The Points Dominating the 2022 Basic Election for New York Governor

September 26, 2022

Kathy Hochul and Lee Zeldin


That is Half 1 of a two-part article on the problems dominating the 2022 race for New York Governor.

After profitable their respective primaries, Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul and Republican Congressional Consultant Lee Zeldin at the moment are competing within the normal election to turn out to be New York Governor from 2023 by means of 2026.

The favorites from the beginning, Hochul and Zeldin each gained by snug margins within the June primaries. Hochul, a average from the Buffalo space and the state’s first feminine governor, is looking for to win election to the position after having succeeded disgraced former Governor Andrew Cuomo upon his August 2021 resignation. Zeldin, a conservative from Lengthy Island who gave up his congressional seat to hunt the governor’s workplace, is hoping to turn out to be the primary Republican to win statewide in New York since Governor George Pataki gained a 3rd time period 20 years in the past, in 2002.

Because the June primaries concluded, the problems that seem set to dominate the overall election for Governor of New York and lots of different workplaces on the poll this 12 months took form, whether or not from what the profitable candidates’ centered their campaigns on or from forces exterior their management. Although there have been some shifts in emphasis since, these points stay the main target because the race enters its last six weeks.

The New York political dialog is being dominated partially by reactions to main U.S. Supreme Courtroom choices issued in June, in addition to different nationwide developments and their native impacts, and the way New York policy-makers are responding on points together with abortion rights and gun management, crime and public security, inflation and the financial system.

There are additionally different long-standing points that Hochul, Zeldin, or each seem set to marketing campaign on, from faculties to how the state is trying to mitigate the impacts of local weather change to the way it has dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic to inhabitants declines in elements of New York.

The sitting governor, Hochul has been championing her achievements over the previous 12 months, together with in response to the Supreme Courtroom rulings overturning Roe v. Wade abortion rights and a New York-specific hid carry gun regulation. Zeldin has largely been criticizing Hochul, blaming her for not doing sufficient about elevated crime and value of dwelling, tying her to Cuomo, with whom she served as Lieutenant Governor from 2015 to 2021, and extra.

The Basic Election Matchup
Solely two names will seem on the gubernatorial poll this 12 months after the Board of Elections rejected petitions from the Inexperienced and Libertarian Events, which each misplaced automated poll standing in 2020 and subsequently fought unsuccessful authorized battles to enter the overall election.

Hochul principally coasted by means of the Democratic major, spending a large $26 million in heading off challenges from New York Metropolis Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Congressional Consultant Tom Suozzi.

Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado will be part of her ticket within the normal election after overcoming progressive activist Ana Maria Archila and average former New York Metropolis Council Member Diana Reyna by a large margin in his major. Delgado left Congress to just accept the place as Hochul’s lieutenant governor, her second such appointment in a short while after Brian Benjamin took the publish and subsequently resigned after being arrested on public corruption costs from his tenure as a state senator — a scandal that Zeldin is utilizing towards Hochul in questioning her judgment and readiness for the job.

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The Democratic nominees will even seem on the Working Households Get together poll line within the normal election after the WFP-endorsed Williams and Archila had been defeated and moved to vacate that nomination in order to not play a ‘spoiler’ position within the fall election.

Hochul’s marketing campaign platform has largely centered round touting what she’s executed in simply over a 12 months as governor. She can also be providing a number of agenda gadgets that she backed however didn’t get achieved in her lone state finances and legislative session as governor up to now. Hochul has not laid out an agenda for a full time period as governor and even for subsequent 12 months.

However Hochul has up to now run on what she has handed and is implementing on healthcare, infrastructure and financial improvement, gun violence prevention, schooling, childcare, renewable power, and extra. She made the majority of her achievements throughout the April state finances, in addition to the remainder of the legislative session that resulted in June and a quick particular session that adopted, when the state handed enhanced gun legal guidelines and abortion protections within the wake of the Supreme Courtroom rulings.

