ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Governor Kathy Hochul holds an 11-point advantage over Rep. Lee Zeldin with three weeks to go in the campaign for New York’s highest office, according to a Siena College poll released Tuesday morning. In the past month, pollsters said, the incumbent has seen her lead slashed by about a third.
“Over the last three weeks, Zeldin has narrowed the deficit he must overcome from 17 points to 11 points in trying to become the first Republican in 20 years to win statewide,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a press release. “However, with three weeks to go, Hochul maintains the upper hand.”
The change in approval for Zeldin came largely from a shift in support among voters in the New York City suburbs. According to the new poll, Hochul held a 52% to 41% lead over her Republican challenger, but “her five-point lead in the downstate suburbs in September has turned into a four-point lead for Zeldin in October,” Greenberg noted.
Zeldin’s name recognition has also skyrocketed in recent weeks with just 21% of voters now unfamiliar with him compared to 36% last month and 57% before the June primary election. Yet, while Zeldin is gaining some ground with voters, he is losing ground with others and falling short of the overall numbers he needs to win, with his support among Black voters dropping from 12% to 2% between September and October, according to Siena.
The poll shows Republican attorney general nominee Michael Henry also gaining ground against incumbent Letitia James, who is now up 51% to 40% after leading him by 16 points in September. Incumbent Democratic Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer have held onto leads of at least 20% over GOP opponents Paul Rodriguez and Joe Pinion.
DiNapoli and Schumer appear to be succeeding where Hochul and James are falling short, Greenberg explained. “One of the main reasons Schumer and DiNapoli have wider leads than Hochul and James is independent voters. Independents favor Republicans Zeldin (9 points) and Henry (10 points) while favoring Democrats Schumer (8 points) and DiNapoli (12 points),” the pollster said.