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I was reading a Wikipedia page when I ran into this passage:

Wu and Teachout ran against Andrew Cuomo, the incumbent governor, and Kathy Hochul, an upstate Democrat and former Representative in the House. Teachout and Wu ran to the left of Cuomo and Hochul. Hochul won the race for Lieutenant Governor; Wu took 40% of the popular vote.

Intuitively I understood left to mean Left politics as in the left wing. From the context, however, it seems the sentence in question is saying Teachout and Wu lost to Cuomo and Hochul. So does run to the left of mean be beat by? Does left carry the sense of not as good as?

If left here indeed refers to the political left, is "run to someone's left" idiomatic?

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This is a meaning of "to run" that is particular to politics or any position of office.

run

26 : to be a candidate for office She ran for mayor.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/run

E.g.

Trump and Clinton both ran for president in 2016.

or

Trump and Clinton both ran for the presidency in 2016.

If X runs to the left of Y, it just means the X's politics are more left-wing than Y's and they are both running for office in the same contest.

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