Incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul has an early lead over the competition in what is expected to be a crowded field in the 2022 Democratic primary race for New York governor, according to a newly released Siena College poll.
Democrats continue to favor Hochul, according to the poll released on Tuesday, Dec. 7, with 36 percent supporting her run, compared to 18 percent for New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is her nearest competition.
According to the poll, these are who Democrats favor:
- Hochul: 36 percent;
- James: 18 percent;
- New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams: 10 percent;
- Rep. Tom Suozzi: 6 percent;
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio: 6 percent;
- Undecided or other candidates: 24 percent.
“Hochul continues to have a double-digit lead over her opponents in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, and unlike what is often seen in early polls, it is not completely based on name recognition,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said.
“After all, Hochul and James have very similar favorability ratings among all voters - with nearly identical favorability ratings among Democrats - and de Blasio is the most known - and most disfavored - candidate among all voters and with just Democrats.
Hochul's favorability has remained relatively unchanged, with 42 percent in favor, and 28 percent not, though her job performance rating is negative, with just 42 percent in her corner, down 1 percent from a month ago.
Greenberg said that the likely winner of the crowded Democratic primary will come down to which candidate is able to address the top issues facing New York voters: creating economic opportunity and fighting crime.
“Republicans, Democrats, independents, upstaters, and downstaters all agree that creating economic opportunity and fighting crime are the top two issues they want Albany to address in the upcoming session,” he said. “Managing the pandemic came in as (the) third most important issue, more so for Democrats, downstate suburbanites, and Black voters
“Ensuring appropriate public school curriculum, was the third most important issue for Republicans, with one in five making it the most important issue, while one in five Black voters said addressing racial inequality was their top priority.”
According to Greenberg, things are about to heat up in the race as the primary rapidly approaches, giving Hochul an edge against the competition as the incumbent.
“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,” Greenberg added.
“But Yogi so sagely put it, ‘It gets late early out there.’ The first financial filings in the race will come next month, the state convention the following month, and the primary in just 28 weeks,” he continued. "The clock is ticking and all the gubernatorial campaigns - on both sides of the aisle - have their work cut out for them.”
The complete Siena College poll can be found here.
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