Governor Kathy Hochul expressed confidence she’ll be able to sway suburban voters concerned about high crime after a Siena College poll on the gubernatorial general election released Tuesday gave her opponent U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Suffolk County) a 3-point advantage in upstate and suburban areas.
“I just need some time to get out there and talk to people about those issues,” Hochul told reporters Tuesday at an unrelated press conference. “And crime is on people’s minds. They just need to hear what we’ve done on crime. And we’ll continue to do on crime because public safety is important and making sure that our criminal justice system works. So, I understand the issues, and we’re just getting warmed up.”
The poll gave Zeldin a 46-43 percent advantage over Hochul with likely voters in the New York City suburbs and a 48-45 percent lead with upstate voters. However, the governor was 50-points ahead of Zeldin in the city, currently holding favor with 70 percent of voters in the five boroughs.
“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 Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.
Hochul’s commanding lead in the city fueled her 14-point advantage over Zeldin state-wide, with 53 percent of likely voters polled saying they would cast their ballot for Hochul and 39 percent saying they’d support Zeldin, if they were to vote today. Another 7 percent said they “don’t know” or had “no opinion” and 2 percent indicated they won’t be voting for governor at all.
The poll spoke to 806 likely voters between July 24-28 and had a margin of error of 3.5 percent.
Hochul did even better in a separate Emerson College poll on the governor’s race, also released Tuesday, that gave her a 16 point advantage over Zeldin.
Although both polls give Hochul a healthy lead in the race, the governor said she’s not taking anything for granted and will continue to campaign across the state until Election Day.
“I take every election very seriously. This is my 14th election,” Hochul said. “I always run like an underdog up until the very last minute. It’s why I’m successful. The polls today are a snapshot of what people are thinking, but I know what’s on their minds. I’ve traveled the state more than anybody. I know the suburbs. I know the farmlands. I know the cities. And I’m going to continue being their governor, speaking about issues that matter to them and letting them know that I’m a fighter. And whatever the issue is, I will take it on their behalf.”
While Zeldin didn’t perform well overall in the poll, campaign spokesperson Katie Vincentz pointed out that his favorability rating rose 10 points since June while Hochul’s has remained mostly stagnant since last September, a month after she took office.
“Since his overwhelming primary victory, Congressman Zeldin has increased his favorability by 10 points, while Hochul’s has remained stagnant month after month. At least half of New Yorkers have made it clear that New York is heading in the wrong direction, and, as Congressman Zeldin continues to get his message out to everyday New Yorkers, more and more understand that he’s the candidate to drive down crime and our cost of living and Save Our State,” Vincentz said in an emailed statement.
“We’re looking forward to continuing to get out Congressman Zeldin’s message, build on his lead upstate and in the suburbs, continue to flip voters in historically Democrat strongholds and fire Kathy Hochul on November 8th,” she added.