ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) – Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul holds an early 14-point lead over Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin ahead of the Nov. 8 election, in a new poll released by Siena College Tuesday morning.
“Hochul dominates in New York City, leading by nearly 50 points, while Zeldin has slim three-point leads both upstate and in the downstate suburbs,” said pollster Steven Greenberg.
While Democrats have taken the last four gubernatorial elections in the state, Zeldin’s current 14-point deficit matches the closest Republicans have come in those races, when Andrew Cuomo defeated Rob Astorino 54-40% in 2014. In August 2014, for comparison, Cuomo led Astorino by 32 points, Greenberg said.
Both Hochul and Zeldin lead in their respective parties, with the governor leading Democrats 81-12% and the Republican nominee leading his party 84-12%. Among likely New York City voters, Hochul holds a nearly 50-point lead, 70-21%. But Zeldin is leading narrowly in the suburbs by 46-43% and leading among likely upstate voters by 48-45%. Independents are also leaning toward Zeldin, 44-42%.
“The gender gap is wide, as men are evenly divided, and women favor Hochul 59-33%,” Greenberg said. “While white and Latino voters favor Hochul by six and eight points, respectively, Black voters support Hochul 78-8%.”
Among polled New York State voters, Hochul has a 46-41% favorability rating this month, compared to 46-37% in June. Zeldin’s favorability rating has jumped up in the same timeframe, climbing from 21-22% in June to 31-28% in Tuesday’s report.
“Hochul continues to be more well known and liked than Zeldin, although she has not been able to raise her favorability rating over 46%,” Greenberg said. “It has been between 42% and 46% every month since September, her second month as governor. Zeldin’s name recognition certainly got a boost from his primary victory and for now both being the focus of Republican energy and the target of Democrats.”
Meanwhile, Democratic U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer holds a 21-point lead over Republican Joe Pinion, 56-35%. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is leading Republican Paul Rodriguez by the same margin, 51-30%.
Among likely voters, Attorney General Letitia James is leading Republican Michael Henry, 50-36%. “The race for AG, like the gubernatorial race, is closer than either the Senate or Comptroller races, largely because of independents, downstate suburbanites, and Latinos,” Greenberg said. “While James leads by 65 points with Democrats, Henry leads with Republicans by 58 points and has a 12-point lead with independents.”
Polled New Yorkers were also asked their opinion on the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Nearly all Democrats, at 89%, oppose the decision, while 60% of independents are also against it. A slight majority of Republicans, 51%, said they support the Supreme Court’s ruling.
However, when asked if abortion should be “always or mostly legal,” a majority of each party said “yes” with 88% of Democrats, 75% of independents, and 50% of Republicans, as well as at least two-thirds of all voters, saying they support abortions.
Respondents were also asked about the state’s new law “expanding eligibility requirements to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon — background checks with character references and firearms safety training courses.” State lawmakers passed the legislation in an emergency session this summer, called after the Supreme Court struck down New York State’s concealed carry law. Lawmakers voted to define “sensitive areas” where guns are prohibited, and also took steps to strengthen existing gun laws by banning gun permits for people with a history of dangerous behavior and updating the state’s gun storage laws.
“There is also strong support for prohibiting concealed weapons in sensitive locations, 60-34%, and requiring private businesses to have a sign if they allow concealed weapons on their premises, 63-32%,” Greenberg said.
Only 19% of voters think the nation is heading on the right track, tied for the worst it’s ever been. Some 71% say the country is headed in the wrong direction, up from 68% in June. Polled voters also said New York State is headed in the wrong direction, which is mostly unchanged from June.