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Hawkins polling well in Syracuse, hampers Cuomo's lead over Astorino

Ryan Delaney
Howie Hawkins is running for governor this fall as a Green Party candidate. (file photo)

The Green Party's Howie Hawkins might be lagging in the race for New York state governor, but in Syracuse he's getting much higher poll numbers than the rest of the state.

According to a recently released Syracuse.com/Post-Standard,/Siena College Research Institute poll, Hawkins is supported by nearly one out of every four voters in the city of Syracuse.

Siena pollster Don Levy says Hawkins is carving into Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's support in the Syracuse area's congressional district. But Hawkins' support isn't helping Republican candidate Rob Astorino, who Levy says is getting consistent support across the state.

"He continues to poll about 32 percent in this district," Levy said. "Statewide, his overall number right now in terms of the polling, is not a great deal higher than that. So really what seems to have happened here is that Mr. Hawkins has taken votes away from the governor, but they haven't moved over to Mr. Astorino."

Cuomo holds a 12-point lead in the district over Astorino, a smaller lead than in the most recent statewide polls. Meanwhile, Hawkins is polling at about 15 percent in the Syracuse area's congressional district. Levy says although Hawkins is performing well in Syracuse, his campaign hits a snag when it comes to the state in general.

"I think it's strong," Levy explained. "I think should he do better, that's really hard to say because what still sort of holds his campaign back is the underlying... belief and understanding that it's a statement campaign. It's a campaign to maintain the Green Party ballot status across the state."

In 2010, Hawkins was able to get more than the 50,000 votes needed to secure the Green Party's spot on the ballot for this year. Levy says Hawkins could do better than he did four years ago.