By Michela Arlia and Gabriela Flores
With midterm elections coming in the next week, the race for New York Governor is running tight between current Governor Kathy Hochul and Representative Lee Zeldin, a Republican Congressman.
Two new polls suggest a narrowing gap between Hochul and Zeldin, as of Oct. 28. In a poll released by Slingshot Strategies, the incumbent governor was leading 48% to Zeldin’s 42%. A majority of voters rank crime, inflation, and gun violence as their top issues for consideration in choosing their next governor, according to many polling data.
If Hochul were to win this election, she would be completing her first full term as governor, after stepping into the role last summer following the resignation of Governor Andrew Cuomo over sexual harrassent allegations.
In a state where no Republican has held the title of governor since 2002, a major change in the race raises questions of who will lead the state. A September poll found Hochul with a 50% to 35% lead over Zeldin before independent voters began swaying towards Zeldin, according to PIX11 News/Emerson College Polling/The Hill.
Last Wednesday, Oct. 26, the Governor and Long Island Congressman went head to head for the first time in a debate at Pace University in Manhattan. Issues on the table included Hochul furthering her stance on supporting legal abortion in the state of New York, and counter arguments made by Zeldin that questioned Hochul’s overall ethics as they relate to politics.
Tickets for seats in Congress and the Senate are also on this year’s ballot. The Republican Party is in reach of flipping slim majority from Democrats in the House, with four swing districts in Kansas, Las Vegas, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico showing competitive voter turnout. Though Democrats are leading or tied in all four districts, Republicans are close behind. Only five seats in Congress are needed to flip the majority from blue to red.
Polls in these four districts show Republican tickets are popular among voters whose primary concern is the economy, the New York Times reported. These voters are looking for candidates that would contain the ongoing increase of prices caused by inflation.
Democrats, however, are leading among voters who have social issues such as abortion at the forefont of their decision, or a popular incumbent in the race. In three of the four key districts, President Joe Biden won the Democratic vote in 2020, but as of press time, his approval ratings decreased to 39% in the wake of midterms, Reuters found.
The runs for Senate in swing states Ohio, Pennsylvania, and others are also being closely watched. Many are focusing on two Senate opponents in Pennsylvania: Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, a former celebrity doctor backed by former President Donald Trump, and Democratic Lt. Governor John Fetterman, who recently had a stroke and was mayor of a Pennsylvanian suburb. Currently, the Senate is led by a Republican majority. The results of Pennsylvania’s race and other swing states will determine whether the Senate remains red-led or becomes blue.
Early voting is open in New York till Sunday, Nov. 6. Voting would resume on Tuesday, Nov. 8. To find your polling site in NYC, visit: https://findmypollsite.vote.nyc/.