New York gubernatorial race turns abruptly after Seldin surge

Similar themes have played out nationwide in recent weeks as Republicans have succeeded in taking crime more seriously in Senate races in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, as well as in Oregon Governors Open This has gotten surprisingly close.

Congressman Zelding, from Long Island, holds a nearly daily news conference outside a New York City subway station to highlight violent crime, a problem he thinks Hocher has failed to address — thanks to millions in his campaign Dollar ads and news of the super PAC drilling home.

New polls this week show the race is tightening — possibly into the single digits, rattling Democrats after 20 years of statewide dominance in New York.

A Siena College poll on Tuesday showed Hocher leading Zelding by 11 points, down from 17 points a month earlier. A Quinnipiac University poll later in the day put Hocher with a four-point lead, raising the prospect of a major upset in the Blue State.

The Quinnipiac poll ranked crime as the top issue for voters — above protecting democracy.

Hochul’s advisers said the governor’s end message by Nov. 11. 8 will highlight these additional themes, particularly the specific actions she has taken since taking office last year.

“These are the things that we’re going to have to talk more about with voters, and I think that’s important to voters,” Jay Jacobs, chairman of the state Democratic committee, said before an interview with Zeldin. “He can complain and have abdominal pain. He’s doing fine. She’s giving birth. That’s all about it.”

Hocher has so far focused on abortion rights and Zeldin’s support for Trump, which includes voting against ratifying the 2020 election and It was recently revealed that he texted the former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on ways to discredit results. But like other Republicans, Zeldin insisted that general election voters are more concerned about crime and affordability.

Former U.S. Attorney Republican Rudy Giuliani won the mayoral race of New York City in 1993 and pushed former NYPD captain Eric Adams, a Democrat, into City Hall last year, a crackdown. crime information.

“No matter how many times she says ‘the oranges are broken,’ it doesn’t matter when you don’t feel safe in your own neighborhood or on public transit, or when you can’t afford to eat, work and play in New York,” the New York City Council member Joe Borelli, a Republican who leads a pro-Zeldin political action committee called Save Our State NY, said in an interview.

To be sure, Zelding downplayed Trump’s support — including the former president’s earlier this month. The GOP campaign has no press releases or even endorsements from social media accounts. Zeldin later commented, “This shouldn’t be news – he’s backing me before this weekend.”

Hocher and Democrats are abandoning their existing approach. Instead, they’re seeing a double message through Election Day: cracking down on Zeldin’s allegiance to Trump and anti-abortion stance, but also focusing more on her criminal and economic record.

They said they still expected her to continue her 20-year run among Republicans seeking statewide office, while acknowledging that it could be a single-digit victory in a tough year for Democrats.

“September saw more focus on abortion rights, gun safety and Trump’s Democratic horoscope,” said Bruce Gyory, a New York Democratic strategist who has advised several governors. “I think in October there was more focus on crime, inflation and economic uncertainty.”

What happened at Hochul was beyond Albany. She tops the ballot, so Democrats are counting on her to push voters to the polls in a pivotal New York polling campaign. as many close house races as possible Like any state in the country.

“It’s not just about the gubernatorial race. We have three of the most high-profile, must-win House races in the nation right here in New York,” said Jon Reinish, a Democratic strategist and former Senate aide. Say. Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.). “For them to win, strength at the top of the box office is absolutely essential.” Hocher continued to rout Zelding’s relationship with Trump in his hometown, the former president who lost 23 in 2020. percent. She’s still talking about abortion. .

Her campaign released two new ads on Tuesday highlighting “Zeldin’s MAGA agenda.”

“The stakes couldn’t be higher this election,” Hocher speak to the camera in a new ad. “Lizeldin said he wanted to ban abortion. He would repeal New York’s common-sense gun laws, and he even voted to overturn the 2020 election. That’s what he is, but that’s not who we are as New Yorkers.”

A new email from the State Democratic Commission showed six photos of Trump and Zeldin with the caption: “Best Friends Forever.”

Zeldin asserts voters are more interested in wallet issues and crime than ex-president seems to be queuing That’s what national polls show.

“New Yorkers want me to focus on issues related to them and their families,” Zeldin said last week outside a pizza parlor in Albany, the owner of which was concerned about local crime. “They’re thinking about their breaking point in the state.”

Zeldin’s challenge is twofold: Raise the GOP base without alienating Trump supporters, win over independents — outnumbering Republican voters in New York — and pull in some frustrated Democrats to his side.

Abortion rights remain a key issue for voters, Hochul stressed, stressing that her administration is “highly focused” on fighting crime — whether it’s strengthening bail reform laws passed in 2019, tightening gun access or confiscating 8,000 illegal firearms in the past year.

Speaking to NSW police graduates in Albany on Wednesday, Hocher said shootings and homicides in New York have dropped 14 per cent this year.

“We’ve had great success,” she told a room full of new officers and their families.

Some Democratic advisers said former Lieutenant Governor Hocher needed to find a balance between hitting Zeldin and highlighting her own image and record. She is still fairly new to many voters, having successfully served three terms as governor. In August 2021, Andrew Cuomo resigned amid the scandal.

There will be plenty of money for messaging in the coming weeks. Hochul had $10.9 million in the bank as of last week, while Zeldin had $4.5 million and was buoyed by payouts from several PACs.

“Nobody knows the real Kathy Hocher other than the Democrats’ check position,” said one downstate Democratic communications professional, speaking on condition of anonymity because of their involvement in the ongoing campaign Activity. “She has the lion’s share of dollars, but she lacks the roar of a lion. Even in the endgame, she benefits from relaxing, giving up ‘safe’ things, being more of herself and showing her agenda.”

For Zeldin to win, he would have to get at least 30 percent of the vote in Democratic stronghold New York City and handily win the suburbs and upstate New York — since George Pataki won his third term. Republicans have been unaware of this. Governor in 2002.

The Quinnipiac poll, in particular, showed a silver lining for Zelding, whose approval ratings fell 59 percent to 37 percent in the city, giving him a slight lead in the city’s suburbs. His approval rating was 52 percent, compared with 44 percent for Hochul.

Democrats criticized the poll, saying it underestimated Democrats and women.

Jacobs said: “I’m pretty confident that while the competition is getting tougher, it’s not as dire as the two polls that were released recently, in terms of his closeness, which I’d say The audience chooses inappropriately.”

Hocher told reporters that she was right to focus on Zeldin’s record, the fight for abortion rights and the message of the economy and crime, saying he voted against gun control laws and federal measures to boost the economy.

“I was on Long Island,” Hocher said Tuesday. “They’re not happy with the fact that he voted against legislation that would allow me to fix potholes and infrastructure funding. He voted against infrastructure. He voted against the CHIPS Act. You know what that did? Take it to New York State. So when voters found out, they were even shocked that he was still running.”

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