Polls Show Hochul Has Double-Digit Lead in Governor Race

By Matis Glenn

New York Capitol building (123rf)

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has a double-digit lead over Republican challenger Rep. Lee Zeldin according to two polls released Tuesday.

The Governor is ahead 14 points according to an Emerson poll, and 16 points in a poll taken by Sienna College.

Geographically, both polls show New York City to be far more favorable to Hochul, with Zeldin leading somewhat in the city’s suburbs. The Emerson and Sienna polls showed Hochul ahead 46 and 49 points in New York City respectively, while she is trailing Zeldin by six points in the suburbs according to Emerson, and three according to Sienna. Upstate voters favor Zeldin by three points in the Sienna poll, while the Emerson poll has Zeldin up by one point.

The Sienna poll showed that white and Latino voters favor Hochul by six and eight points, respectively, while she has a commanding lead among black voters; 78 percent to 8 percent.

Both polls found a wide gender disparity between supporters of the incumbent governor and her opponent. Emerson found the Governor ahead by three points among male voters –  and 29 points among women voters. Sienna’s poll showed men equally divided, but women favor Hochul by 26 points ahead of Zeldin.

Governor Hochul has a higher favorability rating than Zeldin according to the Emerson poll; 44 percent have a favorable view of the Governor while 30 percent have a favorable view of the Congressman. Thirty-nine percent have an unfavorable view of Hochul while 29 percent have an unfavorable view of Zeldin.

Half of New Yorkers feel that the State is headed in the wrong direction, according to the Sienna poll; 36 percent feel that its going on the right track, which is the same as June’s poll.

In a statement to Hamodia Tuesday, the Zeldin campaign said, “At least half of New Yorkers have made it clear that New York is heading in the wrong direction, and, as Congressman Zeldin continues to get his message out to everyday New Yorkers, more and more understand that he’s the candidate to drive down crime and our cost of living and Save Our State. We’re looking forward to continuing to get out Congressman Zeldin’s message, build on his lead upstate and in the suburbs, continue to flip voters in historically Democrat strongholds and fire Kathy Hochul on November 8th.”

The Hochul campaign did not immediately respond to Hamodia’s request for comment Tuesday.

“Fourteen weeks is a long time in politics, and we know most voters don’t really begin to focus on elections till after Labor Day,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement. “Still, Hochul has an early – but certainly not insurmountable – lead. In fact, while Democrats have taken the last four gubernatorial elections, Zeldin’s current 14-point deficit matches the closest Republicans have come in those races, when Andrew Cuomo defeated Rob Astorino 54-40 percent in 2014. In August 2014, Cuomo led Astorino by 32 points, 58-26 percent.”

“What’s interesting here is the independents and how they’re breaking,” Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran  moderate Democratic New York political strategist told Hamodia.  “Based on this poll, the independents are tending to break for Zeldin. Problem two for Hochul…is that the suburbs are going in the wrong direction for her.”

“The issue that’s probably driving it is crime… If her numbers start to fall in Queens and Brooklyn or parts thereof, then she’s got to compensate for that by greater Democrat turnout in New York City in the fall. What’s the possibility of that happening? It’s Questionable.”

Click here to read Hamodia’s April interview with Zeldin.

Hochul has not granted Hamodia an interview despite repeated requests.


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