Another major political prognosticator has shifted the tightening New York governor’s race in Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin’s direction — after predicting for months that incumbent Gov. Hochul would cruise to victory.
The respected Cook Political Report changed its rating from “solid Democrat” to “likely Democrat” on Friday, acknowledging a closer-than-expected race that New York Dems are rushing to help save.
The rating revision came two weeks after RealClearPolitics declared the Hochul-Zeldin contest to be a toss-up.
Hochul — who led the Long Island congressman by 24 points in one August poll — has seen her lead dwindle to the single digits in recent weeks, as Zeldin slammed her on the state’s crime crisis and she caught flak from critics who accused her of using $1 billion in taxpayer funds as a vote-buying slush fund.
Two polls released Friday, including one from left-leaning Slingshot Strategies, gave Hochul a 6-point lead among likely voters.
“We do see a genuine enthusiasm gap where Zeldin actually leads with the most likely voters to turn out,” said Slingshot pollster Evan Smith.
The Slingshot survey of 1,000 likely voters, which had a margin of error of 3.1%, found crime to be the top issue for 24% of voters, with 14% citing inflation and 10% most concerned about gun violence.