(The Center Square) – A new poll released Thursday still shows Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul leading Republican challenger Lee Zeldin by 10 points with less than a month before the election.
- By Steve Bittenbender | The Center Square contributor
- October 13th, 2022
- Republished with Permission: The Roosevelt Island Daily News
However, the pollster said the race “still bears watching.”
The Marist Poll of more than 1,100 registered voters in the state found that Hochul leads the Long Island congressman 51% to 41%, with 7% undecided. However, among those who said they were “definitely” voting, the gap narrowed to 52-44.
A Siena College Research Institute poll taken last month showed Hochul leading Zeldin 54-37 among likely voters.
Marist Institute for Public Opinion Director Lee M. Miringoff said there are several reasons people should keep paying attention to the governor’s race.
“Republicans say they are more likely to vote, enthusiasm for Zeldin among his supporters exceeds Hochul’s, and any shift to crime in the closing weeks is likely to benefit Zeldin,” Miringhoff said.
Nearly three-quarters, or 74% of Zeldin voters, say they strongly back him, compared to just 62% of Hochul voters who feel that way for her.
The full poll results have a margin of error of 4 percentage points, and the margin for the 900 registered voters who said they will vote is within 4.4 percentage points.
The poll also found that the economy will be the main reason people go to the polls this year. Inflation was the top reason for 28% of respondents, including 42% of Republicans and 31% of independents, making it the top issue for those voters.
Hochul’s lead is solely due to her performance in New York City. The Buffalo native is beating Zeldin by a 65-23 margin there. Zeldin fares better in the less populated upstate region, where he leads 49-43, and in the Big Apple’s suburbs, where he’s up 50-47.
Respondents are also polarized on their view about Hochul, who took over as governor in August 2021 after then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned following a report finding several sexual harassment accusations to be credible. She heads into an election for her first full term with a 46% favorable rating, compared to 43% unfavorable.
Fewer voters said they knew Zeldin, but he was similarly polarizing. He received a 36% favorable rating compared to 37% unfavorable.
The other major race on the ballot next month is the U.S. Senate race featuring majority floor leader Charles Schumer. Among all registered voters polled, he leads Republican candidate Joe Pinion 54-34, and among definite voters, it’s 52-39.