Trafalgar survey suggests Kathy Hochul barely ahead of Lee Zeldin

Gov. Kathy Hochul leads Republican rival Rep. Lee Zeldin of Suffolk County by just under two points — 44.5% to 42.6% — according to a new poll released Thursday.

Libertarian write-in candidate Larry Sharp trails with 3.3% support, with an additional 9.7% undecided in the poll of 1,087 likely voters, which shows the race as far tighter than other recent surveys showing Hochul ahead by double digits.

“On Nov. 8, we are going to win this race for governor,” Zeldin said of the new results from the Trafalgar Group poll.

The poll comes as the incumbent Democrat — seeking election to the seat for the first time — faces sharp criticism over rising crime in New York as well as alleged pay-to-play schemes with campaign donors and of her use of government aircraft to get around.

A campaign spokesman for Hochul — who has argued that Zeldin is too conservative for New York voters, given his support of former President Donald Trump and hardline anti-abortion stance — declined to comment on the poll conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 3.

A picture of NY Gov. Kathy Hochul.
NY Gov. Kathy Hochul has a two-point lead over GOP rival Rep. Lee Zeldin, according to a new survey.

A new poll showing the difference in supporters between Kathy Hochul and Lee Zeldin.
According to the new Trafalgar Group survey, Zeldin has 42.6% of supporters, while Hochul has 44.5%.

A new poll showing the difference in supporters between Kathy Hochul and Lee Zeldin.
The poll showed that 54.3% of the people who voted were female, while 45.7% of voters were male.

Trafalgar is also flashing warning signs for Democrats in another key race, with state Attorney General Letitia James trailing GOP challenger Michael Henry 45.5% to 44.4% with a 2.9% margin of error.

Zeldin and Henry have seized on friendly polling in recent weeks while assailing their opponents over rising crime and unmet debate challenges.

Zeldin has previously accepted offers by CBS-2 and PIX-11 to debate Hochul on TV. But Hochul’s campaign has not accepted those offers and said the governor instead would only agree to a single one-hour debate, just before Election Day, hosted by NY1. Zeldin has rejected that offer given Hochul’s rejection of the other two.

A picture of Congressman Zeldin.
Congressman Zeldin has previously accepted offers by CBS-2 and PIX-11 to debate Gov. Hochul on TV.
Stefan Jeremiah for New York Pos

Trafalgar did not poll the races for state comptroller and US Senate, where incumbent Democrats Tom DiNapoli and Chuck Schumer appear to have insurmountable leads ahead of the final day of voting on Nov. 8.

“My opponent, Letitia James, refuses to debate and this is why. The invitation is still open, but New Yorkers know that I am the candidate that will stop the crime, corruption, and skyrocketing cost of living in this state,” Henry said in a statement Thursday.

Zeldin likewise highlighted his campaign talking points following the poll.

A new poll showing the amount of supporters for NY politicians.
“On Nov. 8, we are going to win this race for governor,” Zeldin said of the new results.

A new poll showing the amount of supporters for NY politicians.
NY Attorney General Letitia James trails GOP challenger Michael Henry 45.5% to 44.4%.

A new poll showing the amount of supporters for NY politicians.
Zeldin and Henry have seized on friendly polling in recent weeks while assailing their opponents over rising crime.

“New Yorkers throughout the state are sick and tired of the attacks on our wallets, safety, freedom, and kids’ education. They’re fed up with the direction of Kathy Hochul’s New York and her rampant pay-to-play corruption. Crime Wave Kathy is driving New York right off a cliff. To repeal cashless bail, fire rogue DAs like Alvin Bragg, stop congestion pricing and take other bold action to save our state, Hochul’s gotta go,” he said in a statement.

A September Trafalgar poll found Zeldin trailing by four points, and a Siena College poll released Sept. 27 found Hochul ahead of Zeldin 54% to 37% while James led Henry 53% to 37%.

James did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the polling.

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