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NEW YORK (PIX11) — Democrat Kathy Hochul has widened her lead over Republican Lee Zeldin in the race for New York governor, according to a new PIX11 News/Emerson College Polling/The Hill poll released Tuesday.

One week before Election Day, Hochul leads her challenger 52% to 44%, with 3% undecided. When undecided voters were asked to make a choice, Hochul’s lead increased to 54% of the vote compared to Zeldin’s 45%.

“For Lee Zeldin to really have a chance in this election, he would have had to keep growing momentum since September,” explained Camille Mumford of Emerson College Polling. “He has stayed stagnant at 44%.” 

Voters were polled after last week’s New York gubernatorial debate.

“Around 87% said that they were somewhat aware of or paid attention to the debate,” Mumford said. “Zeldin had a bit more of a favorable view after the debate.” 

While 25% of New York voters polled said the debate worsened their opinion of Zeldin, 35% said it worsened their opinion of Hochul.

On the campaign trail Monday, Hochul and Zeldin both focused much of their public comments on the issue of crime in New York. The PIX11 poll found the top issue is the economy for 35% of voters, threats to democracy for 14%, crime for 13%, and abortion access for 11%.

The Emerson College Polling/Pix11/The Hill New York poll was conducted Oct. 28-31, 2022. The sample consisted of very likely voters, n=1,000 with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points.

The data sets were weighted by gender, age, and education, based on 2022 turnout modeling. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, education, and race/ethnicity carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using a cellphone sample using SMS-to-web, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines, and an online panel.

Basil Smikle, the director of the public policy program at Hunter College, joined PIX11 Morning News on Wednesday to weigh in on the findings of the most recent poll.