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Hochul holds wide lead in race for governor, de Blasio not running

Don Pollard
Office of the Governor

Gov. Kathy Hochul holds a sizable lead in this year’s race for governor, according to a new poll from Siena College, and that margin could grow after former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he wouldn’t run for the office on Tuesday.

Hochul would win support from nearly half of registered Democrats in a hypothetical primary race if it were held today, the poll said, collecting 46% of the vote.

The same poll showed de Blasio with 12% of the vote, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams with 11% of the vote, and Rep. Tom Suozzi with 6% of the vote.

“With 22 weeks until the primary, it appears Hochul is in the catbird seat to be the Democratic nominee for governor,” said Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg.

Registered voters across the political spectrum placed Hochul’s favorability rating at 45%, though a quarter either didn’t know her or had no opinion.

But Hochul’s numbers now have a new chance to grow after de Blasio said on Tuesday that he wouldn’t challenge her for the Democratic nomination. That leaves Williams and Suozzi as Hochul’s competitors in the primary.

In a video posted to Twitter, de Blasio said he wouldn’t join the campaign, but that he wasn’t going anywhere.

“I am not going to be running for governor of New York state,” de Blasio said. “But I am going to devote every fiber of my being to fight inequality in the state of New York.”

Hochul also said Tuesday that she’s raised $21.6 million for her campaign for governor since she announced in August. Suozzi said Tuesday that he’s raised more than $5.2 million since he announced in November.

If Hochul is successful in winning her party’s nomination, Republicans will have to make up ground if they stand a chance in the general election.

Nearly two-thirds of registered voters said they didn’t know enough to have an opinion on Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Republican from Long Island who’s considered his party’s presumptive nominee — including 59% of Republicans. His favorability among Republicans stands at 29%.

Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and a previous advisor to former President Donald Trump, is polling higher among Republicans, with 41% marking him as favorable.

Giuliani and a handful of other Republicans, including former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Lewis County Sheriff Mike Carpinelli, have said they don’t plan to drop their campaigns ahead of an anticipated primary.

The primary is scheduled to be held in June.

Dan Clark is the host and producer of New York NOW, a weekly television show focusing on state government produced by WMHT in Albany. Clark has been reporting on New York state government and politics for the last six years, during which time he's worked out of the state Capitol in Albany. Clark reported for the national political fact-checking publication PolitiFact, the Buffalo News, the statewide political television show Capital Tonight, and most recently the New York Law Journal. At the New York Law Journal, Clark has focused on state legal challenges to President Donald Trump, as well as litigation concerning laws enacted by the New York State Legislature. Clark covered the Legislature in each role he's held and is a familiar face to state lawmakers and staff. Clark is a native of Afton, NY in Chenango County. He's lived in Albany with his husband since 2011.