New York Governor’s Race: Lee Zeldin Leads Among Independents, Suburban Voters

Lee Zeldin appears during New York's Republican gubernatorial debate at the studios o
Brittainy Newman/Newsday via AP, Pool

The New York governor’s race is tightening as it enters its final stretch, with Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) holding a double-digit lead among independent voters, a Marist College poll released this week found.

The race, which is pitting Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) against Zeldin, appears to be tightening in the final weeks as the Republican congressman hopes to unseat the Democrat incumbent.

According to the latest Marist College poll, Hochul leads Zeldin by ten percent — 51 percent to 41 percent. However, her lead narrows to eight points among definite voters, 52 percent to Zeldin’s 44 percent. What is more, Zeldin maintains a double-digit lead among independent voters — 49 percent to the Democrat’s 35 percent support.

According to Fox 5, “Hochul still has a hefty head though in New York City with 65% compared to Zeldin’s 23%,” although Zeldin holds an edge in the suburbs and upstate:

“If you’re the Hochul team right now, you’re saying turnout, turnout, turnout,” Jay DeDapper with the Marist College Poll explained. “If they’re seeing the numbers we’re seeing, that New York City voters are the least enthused, her team’s got to figure out a way to enthuse New York City voters about this upstate Democrat who’s an incumbent, but hasn’t been in office for very long. For Lee Zeldin, what he’s doing is working, but is it enough to turn the tide in a very Democratic state? He probably needs to peel off some Democrats and he certainly needs to keep the independents who have flipped his side.”

The survey, taken October 3-6, 2022, among 1,117 registered voters, has a +/- 4 percent margin of error. It follows a Trafalgar Group survey released earlier this month, which found Hochul with an even slimmer lead of just 1.9 percent:

Further, a co/efficient survey released in September found Zeldin just six points behind Hochul. 

The Marist College poll also identified inflation and crime as top issues, the latter of which has hit Zeldin literally close to home, as two people were shot outside of his home last week while his teenage daughters were inside.

“My daughters are shaken, but OK. Like so many New Yorkers, crime has literally made its way to our front door,” he said in a statement at the time:

Zeldin has blamed poor Democrat leadership and policies — from cashless bail to the HALT Act — for fueling the crime wave ravaging the Empire State.


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