Does US Rep. Lee Zeldin Have a Shot at Winning?

Does US Rep. Lee Zeldin Have a Shot at Winning?

By Yehudit Garmaise

New Yorkers, who will elect their new governor in just 19 days on Nov. 8, are increasingly reporting to pollsters that they will be casting their vote for the Republican candidate: US Rep. Lee Zeldin.

A Republican has not led the state since George Pataki served as governor of NY from 1995 to 2006. 

While different polls reveal different results, surveys show that Zeldin is closing in on incumbent Gov. Hochul, who was not elected, but who stepped up from her role as lieutenant governor in August 2021, when former Gov. Andrew Cuomo stepped down in disgrace. 

A Quinnipac University poll reported that New Yorkers are now narrowly split 50-46% in favor of Hochul.

While a four-percentage point margin points to what looks to be a real race in NY elections, other polls recently reported that Hochul still enjoys a more comfortable lead.

Last week, for instance, a Marist poll reported that Hochul has an eight-point lead over Zeldin.

On Tuesday, Siena College reported that its polling results show that Hochul still commands an advantage of 11-points, which has come down substantially from her 17-point lead over Zeldin reported by Siena three weeks ago.

"In the blue state of New York, the race for governor is competitive," Quinnipiac polling analyst Mary Snow said in a statement. "Democrats have cruised to victory in gubernatorial races since 2006, but Governor Hochul's narrow edge puts Republican Lee Zeldin well within striking distance of her."

While the different polls show different results, Hochul commands a large lead in New York City while outside the five boroughs, voters say they will be casting their votes for Zeldin.

With 8.8 million of the 19.51 million New York state residents living in NYC, the governor’s race could come down to those who live in and outside the city.

If the failures of bail reform and other Democratic policies influence enough city-dwellers who usually vote blue to consider a Republican governor, Zeldin may have a shot at winning.

In 2014, however, Republican Rob Astorino, who was also polling better outside of the city, still lost when Cuomo won 77% of the NYC vote and won the race statewide by 14 points, Gothamist reported.

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