An estimated one million people watched the parade, which featured bands, Italian civic groups, and many others.

In Midtown Manhattan, the mood was jubilant today for the Columbus Day Parade.

The parade celebrates Italian-American contributions to the city, and two Italian-Americans in particular, Governor Andrew Cuomo and his Republican challenger Rob Astorino, took the spotlight. 

Cuomo and Astorino both said they weren't at the parade to talk politics, but with less than a month until elections, the subject was front and center. Cuomo is currently leading in the polls by double digits, and said that he feels confident with November fourth approaching. 

"I feel very good about the election," Cuomo said. "There's a lot more to do, and the economy still isn't where we want it to be, but the  government is in a much better position than ever before."

Despite polling significantly lower than his opponent, Astorino also remains optimistic, citing his previous successful runs for Westchester County Executive. 

"The polls really don't matter, because as far as I know, the polls open at six a.m. on November fourth," Astorino said. "I was down 30 points in my election [for county executive] going into labor day, and down double digits in 2009 as well, and we won by 15 points."

He added that in 1994, former governor George Pataki had also lagged by 15 percent in the polls going into election day, and had still gone on to win.

Both campaigns handed out posters for their candidates to parade-goers, and signs emblazoned with the candidates' names lined the streets. However, out of those asked about who they supported, few New Yorkers seemed to know who they would be voting for come election day.