In New York, the GOP has been bridging the gap with the possibility that the Republicans would stop their 20 years precedent of winning the governorship in the state.
Until recently New York’s gubernatorial seat was widely assumed to be safe as Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D) had a close to double-digit lead against Republican contender Lee Zeldin. However, in recent weeks that lead has greatly decreased and is now in the single-digit field. Zeldin has widely been focusing on key topics like crime and inflation. This latest development led to Hochul calling herself the “underdog”.
The race has become increasingly competitive, which is part of the reason why the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) decided to create a super PAC for Hochul to receive a last-minute boost. Democrats still believe that Hochul will be able to win in the midterm elections, despite the close difference in the race.
The gubernatorial race after the primary appeared to resemble similar races across the country. Hochul focused her attention on social issues, such as Abortions, while Zeldin has been focusing on crime. Hochul has also targeted Zeldin for being one of the 150 Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Rich Azzopardi, founder, and principal of Bulldog Strategies said that every Democrat should be worried about the gubernatorial race. Azzopardi noted that most people tend to think that crime is out of control despite the Democrats repetitively showing them statistics that prove otherwise. This has led to people feeling unsafe both physically and economically.
Hochul became governor following Cuomo’s resignation last year. Cuomo resigned after multiple women spoke up against him with detailed claims of sexual harassment. Hochul won the June primary against New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D) by receiving two-thirds of the vote.
Zeldin, a congressman who represents the state’s 1st Congressional District, has served the House since 2015 and he also had an incredibly successful primary run.