The potential red wave of the 2022 midterm elections may be flooding into even deep blue New York.
A Republican candidate for governor like U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin will always be a long shot in the Democrat-dominated Empire State, even in an election year when trends favor a GOP tsunami in races around the country.
Nevertheless, a poll released Saturday shows Zeldin within striking distance of the incumbent, Democratic incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul. The tightening race reflects a series of missteps by both Hochul and the Democratic national leadership in Washington.
On Sept. 3, the Trafalgar Group polling firm tweeted the surprising poll results. Hochul leads by a little more than 4 points.
— Robert C. Cahaly (@RobertCahaly) September 3, 2022
According to the New York Post, the poll of 1,090 likely voters showed Hochul at 47.8 percent with Zeldin “nipping at the Democrat’s heels” at 43.4 percent.
“That put the governor’s lead outside the poll’s 2.9% margin of error — but not by much,” the Post reported.
“An additional 2.7% of respondents said they support Libertarian Larry Sharpe, with 6.7% undecided.”
And those numbers apparently have the Democrat running scared — literally. At New York City’s West Indian Parade on Sunday, the Post reported, Hochul dodged questions from the Post — fleeing to a waiting vehicle before the end of the route.
Meanwhile, according to the Post, Zeldin was glad-handing supporters and potential supporters the entire length of the route.
Post headline: “Running scared? Hochul ducks reporters at West Indian fest as Zeldin closes in.”
Zeldin has benefited from the backing of former President Donald Trump. As recently as Saturday, Trump helped raise $1.5 million for Zeldin’s campaign, according to Newsweek.
The article added Hochul had a lead of 55 percent to 31 percent for Zeldin as recently as an Aug. 23 poll. An additional 14 percent were undecided.
The Post made a further report on the race’s changing dynamic on Monday, noting Hochul’s unwillingness to commit to a firm debate date with her GOP challenger.
“GOP political consultant William O’Reilly, who isn’t working for Zeldin, said, ‘Gov. Hochul thinks she can run a Rose Garden strategy, but she does so at her own peril,’” the Post reported.
More than a typical incumbent, Hochul owes her state’s voters an opportunity to see her handling questions from her electoral challengers. She was never elected to the governorship in the first place. She was elected as lieutenant governor, and only took the top position in 2021 after Andrew Cuomo resigned over sexual harassment allegations.
While he stepped down over #MeToo claims, Cuomo still has not faced justice for his policy of sending Covid 19-infected patients into the vulnerable nursing home populations — then covering up the resulting death toll.
Hochul’s actions as governor manifest the Democrats’ overreaching and unconstitutional agenda. Her many mistakes have strengthened resistance against her.
In late June, Hochul called a special session of the New York legislature to pass new roadblocks for citizens trying to obtain concealed carry permits after the Supreme Court struck down New York’s restrictive concealed carry gun policies. Her administration, and her party, showed contempt for the rule of law.
Another overreach occurred in May, when Hochul signed executive orders to combat so-called “hate speech.” These policies were likely advanced to crack down on the First Amendment right to free speech, and to silence critics of Democrats’ soft-on-crime approach.
Concerns about education system failures have motivated parents to get politically involved across the country. In New York, Hochul made it clear she prioritized her policy preferences over parental concerns.
Zeldin, on the other hand, has made some bold moves, which could explain why he is rising in the polls.
During a speech in July, Zeldin was confronted by an assailant armed with a blade. The attacker was subdued, and Zeldin carried on with his speech.
Zeldin has also been a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump — and was one of 139 House Republicans who voted against certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election, according to the rabidly liberal New York Daily News.
On Hochul, Zeldin stated, “New Yorkers expect their candidates to debate, and they don’t look kindly on those who try to squirrel out of them. As an unelected governor, Mrs. Hochul has an added obligation to voters, but at this point, she doesn’t seem to care. She thinks she can coast to victory, and that could be a very costly mistake.”
Zeldin also asked, “What is Kathy Hochul so afraid of?”
Perhaps Hochul is nervous due to failed Democrat policies that she herself did not implement, but which still make all Democrats look bad – most recently President Joe Biden’s unconstitutional decision to grant “forgiveness” on many student loans.
Folks I know the GA, WA, & NY #poll numbers are surprising but we at @Trafalgar_Group have seen a big shift in favor of non incumbents since #Biden announced his #studentloanforgiveness package. No other issue this cycle has enraged middle and working class voters more than this
— Robert C. Cahaly (@RobertCahaly) September 3, 2022
As Trafalgar Group pollster Robert Cahaly tweeted Saturday, polling numbers that show Democrats hurting in deep-blue strongholds might look surprising, “but we at Trafalgar Group have seen a big shift in favor of non incumbents since Biden announced his #studentloanforgiveness package. No other issue this cycle has enraged middle and working class voters more than this.”
The 2022 New York’s governor’s race may be an upset if the present trends continue.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.