Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul’s lead over Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin is now 11 points, down from 17 points three weeks ago.
Hochul currently leads Zeldin 52-41 percent, down from 54-37 percent in September, according to a new Siena College Poll of likely New York state voters released October 18.
The race for Attorney General has also tightened, as Letitia James, the incumbent Democrat, now leads Republican Michael Henry 51-40 percent, down from 53-37 percent in September.
Two Democrats are maintaining strong leads in their contests. In the race for U.S. Senator, incumbent Chuck Schumer leads Republican challenger Joe Pinion 57-37 percent; last month it was 55-36 percent. And State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli continues to maintain a big lead over Republican Paul Rodriguez, now 54-30 percent, little changed from 52-29 percent last month.
Support for the $4.2 billion environmental bond act remains strong, 54-26 percent, compared to 55-26 percent in September. The newest Siena poll was conducted October 12-14 2022 by telephone calls to 707 self-identified likely voters in New York state. It has an overall margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.
“Over the last three weeks, Zeldin has narrowed the deficit from 17 points to 11 points in trying to become the first Republican in 20 years to win statewide,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “However, with three weeks to go, Hochul maintains the upper hand, based on the 84-10 percent support she gets from Democrats, who represent half of the state’s enrolled voters.
“The good news for Zeldin is that he has further solidified his Republican support, 81-12 percent, up from 77-17 percent, and has increased his lead among independents from three points to nine points; 49-40 percent.
Hochul has an overwhelming 92-2 percent lead with Black voters, a 56-38 percent lead with Latinos, and white voters are virtually evenly divided, after favoring Hochul by 10 points in September.
“Hochul maintains a commanding lead in New York City, 70-23 percent, however, her five-point lead in the downstate suburbs in September has turned into a four-point lead for Zeldin in October. Zeldin’s lead upstate is four points, up from one point in September,” Greenberg said. “Women continue to give Hochul a two-to-one lead, 61-32 percent, however, men have flipped and now favor Zeldin by five points, after favoring Hochul by four points last month.”
Hochul has a 45-41 percent favorability rating, down a little from 47-40 percent in September.
Her job approval rating is also down slightly, from 53-42 percent last month to to 52-45 percent in October.
Zeldin has a negative 37-41 percent favorability rating, compared to 31-33 percent in September.
Only 21 percent of likely voters have no opinion about him, down from 36 percent last month.
“Hochul maintains a double-digit lead and simply needs Democrats to vote. Simple in theory. Three weeks to go.”
“Two-thirds of Democrats continue to view Hochul favorably and she’s only underwater with independents by five points currently, compared to 15 points last month,” Greenberg said. “However, after making some gains with Republicans last month, 23 percent viewed her favorably, Republicans now view Hochul unfavorably 15-77 percent.
“Not surprisingly, Zeldin has become more well known to voters as the campaign has heated up. However, one in five
voters still doesn’t have an opinion about him, and among those who do, he remains slightly underwater.
“While Democrats are bullish on the direction of the state, Republicans overwhelmingly, and independents by a wide margin are not. That works to Zeldin’s advantage, as does the fact that the issues most important to voters — at least as of three weeks ago — play more into the messaging of the Zeldin campaign rather than the Hochul campaign,” Greenberg said. “That said, Zeldin must still overcome a wide enrollment disadvantage, and must attract more than 10% of Democrats and 49% of independents to be successful in New York. Hochul maintains a double-digit lead and simply needs Democrats to vote. Simple in theory. Three weeks to go.”