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NY Gov. Kathy Hochul Accidentally Helps GOP Opponent Lee Zeldin with Puzzling Debate Comments - Look at His Face

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Rep. Lee Zeldin is closer to becoming governor of New York than any other Republican since George Pataki left office in 2006.

One has to wonder whether last night’s debate performance by incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul may have pushed him over the top.

There were a few moments where Hochul let slip her real priorities for New York, and they probably weren’t in line with the priorities that many New Yorkers, plagued with high crime and high inflation, will likely be voting on this year.

Zeldin knew he scored a couple of solid points, too. (You know that when a candidate tweets video clips from a debate, he feels good about his performance.)

“You ask me, ‘Why does New York lead the entire nation in population loss?'” Zeldin said, “Because their wallets, their safety, their freedom and the quality of their kids’ education are under attack. So they’re hitting their breaking point.”

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If Zeldin is right, and those are the issues New York voters consider most important this year — and I have to agree with him that they probably are — then Hochul certainly didn’t help herself with some her comments last night.

For example, when Zeldin accused her of being soft on crime, Hochul’s response seemed to question the existence of any other possibilities.

“This governor, who still, to this moment — what are we, about halfway through the debate? — she still hasn’t talked about locking up anyone committing any crimes,” Zeldin said.

“Anyone who commits a crime under our laws,” Hochul responded, “especially with the change we made to bail, has consequences.”

At which point it was clear that she still hadn’t talked about locking up anyone committing any crimes. “Consequences”? She sounds like an irresolute parent unwilling to give a spanking to a spoiled toddler in desperate need of one. But she managed to make it worse.

“I don’t know why that’s so important to you,” she added.

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Maybe because he thinks it’s important to the people of New York? Maybe, just maybe, because it is important to the people of New York?

Fox News host Greg Gutfeld called that, “the question that ends a career.”

But Hochul wasn’t finished sabotaging her electoral chances. Watch Zeldin’s face when Hochul derided his plans to provide financial relief to New Yorkers by cutting their taxes (You can watch the entire debate here, obviously, though we’ve cued it up to the relevant moment):

The RealClearPolitics average of polls in the race as of Wednesday morning — which would not, of course, include any post-debate polling — showed Hochul over Zeldin by 6.1 points, but that number doesn’t tell the whole story.

Will Lee Zeldin defeat Kathy Hochul in November?

For one thing, no one, including the Democrats who are currently favored by them in this race, trusts the polling this year, because so much of it was so inaccurate in previous election cycles.

“Democrats are feeling good about their chances in the Senate, but there’s a lingering worry: What if the polls are as wrong today as they were in 2016 and 2020?” The Hill asked last month, and nothing has surfaced since to assuage those fears.

For another, all of the polls averaged by RealClearPolitics showed Hochul up, but within the margin of error, except one — and that one was close. The Associated Press would call that, “apparently leading.” In other words, it’s not a lock; Hochul has something to be worried about.

She probably has more to be worried about after her debate performance last night.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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