Each candidates are on the assault. Hochul and her fellow Democrats paint Zeldin as a “far-right extremist,” drawing upon his anti-abortion and pro-gun stances and ties to former President Donald Trump that embrace his vote towards certifying the 2020 presidential elections on the night time of January 6, 2021, simply hours after the pro-Trump mob ransacked the Capitol.

Zeldin mentioned throughout this 12 months’s major that he would settle for an endorsement from Trump and that he would help him if he turned the Republican nominee within the 2024 presidential election. He nearly fully aligned himself with Trump when he was president, voting along with his agenda 88.8% of the time, in accordance with a FiveThirtyEight evaluation. Trump not too long ago helped Zeldin elevate cash for the gubernatorial contest.

“All people is aware of that we can not have Lee Zeldin as our governor,” Hochul mentioned in an interview with NY1 on June 29, the morning after profitable the first. “This isn’t an odd Republican – this can be a Trump extremist.”

“Zeldin backs the Huge Lie, voted to overturn the 2020 election, repeatedly supported abortion bans, and would make our state much less protected by rolling again common sense gun security legal guidelines,” mentioned Hochul Marketing campaign Communications Director Jerrel Harvey in an announcement after Zeldin secured the GOP nomination. “He’s thus far out of the mainstream it’s onerous to consider that he’s even a New Yorker — a lot much less one that wishes to symbolize all of us as governor.”

Whereas Hochul emphasizes Zeldin’s stances on weapons and abortion which can be considerably out of step with what public opinion polling exhibits of New Yorkers’ sentiments, the Republican nominee plans to make his case largely by attempting to focus voters on two points.

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“Irrespective of how onerous Kathy Hochul tries altering the topic, the highest 2 problems with this marketing campaign for Governor are Crime & the Financial system,” Zeldin tweeted on July 2.

Zeldin, who represents New York’s 1st Congressional District on Lengthy Island, prevailed in a aggressive four-way gubernatorial major with stable fundraising, an aggressive marketing campaign schedule, and a variety of endorsements from Republican leaders. He defeated Andrew Giuliani, son of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, businessman Harry Wilson, and former Westchester Govt Rob Astorino.

That the Republican candidates had a major this 12 months was uncommon – the get together typically unites round a single candidate – and will have pushed Zeldin to articulate conservative stances that might harm him within the normal election as he needed to attraction to a deeply conservative and largely upstate voter base. He’ll seem on each the Conservative and Republican Get together poll strains within the normal alongside Alison Esposito, a former NYPD Deputy Inspector who ran unopposed within the major for Lieutenant Governor.

The pair had been denied a further spot on the poll by way of the Independence Get together after submitting apparently fraudulent photocopied petition signatures which can be the topic of ongoing investigations and Zeldin has tried to distance himself from. 

“New Yorkers in each nook of our state are hitting their breaking factors,” Zeldin mentioned in a June assertion. “They’re uninterested in the assaults on their wallets, security, freedom, and children’ schooling. The fact is Kathy Hochul does not need to discuss these points that matter most to New Yorkers. As a substitute, she’s busy pandering to the far left and he or she’s going to pay a worth for that on the poll field in November.”

“Greater than some other state proper now we’re seeing this inhabitants loss,” Zeldin added in his major night time victory speech. “Our marketing campaign is a marketing campaign to attempt to persuade you to remain, to make it possible for your loved ones who has left will need to come again.”

The four-term congressman champions a tough-on-crime agenda and guarantees to spice up the state financial system by means of initiatives like fracking, tax cuts, and enterprise deregulation. He has launched considerably detailed coverage plans referring to crime, political reform, schooling, power, and serving to army veterans. However he has not supplied a lot about how he plans to deal with the state’s financial system past chopping taxes and laws, and has no clear plans for the state’s inexpensive housing disaster, well being care system, public transit, public college programs, or local weather points. However a number of requests from Gotham Gazette asking the marketing campaign to make clear his stances on these points, Zeldin’s marketing campaign didn’t reply.

