Three weeks before Election Day, Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul has a slight edge on Republican challenger Lee Zeldin 50 – 46 percent in the New York governor’s race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of likely voters in New York state released October 18.
Democrats (91 – 8 percent) support Hochul, while Republicans (92 – 7 percent) and independents (57 – 37 percent) support Zeldin.
Hochul leads in New York City 59 – 37 percent. The race is very tight in the suburbs with Zeldin receiving 50 percent and Hochul receiving 49 percent. Zeldin leads upstate 52 – 44 percent.
“In the blue state of New York, the race for governor is competitive. Democrats have cruised to victory in gubernatorial races since 2006, but Governor Hochul’s narrow edge puts Republican Lee Zeldin well within striking distance of her,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Mary Snow.
Forty-four percent of likely voters have a favorable opinion of Hochul, while 45 percent have an unfavorable opinion of her, and 9 percent say they haven’t heard enough about her.
Forty-three percent of likely voters have a favorable opinion of Zeldin, while 37 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him, and 18 percent say they haven’t heard enough about him.
Asked to choose the most urgent issue facing New York state today, crime (28 percent) ranks first among likely voters followed by inflation (20 percent) and protecting democracy (14 percent).
There are wide gaps by political party.
Among Republicans, crime (42 percent) ranks first followed by inflation (31 percent).
Among Democrats, the top issues are protecting democracy (23 percent), crime (18 percent), and inflation (12 percent).
Among independents, crime (31 percent) ranks first followed by inflation (21 percent) and protecting democracy (11 percent).
“Across the board, crime ranks high on the list of pressing issues,” Snow said. “Zeldin making crime a major part of his campaign could be where he’s making inroads in this race.”
The poll of 1,617 New York state likely voters was conducted from October 12 – 16 and has a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.