New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is dominating the Democratic field ahead of a gubernatorial primary in June with a 42-point lead over her nearest challenger, while the GOP primary is a toss-up between Rep. Lee Zeldin and former Trump administration official Andrew Giuliani, according to a poll released Tuesday.
Ms. Hochul, who replaced a scandal-ridden Andrew Cuomo last year, enjoys support from 54% of Democratic voters, compared to 12% for New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, John Zogby Strategies said.
The governor is very popular with upstate and suburban voters and persons over age 50, while Mr. Williams draws much of his support from Black voters and people who live in New York City. Mr. Williams slightly outpolled the third-place contender, Rep. Tom Suozzi, who received 9%.
Mr. Zeldin, who represents a district on Long Island, received 28% of support from GOP voters versus 26% for Mr. Giuliani, who is the son of former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.
Andrew Giuliani polls well upstate and in New York City, while Mr. Zeldin is by far the top choice in city suburbs, at 42% to 21%.
In a theoretical two-candidate race, Ms. Hochul leads Mr. Zeldin 51% to 33%, with 16% undecided. Independents prefer Ms. Hochul, with 41%, compared to 24% for Mr. Zeldin.
Zogby polling said the only dark clouds for Ms. Hochul might be that a third of voters — 34% — disapprove of her performance even though her overall approval is above water at 58%.
Also, voters’ top issues may be challenging ones for the incumbent Democrat, from fighting crime and lowering taxes to keeping the economy open despite COVID-19.
The pollsters said energized voters might turn against her if they don’t see progress.
“In the final analysis — while Governor Hochul currently holds an impressive and secure lead — there are some potential vulnerabilities — namely, that despite one-party dominance and record spending on social programs, many New Yorkers have or are considering voting with their feet — and not because of the weather,” Zogby Strategies said.