Hochul leads his Republican opponent, Lee Zeldin, by 6 points in the race for New York governor, poll shows – New York Daily News

Governor Hochul edged her Republican rival, Rep. Lee Zeldin, by 6 points in a SurveyUSA poll released Thursday, the latest signal that a governor’s run once seen as an afterthought in New York’s deep blue has become competitive over the past few weeks.

The poll, which reflected an average of recent surveys, marked a wide departure from SurveyUSA’s last poll on the governor’s race, which was conducted in August and showed Hochul leading Zeldin by 24 points. The new survey, conducted online between last Friday and Tuesday, showed a large gender gap: Hochul led by 25 points among women, but 13 points among men.

The new data points arrived two days after pair of polls of the race emerged Tuesday, with Hochul up 11 points in a Siena College poll and 4 points in a Quinnipiac University poll. Democrats have won every New York gubernatorial race since 2006 by double-digit margins.

But Zeldin, a 42-year-old Long Island lawmaker running on a platform focused on public safety, appears to be tapping into an anxious electorate frustrated with runaway inflation and continuing to rise crime rates.

Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than two to one statewide, and Zeldin has struggled to keep up with Hochul’s cash reserves, even joining former President Donald Trump – who is deeply unpopular in New York — for a month of September Fundraising.

Trump endorsed Zeldin on Sunday, rewarding the congressman for years of loyalty. But Zeldin, who voted to void the 2020 presidential election, didn’t seem to appreciate Trump’s imprimatur, telling reporters the endorsement “shouldn’t have been news.”

While some New York voters are put off by his ties to Trump, that hasn’t stopped Zeldin from gaining momentum after trailing about 20 points in several early contest polls. Election day is November 8.

A Real Clear Politics aggregation of recent surveys, calculated before the SurveyUSA poll was released, showed Hochul ahead of Zeldin by 6 points on average.

Democrats have questioned the quality of recent surveys, questioning the samples used by pollsters and pointing to the challenges of public opinion polls in a partisan era.

“It’s a grumpy, moody electorate,” Bruce Gyory, a Democratic political consultant, said Wednesday. “It is dangerous to be certain of the predictions. We don’t know where the turnout will be, and we don’t really know what the ultimate direction of swing voters will be.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at a Governors Forum hosted by the Rochester Chamber of Commerce in Rochester, NY on Friday, October 7, 2022.

Across the country, the outlook for Republicans brightened this fall, according to polls, as outrage over the conservative Supreme Court ruling in June put an end to abortion rights in the rearview mirror.

Intense inflation appears to be boosting Republicans, who have blamed President Biden and Democrats in Congress for the state of the economy.

Hochul, a 64-year-old Democrat, took office when former Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned 14 months ago, and dominated in the Democratic primary. She is seeking to become New York’s first elected female governor.

During the general election, she touted her efforts to make New York a magnet for business and a sanctuary for those seeking reproductive health care. And she pointed to Zeldin’s anti-abortion stances, opposition to gun control measures, and loyalty to Trump.

But Zeldin, forcing its public safety message into stops across New York, seemed to connect with swing voters.

Hochul has sharpened his criticism of Zeldin in recent days, perhaps in response to the race tightening. At a press conference on Tuesday, she suggested that Zeldin might consider “overthrowing the will of the people” by questioning the outcome of the gubernatorial race.

“This person cannot be trusted,” she said, “about democracy, about abortion, about guns.”

Comments are closed.