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2 polls paint different pictures of the race for New York Governor

The polling results for Siena College and Quinnipiac University for the race between Gov. Kathy Hochul and Rep. Lee Zeldin differed by 7-points.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Competing polls released Tuesday in the race for New York Governor paint quite different pictures of how competitive the race has become.

The polls from Siena College and Quinnipiac University differ by 7-points. Siena polling found that Governor Kathy Hochul led Congressman Lee Zeldin 52% to 41% while Quinnipiac University found Zeldin was within 4-points of the incumbent, 50% to 46%. This was the second poll released by Siena in just as many months and the first from Quinnipiac for this race. 

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Last month, Siena found Hochul had a 17-point lead over her opponent. That lead shrunk to 11-points in this most recent poll, indicating that the Republican Congressman gained some ground.

“We've seen the lead shrink, it's still double digits although barely but down 6-points which is good for Zeldin. The bad news for Zeldin is he is still down 11-points and there are only 3 weeks to go,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

Greenberg said that compared to September’s polling, among the likely voters surveyed by Siena, Zeldin saw gains among independent voters (+5 Zeldin), voters in Upstate New York (+4 Zeldin), and in the downstate suburbs. Siena polling previously had Hochul up 5-points in the downstate suburbs but that flipped to 4-points in favor of Zeldin this month.

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“This is a competitive race in New York State,” said Quinnipiac polling analyst Mary Snow.

Quinnipiac’s polling of just over 1,600 likely voters from October 12-16 found that Congressman Zeldin may hold a much larger lead among independent voters. Those individuals were asked if the election was today, how would you vote, 57% said Zeldin, and 37% said, Hochul.

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“It's a narrow edge that Governor Hochul holds right now but it certainly puts [Zeldin] in striking distance of her,” Snow added.

Regarding upstate voters, Quinnipiac’s polling found that Zeldin has an 8-point lead, 52% to Hochul’s 44%. Higher than what Siena determined.

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And while New York City remains a stronghold for Democratic candidates, Governor Hochul was found to have less support in Quinnipiac’s poll than in Siena’s. Hochul who is a Hamburg native had a 22-point lead over the Long Island Congressman according to the likely voters Quinnipiac spoke. According to Siena’s survey that led is +47 Hochul.

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“We can say is [Zeldin] is having a strong showing in the [NYC] suburbs and upstate, we're seeing the suburbs as very tight and [Zeldin’s] leading upstate," Snow said.

Despite Zeldin’s strong showing in these recent polls Steven Greenberg from Siena College noted like most statewide Republican candidates because of the overwhelming number of registered Democrats, Zeldin will need to capture more votes.

“In order for a Republican to win statewide they have to do what Zeldin is doing with Republicans but they have to be winning independents by more than 9-points, they have to be well above 49% of independents, they have to be in that 60% range and they need to take a bite of some Democrats too,” said Greenberg.

Among their own parties, Hochul and Zeldin both captured over 90% in the Quinnipiac poll and over 80% in the Siena College poll.

Of the likely voters Siena College spoke to 47% we registered as Democrats, 31% as Republicans and 17% had no party affiliation or were registered to a third party. Quinnipiac’s polling sample was 24% Republican, 39% Democrat, and 36% no affiliation or third party.

New York’s overall voter registration includes ~50% registered Democrats, ~22% registered Republicans, and ~23% unaffiliated. The Conservative, Working Families and other third parties account for ~5% of the state voter roll.

WATCH BELOW: Likely voters contacted by both polls were also asked about President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

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