New Siena poll has Gov. Kathy Hochul’s lead at 17, but Lee Zeldin says his internal numbers say not so fast
NEW YORK — With just six weeks until Election Day, a new poll shows Gov. Kathy Hochul widening her lead over Republican challenger Lee Zeldin.
But as CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Wednesday, Team Zeldin is calling it hogwash and released an internal poll that has their candidate within striking distance.
READ MORE: Debate on the number of debates heats up in New York gubernatorial race
They have not yet struck a deal to debate each other, but Hochul and Zeldin, the “Battling Bickersons” of the 21st century, are squabbling about a new poll that gives the Democratic governor a commanding lead over her Republican rival.
The poll by the independent Siena Research Institute has Hochul up by 17 points — 54 to 37. Zeldin scoffed at the findings.
“I don’t know if you have any pets, Marcia, and if you do, if they’re potty-trained, but that Siena poll would be good to use for that purpose,” Zeldin said.
Team Zeldin promptly released its own internal poll by McLaughlin & Associates that claimed the Long Island congressman has whittled Hochul’s lead to 5.8 points — 50.7-44.9.
But that’s not the only difference. Siena gave Hochul a job approval rating of 53 and a disapproval of 42. McLaughlin said Hochul’s approval rating is 46 and her disapproval rating is 51.
Hochul’s campaign told CBS2 the McLaughlin poll incorrectly stated Zeldin is a candidate of the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.
A spokesperson for the campaign said in a statement, “This desperate joke of a poll incorrectly states Lee Zeldin’s ballot designation. If Zeldin needs a reminder, he was kicked off the Independence Party line for fraudulently submitting more than 11,000 photocopied signatures.”
With about a month and a half until Election Day, Hochul and Zeldin are gleefully on the attack. The governor said she is the only one prepared to led the state through what are expected to be rocky fiscal times, pointing out that in addition to Democrats, she has a narrow lead among independent voters and is hoping to pick up more support.
“The alternative is so frightening to have someone, even if you do pay attention to polls, is so out of sync with the values and the beliefs of New Yorkers,” Hochul said.
Zeldin continued to attack the governor for not agreeing to multiple debates. She has agreed to only one on cable at the end of October. Zeldin has not yet agreed to participate.
“Why is it that Kathy Hochul emulates all of Andrew Cuomo’s worst traits?” Zeldin said.
Zeldin was referring to the fact that during the 2018 governor’s race, Cuomo debated primary opponent Cynthia Nixon just once, right here on CBS2.
CBS2 also hosted the only general election debate between Cuomo and Republican Marc Molinaro.
In the Siena poll, Democrat and Republican voters both said that economic issues are their number one concern.
Zeldin repeated his demand that the governor accept a debate invitation from CBS2.
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