Economic opportunity, fighting crime are voters’ top priorities; Hochul leads growing primary field

Photo by Kevin Coughlin, Office of the Governor

New York Democrats continue to favor Governor Kathy Hochul in the gubernatorial primary, with 36 percent supporting Hochul, 18 percent backing Attorney General Letitia James, 10 percent supporting New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and 6 percent each for Rep. Tom Suozzi and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; 24 percent are undecided or back another candidate, according to a new Siena College
poll of registered New York State voters released today.

Creating economic opportunity (26 percent), fighting crime (26 percent), and managing the pandemic (18 percent) are the issues that voters identify as the top 2022 priority for the Governor and Legislature.

For the first time since February 2020, fewer New Yorkers say the state is headed on the right track (41 percent), rather than in the wrong direction (45 percent), down from 44-43 percent last month.

“Hochul continues to have a double-digit lead over her opponents in the Democratic gubernatorial primary and, unlike what is often seen in early polls, it is not completely based on name recognition. After all, Hochul and James have very similar favorability ratings among all voters – with nearly identical favorability ratings among Democrats – and de Blasio is the most known – and most disfavored – candidate among all voters and with just Democrats,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

Gov. Hochul is scheduled to deliver her first State of the State Address on January 5, where she will outline her budgetary and legislative priorities for 2022.

“With all the candidates trying to introduce themselves to voters and stand out among a growing field, Hochul has the advantage of incumbency and the largest bully pulpit and it appears to be helping her in this early going. But as Yogi so sagely put it, ‘It gets late early out there.’ The first financial filings in the race will come next month, the state convention the following month and the primary in just 28 weeks,” Greenberg said. “The clock is ticking and all the gubernatorial campaigns – on both sides of the aisle – have their work cut out for them.”

This Siena College Poll was conducted from November 29 – December 3, 2021 among 785 New York state registered voters. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.