GOP’s Zeldin Nipping at Hochul’s Heels in New York Governor’s Race

Brittainy Newman/Newsday via AP, Pool

Two new polls released Tuesday show that the New York gubernatorial race between Republican Representative Lee Zeldin and Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul is tightening, with one poll showing Zeldin down by just four points.


This is obviously good news for the GOP and illustrates that the Red Wave may still be coming. Even the New York Times admits that the numbers show “the latest indication of renewed momentum for Republicans” as we get closer to election day. Although Zeldin is still behind, he’s made up a lot of ground recently:

With three weeks until Election Day, Gov. Kathy Hochul, the Democratic incumbent, saw her lead over Representative Lee Zeldin shrink to 11 percentage points, down from 17 points last month, according to a Siena College poll released early Tuesday morning. Hours later, a Quinnipiac University poll suggested an even tighter race, with Ms. Hochul leading by just four percentage points.

New Yorkers are tired of crime, and Zeldin’s made the issue his primary focus. Almost daily it seems we read about random attacks and people being shoved in front of subways for no reason. Incredibly, two people were even shot outside Zeldin’s home in an apparent gang dispute earlier this month. His daughters were inside and were “freaked out.” Voters are increasingly taking notice:


In the Quinnipiac poll, voters — especially Republican and independent voters — ranked crime, which Mr. Zeldin has hinged his campaign on, as the most urgent issue facing the state, followed by inflation and protecting democracy.

Zeldin has promised that should he win, he would declare a “crime emergency” and suspend the disastrous “cashless bail” laws which free criminals almost as soon as they’re caught. He also vowed to remove soft-on-crime Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg from office “for his refusal to enforce the law.”

“I’m going to suspend New York’s cashless bail laws and some other pro-criminal laws that have been passed, force the legislature to come to the table to negotiate an improvement, because we have to take back our streets,” Zeldin told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo. “We need law-abiding New Yorkers back in control of New York streets instead of criminals, and there are people in charge right now, from Kathy Hochul to the Democrats controlling the state legislature, who feel like they haven’t passed enough pro-criminal laws.”

New York banned setting bail for most misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges in 2019; while they’ve made some adjustments to those laws since, they haven’t thrown them out altogether. Although progressives argue that you can’t directly tie rising crime to bad laws and woke prosecutors, the numbers are hard to ignore. The New York City Police Department reported in August:


For the month of July 2022, the number of overall shooting incidents increased in New York City compared with July 2021, highlighting the continuing need to eradicate gun violence and end the perception among criminals that there are no consequences for violent crimes. Citywide shooting incidents increased by 13.4% (178 v. 157), driven by upticks in Brooklyn, southern Queens, and Staten Island. Additionally, the number of murders citywide increased for the month by 34.3% (47 v. 35) compared to the same period last year. [Emphasis mine.]

Zeldin still has ground to make up for him to win the solidly blue Empire State. But if these polls are indicative of the mood of the nation, expect Republicans to perform very well indeed on November 8.


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