Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin has a 3-point edge over Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul among political independents in New York, but he trails her 54% to 37% among likely voters overall, according to a Siena Poll released Wednesday.
Zeldin needs to get the support of independents and some Democrats, particularly in New York City, to have a chance of ousting the incumbent governor. He is running on an anti-crime platform, but Hochul, in a barrage of ads in New York City, has portrayed him as anti-abortion, pro-guns, and supportive of former President Donald Trump.
Hochul, who replaced the disgraced former Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has a 61%-29% lead with women voters, in the survey, and has a narrow 48-44% lead with men. White voters side with Hochul by 10 points, Latinos by 25 points, and blacks by 68 points, the New York Post reported.
Statewide Democratic Party candidates are all up by at least 16 points over their GOP challengers, with Sen. Chuck Schumer enjoying a comfortable lead in his senate race, as does Attorney General Letitia James.
Hochul has a 47%-40% favorability rating, little changed from 46%-41% in August. She has a 53%-42% job approval rating, little changed from 52%-41%, the New York Post reported.
Rep. Zeldin has a 31%-33% favorability rating, down a little from 31%-28%.
Zeldin, who represents part of Long Island in Congress, appears unknown to roughly a third of the electorate, with the poll stating that 36% of respondents "don’t know" or "refused" to say whether they have a favorable impression of the Long Island congressman.
"Now, with fewer than six weeks until Election Day, those Republican challengers — underfunded compared to the Democrats — have their work cut out for them in a state with more than twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans, more independents than registered Republicans, and where the GOP hasn’t won a statewide election in 20 years," pollster Steven Greenberg said.
A total of 30% of voters rated "economic issues" as most important in the race followed by "threats to democracy" at 22%, crime at 12%, "national gun policies" at 8%, and abortion at 6%.
The survey of 655 likely voters was conducted Sept. 16-25. The Siena poll has a 3.9% margin of error.
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