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Hochul vs Zeldin: Who will win? New poll shows Republican slipping in key areas

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  • Staff Report 

If you believe polling things don’t look good for challenger Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin in his battle to be the next governor of New York.

Incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul held a 17-point lead over Zeldin (54-37%) in the most recent Siena Poll released earlier this week.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Hochul’s lead, according to the poll, has increased since August.

“Hochul continues to hold a strong double-digit lead over Zeldin, holding her base with support from 81% of Democrats, same as in August. Zeldin has support from 77% of Republicans, down from 84%, and continues to lead narrowly with independent voters, 45-42%,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said. “Zeldin’s narrow lead among independents is both good – it’s a lead – and bad – it’s narrow. To close or even narrow a 17-point gap, he would need to win a far greater share of independents, solidify Republican support, as well as pick off some more Democrats.

What are some of the big takeaways from the poll?

  • Unsurprisingly, Hochul is dominating polling in New York City. The Democrat is also leading by five points in the downstate suburbs.
  • Hochul has a two-to-one lead among women, and narrow 48-44% lead with men.
  • “White voters side with Hochul by 10 points, Latinos by 25 points and Blacks by 68 points,” according to Greenberg.
  • Most-concerning for Zeldin is the increase among Republicans who apparently favor his Democratic opponent. “Nearly twice as many Republicans, 23%, up from 16% last month, have a favorable view of Hochul, compared to 12% of Democrats, down from 14%, who view Zeldin favorably. In addition to the fact that fewer than one-third of voters view Zeldin favorably, compared to almost half who view Hochul favorably, more than one-third continue to have no opinion – good or bad – about Zeldin,” Greenberg added.

What is the bottom line?

Little has changed, according to Greenburg, who said the overall dynamic of any statewide race in New York is driven by a handful of factors.

“The four Democratic incumbents had leads between 14 and 21 points over their Republican challengers in August, and now have leads of between 16 and 23 points,” Greenberg explained. “Now, with fewer than six weeks until Election Day, those Republican challengers – underfunded compared to the Democrats – have their work cut out for them in a state with more than twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans, more independents than registered Republicans, and where the GOP hasn’t won a statewide election in 20 years.”

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

What are the biggest issues?

Economic issues are one of the top two most important for 50% of voters as they determine who to support in November. Threats to democracy and crime are the next most important issues for voters – for Republicans, crime comes second, while democracy is second for Democrats and independents. National gun policy, abortion and healthcare are important but second tier issues for most voters.