Gov. Hochul has early lead for primary with low job performance ratings, poll says

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New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks to the media during her swearing in ceremony at the New York State Capitol in Albany, New York on August 24, 2021.(Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (WTEN) — As next year’s gubernatorial Democratic primary slowly approaches, Gov. Kathy Hochul is a heavy favorite as she leads her next closest opponent by between 14 and 19 points, according to a new Siena College poll of registered New York State voters released Tuesday.

Primary poll

In a potential five-way primary, Hochul leads with 31%, followed by former governor Andrew Cuomo at 17%, Attorney General Letitia James with 14%, New York City public advocate Jumaane Williams at 7% and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at 6%.

With Cuomo excluded, Hochul received 39%, James 20%, de Blasio 10%, and Williams 8%. In a head-to-head, Hochul leads James 47-31.

“Predicting June’s Democratic gubernatorial ballot 36 weeks from primary day, four months before a state party convention with only Hochul declared is not for the faint hearted. That said, Siena presented Democrats with three potential primary matchups and in each case, Hochul leads by double digits. But let’s repeat, we are 36 weeks away with an unknown field, and most potential candidates being, like Hochul, largely unknown to a wide swath of voters,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

Hochul Job Performance

Even though Hochul is a favorite to win the primary, she is not being favorited by New York State voters.

According to Siena College’s poll, Hochul has a 42-26% favorability rating, down from 42-17% last month. Her job performance rating is now negative 43-45%, down from 44-37% in September.

Hochul is breaking even with the handling of the pandemic and natural disasters but gets negative grades for cleaning up Albany corruption 27-48%, strengthening the economy 31-51%, and ‘addressing issues important to you’ 33-50%

Importance of Issues

By far the biggest issue that New Yorkers feel is most important is reducing crime in communities across the state. According to Siena College’s Poll, 96-4% of voters think that New York needs to reduce crime in communities.

Behind addressing crime New Yorkers polled 85-13% in Addressing systemic racism, 76-23% want to ensure more New Yorkers get the COVID-19 vaccination, 84-14% want to make sure landlords are reimbursed for lost rent due to eviction moratorium, and 55-43% in putting in place the system to begin retail sale of recreational cannabis in New York.

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