ALBANY – Gov. Kathy Hochul’s lead in the Democratic primary for governor of New York has grown to more than 30 points in addition to her immediate challenger, now that Attorney General Letitia James has dropped out of the race, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
New York’s first female governor caught the support of 46 percent of Democratic voters when asked during a poll by Siena College who they would vote for if the primary election – scheduled for June 2022 – were held today.
That puts her 34 points ahead of the challenger in second place, former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio – who has not even officially announced her candidacy – who scored 12 percent when asked the same question.
New York State Attorney Jumaane Williams received 11 percent, followed by the Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi, behind by six percent.
Another 22 percent of primary voters answered that they either did not know it or had no opinion, and two percent said they would rather support someone else.
Hochul’s overall lead has risen from last month’s 36 per cent received in a similar Siena poll – conducted Nov. 29 to Dec. 3 – as voters were also asked who they would support if primary elections were held that day.
Then James got 18 percent of the support from the voters. But she dropped out of the race on Dec. 7, when Democratic sources told The Post she failed to reach the fundraising goals to beat an ambitious Hochul.
“Hochul is approaching support from nearly half of Democrats, 46 percent, up from 36 percent last month – before James, who had support from 18 percent, left the race,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement. He also noted that James’ apostasy proved to be a blessing for de Blasio.
“DeBlasio appears to have picked up some James supporters as well, now at 12 percent, up from six percent in December.”
Meanwhile, Hochul’s largest support demographic comes from the upstate, with 65 percent of primary voters backing her campaign.
But not one challenger – the Blasio, Williams or Suozzi – broke double digits in the upstate.
However, De Blasio received the most support from the group’s black voters – 36 percent compared to Hochul’s 26 percent, followed by 19 percent for Williams and four percent for Suozzi.
The governor’s favorability among all voters stands at 45 percent, compared with 29 percent of voters who have an unfavorable opinion of her and 25 percent who said they either do not know it or have no opinion.
It’s even higher among Democrats – 60 percent view her positively compared to 19 percent who said they had an unfavorable opinion of her.
Several Democrats said they have a more favorable view of de Blasio than positive – by a margin of 45 to 42 percent.
But for Williams, 49 percent of Democratic voters answered that they either do not know him or have no opinion.
Suozzi was even worse – with 56 percent of Democrats saying they do not know him or have no opinion about him.
“James is out of the race. Williams and Suozzi are unknown to half the Democrats. A potential opponent, de Blasio, is seen negatively by more Democrats than sees him positively. With 22 weeks until the primary election, it looks like Hochul is in the cat bird seat to be the Democratic candidate for governor, ”Greenberg said.
The poll also asked voters what they think of the new mayor of NYC, Eric Adams – who achieved a 41 percent favorability rating compared to 19 percent who said they saw him unfavorably.
But 40 percent of respondents also said they either did not know or had no opinion about him.
But more Republican voters said they viewed him positively – 29 percent – compared to those who viewed him negatively, at 20 percent.
The Siena poll polled 806 registered voters from January 9 to January 13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points. But within the poll, there were 417 Democrats who were asked about the party’s primary election for governor, with a margin of error of plus or minus 5.4 percentage points.