NEW YORK (PIX11) — The first general election polling was just released in the much anticipated race for New York governor.
Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul appears to be in a good position against Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin.
A Siena College poll shows her with a 14-point lead over Zeldin: 53% to 39%.
Similarly, an Emerson College poll shows her with a 16-point lead 51% to 35%.
Hochul, the incumbent who is seeking her first full term as governor after taking over for the scandal-plagued Andrew Cuomo, said she is taking nothing for granted.
“All I know is that on Election Day I will have put it all on the table. I fight hard. I get my message out,” Hochul said.
According to the polls, several key issues are breaking in favor of the governor.
On abortion rights most: 68% of New Yorkers, like Hochul, oppose the recent overturning Roe v. Wade. Siena reports the number includes 60% of independent voters.
Zeldin opposes abortion but has argued little will change if he is elected due to New York’s strong constitutional protections of abortion rights. He continues to say Hochul brings up abortion as a distraction.
“What we are seeing is the top two issues are crime and the economy, and we know we are on the right side of those issues,” Zeldin said, expressing confidence at a Jewish Food Bank event in Flushing.
Making inroads in the city is particularly important for Zeldin, with recent polling showing him doing much better in the suburbs and upstate. About 41% of voters and both surveys either do not know who he is or do not have an opinion about him.
On another key issue: guns. Siena found support for Hochul on this issue. She just pushed through new concealed carry regulations popular with most New Yorkers surveyed by Siena.
In total, 82% support more detailed background checks and training requirements, and 63% agree concealed weapons should be banned by default inside businesses unless the owner puts up a sign allowing guns. Sixty percent agree with banning concealed weapons in certain sensitive locations like Times Square.
Zeldin points to Hochul’s increasing disapproval numbers as a sign he can reach and convince voters he is the right man for the job.