Gov. Kathy Hochul is maintaining a strong polling lead among New York Democrats, with 36 percent supporting her, double the 18 percent of her closest opponent, Attorney General Letitia James, according to a Siena College poll released Tuesday.
New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams comes in third with 10 percent, and U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; each have 6 percent. De Blasio, whose mayoral term ends Jan. 1, has not yet declared for the gubernatorial race, though he is widely expected to do so.
Twenty-four percent are undecided or back another candidate.
Creating economic opportunity (26 percent), fighting crime (26 percent), and managing the pandemic (18 percent) are the issues that voters identify as the top 2022 priority for the Governor and Legislature. Nearly half of voters say that the federal Build Back Better Act will increase inflation, which they say is having a serious negative effect on the economy and their personal finances. But voters still support the bill’s passage 52-28 percent.
“Hochul continues to have a double-digit lead over her opponents in the Democratic gubernatorial primary and, unlike what is often seen in early polls, it is not completely based on name recognition. After all, Hochul and James have very similar favorability ratings among all voters – with nearly identical favorability ratings among Democrats – and de Blasio is the most known – and most disfavored – candidate among all voters and with just Democrats,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.
Hochul has a 42-28 percent favorability rating, little changed from 42-26 percent in October. Her job performance rating is negative 42-46 percent, little changed from October’s 43-45 percent. James has a 40-25 percent favorability rating, from 39-19 percent in October. Williams has a 23-17 percent favorability rating. Suozzi’s is 20-15 percent. And de Blasio is 28-55 percent, up slightly from 25-56 percent in October. Hochul (57-18 percent) and James (56-18 percent) have the best favorability ratings with Democrats.
The primary election is in June. The winner of the Democratic primary will likely face Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin.
This poll was conducted November 29-December 3, 2021 among 785 New York State registered voters, and has an overall margin of error of + 4.0 percentage points. There were 399 Democrats polled, with a margin of error of +/- 5.4 percentage points.
For the first time since February 2020, fewer New Yorkers say the state is headed on the right track (41 percent), rather than in the wrong direction (45 percent), and down from 44-43 percent last month.
By a 52-37 percent margin, voters would prefer to see the Democrats retain control of the House of Representatives next year, and a 56-35 percent majority want to see Democrats keep control of the Senate. Democrats overwhelmingly want their party to keep both houses; same for Republicans; independents, by small margins, side with Republicans for the House and Democrats for the Senate.