Primarily based on Cuomo’s many scandals, Zeldin incessantly criticizes Hochul for her time as Lieutenant Governor. He additionally recurrently factors to Hochul’s collection of Brian Benjamin as her first Lieutenant Governor and his subsequent resignation over federal public corruption costs from his time as a state senator.

“Kathy Hochul is in over her head. She’s a strolling identification disaster, to be trustworthy,” Zeldin mentioned in his victory speech on the night time of June 28 – language he has used repeatedly and a few have referred to as misogynistic.

In his personal interview on NY1 after profitable the GOP major, Zeldin pushed again towards Hochul’s depiction of him as a “far-right extremist,” and reaffirming his commitments to repealing sweeping bail reforms handed by Democrats in 2019 and since toughened twice (together with this 12 months upon Hochul’s urging) and to “firing” Manhattan District Lawyer Alvin Bragg, whom Republicans have made a boogeyman primarily based on his reform insurance policies.

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“Properly, if it’s extremist to need our streets to be protected by repealing cashless bail and holding rogue DAs accountable for his or her refusal to implement the regulation, nicely, so be it,” he mentioned.

Focus Points – What the Polling Says
The important thing points within the gubernatorial race have taken form, with public opinion surveys displaying that the financial system, crime, and the Supreme Courtroom’s two latest choices are prime of thoughts for a lot of New Yorkers. On the ‘horse-race’ of the election, most often polls present Hochul with a commanding double-digit lead over Zeldin.

Polling from Emerson Faculty/PIX-11/The Hill performed in early September discovered the financial system to be crucial difficulty to 38% of 1,000 ‘considerably doubtless’ and ‘very doubtless’ New York voters who had been polled, adopted by abortion entry (14%), healthcare (10%), gun violence (9%), crime (7%), and immigration (5%). Amongst voters underneath 35, the survey discovered that healthcare was crucial difficulty (with 21.8%), whereas 54.6% of voters over 35 mentioned the financial system.

An internet ballot performed by SurveyUSA in August recognized inflation as essentially the most urgent difficulty amongst of 1,200 New Yorkers (amongst whom 715 had been decided to be ‘doubtless voters’ in November) when deciding the best way to forged their poll in November, with 33% of respondents saying it was crucial difficulty within the race, together with 47% of Republicans, 29% of Democrats, and 26% of independents. Healthcare (12%), felony justice reform (12%), jobs (10%), and abortion entry (10%) had been additionally discovered to be priorities for doubtless voters within the survey.

Siena Analysis Institute polling in early June and late July gleaned that voters extensively oppose the Courtroom’s rulings overturning New York’s century-old hid carry requirement and the federal proper to an abortion, and they’re extensively supportive of defending abortion rights and enacting legal guidelines that place important safeguards on firearm possession and carry.

Earlier polling in April and March advised that voters are additionally fearful about inexpensive housing and the state’s excessive value of dwelling, and that they’re supportive of reforming Albany’s political construction to extend authorities ethics and transparency because the capital reels from the scandal and corruption of the Cuomo years.

A John Zogby Methods ballot launched in March means that some voters are contemplating leaving the state in the hunt for higher financial alternatives, whereas a Regional Plan Affiliation/World Technique Group ballot launched in March and NYC Speaks ballot launched in April each present that, amongst New York Metropolitan Space voters, the state’s excessive value of dwelling and discovering inexpensive housing are key issues.

Local weather, schooling, and covid insurance policies are all additionally prone to be prime problems with the overall election, which can conclude on Election Day, November 8. Early voting will likely be October 29 by means of November 6, with absentee balloting all through.

As of September 26, Hochul and Zeldin are nonetheless debating about if and when they’ll truly meet for a number of normal election debate(s).

Keep tuned for Half 2 of this text, with a better have a look at these points dominating the race for New York Governor and the place Hochul and Zeldin stand on them.