Zeldin captures Hochul in dead heat, NY gubernatorial race

The Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin has passed Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul by decimal points, and the race for governor is now a dead heat, a stunning new poll released Friday reveals.

The independent CO/Effective poll of 1,056 likely voters shows Zeldin with 45.6% support and Hochul with 45.3% with the rest undecided.

The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 3.31 percentage points.

Significantly, it’s the first poll to show Zeldin — who has run a campaign focused on law and order amid a crime spike — running ahead or even with the Democratic governor.

A poll released by the same group in early September had Hochul leading Zeldin, the Long Island congressman, by 6 points.

“The race has been tightening over the last few weeks and it looks like it’s now a dead heat. The shift has been led by predominantly white and Hispanic registered Democrats who defected to support Zeldin, the Republican candidate,” said effective pollster Ryan Munce.

Republican Lee Zeldin has overtaken Democrat Kathy Hochul and the race is now a deadlock, according to a new poll.

“With just under three weeks to go, we still expect to see measurable movement in the statewide electorate, and if the trend continues, New York could have its first Republican governor since 2006.”

The same right-wing pollster predicted GOP underdog Glenn Youngkin’s upset victory over Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s gubernatorial race last year.

A key finding of the poll was that Zeldin beats Hochul among registered independents — a key bloc of swing voters he needs to offset the huge Democratic Party registration advantage — by better than two to one, or 59% to 28%.

Zeldin said the latest poll showing him with a three-tenths of a percent lead over Hochul proves he has momentum in the final stretch to the Nov. 8 election.

“The stakes couldn’t be higher and the polls couldn’t be closer. We need every New Yorker fed up with the attacks on our wallets, safety, children’s education and more to get out to vote and save our state,” Zeldin said.

The coefficient survey shows Lee Zeldin a fraction ahead of Kathy Hochul in the race for governor


Lee Zeldin

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Joe Biden, Kathy Hochul

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Governor Kathy Hochul

Gov. Kathy Hochul greets voters – new poll shows race deadlocked with Republican challenger Lee Zeldin.


“This is our last chance to turn New York around by firing Kathy Hochul, electing new leadership to restore balance to Albany, keep our streets safe and put hardworking New York families first,” he added.

The Hochul campaign had no immediate comment.

The latest results provide more evidence that the race for governor is becoming a draft.

In a major departure from previous surveys in the cow/effective poll, Zeldin was leading among Hispanic voters, 53% to 36% — a shocking 17-point margin among a Democratic-leaning constituency. Other pollsters have Hochul leading among Latino voters.

The GOP challenger led by four points among whites, 48% to 44%.

A photo of NY Governor Kathy Hochul.
A poll released in early September had Hochul leading Zeldin, the Long Island congressman, by 6 points.
kevin c downs

Hochul had a huge lead among black voters — 76% to 18% — though less than the near-universal support she had from the group in a Siena College poll released earlier this week.

Hochul led Democrat-dominated New York City just 53% to 36% in the cow/effective poll, the latest in which Zeldin has cleared a key hurdle in his race to become the first Republican to win statewide since ex-gov. George Pataki 20 years ago.

Republican strategists have said a GOP candidate must clear the 30% threshold in New York City to win statewide — along with carrying the suburbs and upstate. Zeldin also captured more than a third of the city’s support in the Quinnipiac College poll released Tuesday.

Zeldin led by 14 points – 56% to 42% – on his Long Island turf and was ahead by 19 points in the Hudson Valley and 11 points in the Albany region.

They split other parts of the upstate. In her home Buffalo region, Hochul was up two points, 47% to 45%, while Zeldin was up three points in the Central NY/Syracuse region, 47% to 44%.

A picture of Lee Zeldin in campaign.
Zeldin led Long Island with 14 points and led the Hudson Valley Region with 19 points.
William Farrington

Like other polls, the Co-Efficiency Survey found a huge gender gap.

Hochul, the first female governor to take over after a disgraced three-term ex-gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation after several scandals, including sexual harassment allegations that he has denied, led among women by 18 points, 55% to 37%.

Zeldin led by 22 points among men, 56% to 34%.

The survey sample predicts that 55% percent of voters will be women. Half of the voters will be registered Democrats, and about 25% each will be Republicans and independents.

Lee Zeldin has overtaken Gov. Kathy Hochul in a new poll for New York's gubernatorial election.

Lee Zeldin has overtaken Gov. Kathy Hochul in a new poll for New York’s gubernatorial election.


The independent Ko/Effective survey of 1,056 likely voters shows Zeldin with 45.6% support and Hochul with 45.3%.

The independent Ko/Effective survey of 1,056 likely voters shows Zeldin with 45.6% support and Hochul with 45.3%.


Munce said he checks the voter rolls of the respondents interviewed to see if their registration matches what they self-reported to the interviewers. It turns out that more of the respondents were registered Democrats than were self-reported.

His poll shows Zeldin getting support from nearly a quarter of Democrats – 23% – a number higher than measured by other pollsters. Hochul achieved 67% support from party members.

Meanwhile, 77% of registered Republicans supported Zeldin, while 19% supported Hochul.

Other surveys have shown that the race has been tightening in the past few weeks.

A Quinnipiac College poll released Tuesday had Hochul ahead by just 4 points — with 50% support among likely voters to 46% for Zeldin.

A SurveyUSA poll released Thursday had Hochul up by 6 points, as did an independent survey released last week by Schoen Cooperman Research.

The Siena College poll, also released Tuesday, had Hochul up by 11 points — 52% to 41% — down from 17 points three weeks earlier.

A recent Maris College poll found Hochul in the lead by 8 points among – 52% to 44% – among respondents who said they would definitely vote.

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