ALBANY, (N.Y.)–In just 6 weeks, New Yorkers will be heading to the polls to cast their ballots in the gubernatorial race. A recent Siena Poll shows Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul is ahead of her challenger, Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin.
“Today, what we have is 54% of likely voters say that they are with Hochul, 37 % say they are with Lee Zeldin. So a 17 point lead. Not a lot of change, but going in the wrong direction from Lee Zeldin’s point of view,” explained Steven Greenberg, Siena College Research Institute Pollster.
Not only is New York a “blue state,” but Greenberg said one of the reasons why Zeldin is behind in the polls is because people simply don’t know who he is or don’t know enough about him to have an opinion.
Hochul leads in New York City and is ahead of Zeldin by 5 points in the downstate suburbs, but when it comes to upstate New York, Zeldin is ahead by 1 point.
“A poll is nothing more than a snapshot in time,” stated Greenberg. “The dynamics of the race have not changed since early August. Hochul crushing it with Democrats. Zeldin crushing it with Republicans, although he’s not doing as well with Republicans as she is doing with Democrats. Zeldin had a 1 point edge, razor thin edge, with Independent voters back in August. It’s now 3 points. So essentially again, unchanged.”
When asked at her press conference about the poll and what she’s doing to gain independent votes, Governor Kathy Hochul said she believes that as it gets closer to Election Day, Independent voters will determine she’s the best candidate for the job.
“They tend to make their decisions a little bit later anyhow historically, but I am really proud of the support I’ve earned already by New Yorkers,” said Hochul.
When it comes to issues voters care about the most, the poll found the top issue by far was the economy, followed by threats to democracy and crime.
In a live stream of a press conference in Queens, when asked about the Siena Poll, Zeldin said it’s currently a 4 to 6 point race, telling members of the media to ask why Siena’s Poll is “so far off.”