Democrat New York Gov. Kathy Hochul will not coast to reelection, with the latest poll putting her just four points ahead of her Republican challenger, Rep. Lee Zeldin.
Surveying 830 likely voters between March 28-31 with a 3.4 percentage point margin of error, the poll from Republican consulting firm Big Dog Strategies showed that Hochul holds a slim four-point lead over the congressman – 35 percent support versus Zeldin’s 31 percent. The poll also showed that Zeldin leads disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo by six points in a hypothetical matchup.
According to the New York Post, Hochul will face a fierce battle for reelection, with the same poll showing that 41 percent of voters view her unfavorably versus 31 percent favorably, “with more than a quarter undecided.”
“Hochul only led Zeldin, a Long Island congressman, in the downstate New York City and suburban market, 35 percent to 30 percent,” the Post noted.
“Zeldin led Hochul by more than 35 points in the Syracuse region and was slightly ahead in other parts of upstate,” it added.
Big Dog founder Chris Grant said the poll shows Hochul has lost ground in areas such as Long Island while holding on to her hometown in Buffalo with an approval rating of 60 percent to 19 percent, largely thanks to her plan to build a new Buffalo Bills stadium and keep the team in its home city.
“Hochul is underperforming in areas where she needs to do well. It shows that Long Island is moving back into Republican hands,” Grant told the Post.
“I think she gets a bit of a glow from the Bills announcement. Also, don’t underestimate the ‘hometown girl does well factor,’” Grant added.
Hochul favored better with women by nine points.
Zeldin moving within striking distance of Hochul comes several months after he raised $8.4 million in the race, the most taken in by any Republican in a NY statewide election in a non-election year in over two decades. At the time, Zeldin’s campaign said the $8.4 million total came from nearly 34,000 donations.
“This marks the most a republican candidate for statewide office in New York has raised in a non-election year in two decades,” the announcement said. ” Congressman Zeldin reported over $4.3 million in receipts from over 21,000 donations, 90% of which are $100 or less, and over $5.6 million cash on hand.”
“Since announcing his candidacy for governor, congressman seldom has received nearly 34,000 donations,” it added.
🚨JUST RELEASED: Since launching our campaign for Governor, we have brought in $8.4 Million from nearly 34,000 donations. So grateful for the tens of thousands of grassroots donors, volunteers, & other supporters who signed up for this campaign to fire Hochul & Save Our State! pic.twitter.com/yDqG7f9mpJ
— Lee Zeldin (@leezeldin) January 19, 2022
Former Gov. George Pataki is the last Republican to hold statewide office in New York. He served from 1995 to 2006.
Hochul will also be facing a primary challenge from Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.