Photo Credit: Lee Zeldin’s Facebook
Gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin (R-NY) with Jewish supporters, August 27, 2022.

A Trafalgar Group poll published Monday shows Republican Lee Zeldin leading incumbent Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul by a margin of a little less than one point, 48.4% to 47.6%. The poll was conducted between October 27 and 31, with 1,198 respondents, and a margin of error of 2.9%.

Virginia’s Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin arrived in NYC on Monday to “pass the baton” to Zeldin, predicting that Zeldin, like Youngkin, will become the red governor of a firmly blue state.


The NY Post reported that Youngkin announced upon arriving in Mount Pleasant in Westchester County, New York: “I’m here to pass the baton to Lee Zeldin for him to become your next governor. Y’all on Nov. 8 are gonna watch something happen. It’s gonna send a shockwave around the world.”

For the record, the Atlanta-based Trafalgar Group successfully predicted the result of the 2016 presidential election, but it incorrectly predicted the result of the 2020 presidential election. It also predicted in October and November 2020 that Donald J. Trump would win the states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, which Joe Biden won. Nevertheless, the FiveThirtyEight website included Trafalgar in its list of the most accurate pollsters of the 2020 presidential election.

So, a grain of salt is recommended.

Gov. Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams were on hand at the Democratic stronghold of southeast Queens on Sunday, and later joined a slate of local officials in Rochdale, Queens, to attack Zeldin’s anti-crime platform. Hochul reminded anyone who would listen that Zeldin supported former President Donald Trump––so 2020––and offered her response to the current crime wave: a commitment to gun control.

Time magazine suggested on Monday that Hochul’s shrinking lead has been the result of Zeldin’s push to make the race about crime. The urgent need for public safety resonates with New Yorkers after their state passed sentencing reforms raising the age of prosecution as adults to 18, and eliminated cash bail for most low-level crimes. This liberalization of the criminal justice system may have had a lot to do with the surging crime in the state and the city. According to the NYPD, robberies are up more than 30%, rapes are up more than 10%, and subway commuters are subject to random, violent attacks. The murder rate is on a decline, but those who don’t get murdered continue to fear for their lives.

Democrat strategist Mark Penn, who was Bill and Hillary Clinton’s pollster and is chairman of the Harris Poll, wrote in a Monday NY Times op-ed that “crime is the issue particularly bedeviling Ms. Hochul and some other Democrats, and in the end could lead New York voters — including independents, Bloomberg Democrats, and others — to elect Representative Lee Zeldin as the first Republican governor since Mr. Pataki.”

Penn suggests that Zeldin’s rise from being a relatively unknown Congressman from Long Island who trailed the incumbent by 30 points, to inching ahead of her, “is instructive about the mood of the electorate and the state of the Democratic Party in New York and nationally.”

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