Hochul maintains early lead against potential primary opponents, poll shows

Gov. Kathy Hochul
Gov. Kathy Hochul(WWNY)
Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 9:53 AM EST
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LOUDONVILLE, New York (WWNY) - A new poll shows Kathy Hochul is a clear favorite among New York Democrats against potential primary opponents in her bid to keep her job as governor.

With the primary still five months away, she leads other Democratic candidates by more than 30 points, according to a Siena College poll released Tuesday.

She has the support of 46 percent of Democrats. Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who’s largely seen as unpopular, has 12 percent and relative unknowns New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Rep. Tom Suozzi trail behind with 11 percent and six percent.

Twenty-four percent are unsure or named another candidate.

State Attorney General Letitia James, who was largely seen as Hochul’s main opposition, dropped out of the race in December and is instead seeking reelection.

“With 22 weeks until the primary, it appears Hochul is in the catbird seat to be the Democratic nominee for governor,” pollster Steven Greenberg said. “Hochul approaches support from nearly half of Democrats, 46 percent, up from 36 percent last month – before James, who had the support of 18 percent, exited the race.”

Hochul’s competition has a lot of work to do to overtake her current lead, Greenberg said.

“Five months is a long time in politics but given her bully pulpit, campaign war chest, and enormous early lead, Williams, Suozzi and de Blasio, if he enters the race, have a lot of catching up to do and a very steep path in front of them,” Greenberg said.

Voters also strongly support eight of Hochul’s proposals from her first state-of-the-state address. The margins support range between 21 and 65 points.

Five of the proposals – helping those currently and formerly incarcerated with job skills and employment, implementing term limits for the statewide offices, providing wages and bonuses for healthcare workers, adding an Equal Rights Amendment to the state constitution, and banning most outside income for statewide elected officials – have strong bipartisan support.

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