Kathy Hochul holds firm lead in Dem primary race for governor



Incumbent Kathy Hochul holds a firm lead in the Democratic primary for governor of New York, outpacing all rivals by double-digit margins, a new survey released Tuesday reveals.

More than a third of Democrats (36 percent) said they would vote for Gov. Hochul if the election were held today — double the 18 percent who said they would back her closest rival, state Attorney General Letitia James, according to the Siena College Poll.

Meanwhile, 10 percent said they would vote for New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and just 6 percent would vote for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio or Congressman Tom Suozzi.

Currently, lame-duck Mayor De Blasio, who is expected to announce a run for governor when he steps down as Big Apple mayor at the end of the month, is more disliked than liked by members of his own party.

Half of Democrats view him unfavorably compared to 37 percent who view him favorably, the poll found.

About one-quarter of Democrats are still undecided or would prefer another candidate.

“With all the candidates trying to introduce themselves to voters and stand out among a growing field, Hochul has the advantage of incumbency and the largest bully pulpit and it appears to be helping her in this early going,” said Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James
Attorney General Letitia James is second in polling behind Hochul.
REUTERS/Joy Malone

The primary election is on June 28.

The latest poll did not include disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who resigned after a shocking investigative report by AG James’ office found he mistreated or harassed a slew of women, including staffers and even a state trooper in his security detail. He has denied wrongdoing.

Still, the October Siena College survey showed Cuomo with support from 17 percent of Democrats, second only to Gov. Hochul’s 31 percent. James came in third with 14 percent Democrats backing her in the earlier survey.

Former Lieutenant Governor Hochul, who legally assumed the governorship upon Cuomo’s resignation, appears to benefit from divided opposition — with three lefty progressives from Brooklyn potentially in the race: James, Williams and de Blasio.

Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo was not included in the poll.
New York Governor’s Office via AP

Suozzi, by contrast, is trying to claim the moderate-centrist mantle.

The top three priorities for Democrat voters in the 2022 gubernatorial election are boosting the economy, tackling crime and curbing the coronavirus pandemic, the poll found.

The Sienna poll did not query Republican voters about their preference in the GOP primary but it did highlight concerns about inflation among New Yorkers across the board — with 81 percent saying inflation was putting a serious dent in the nation’s economy.

Two-thirds of respondents also said inflation was eating at their own personal finances.

Jumaane Williams
10 percent of the people polled said they would vote for New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
Matthew McDermott

Almost half of New Yorkers (47 percent) said President Biden’s massive $2.1 trillion “Build Back Better” plan will increase inflation.

Still, a majority (52 percent) support Biden’s agenda, which would increase spending on social welfare, early education and health care, and address climate change. Less than a third (28 percent) of respondents were opposed.

The proposal narrowly passed the House of Representatives and is being considered in the Senate.

Mayor Bill de Blasio
Mayor de Blasio is expected to announce a run for governor when he steps down as Big Apple mayor at the end of the month.
NYC Mayor

The Siena Poll queried 785 registered voters from Nov. 29 through Dec. 3 and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Within the overall poll, 399 Democrats were asked about the primary for governor. The Democrats-only survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.4 percentage points.


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