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Poll: Hochul has solid support statewide, leads potential primary rivals

New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks at

New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks at an event in West Hempstead last month. Credit: Howard Schnapp

ALBANY — A poll released Tuesday shows Gov. Kathy Hochul, after 50 days in office, is seen favorably by most New Yorkers and so far leads her potential Democratic primary opponents.

The Marist poll also found that nearly three-quarters of Democrats say they don’t want former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to run for the office from which he resigned in August.

"She has clearly established herself with the Democrats as governor statewide," said Lee Miringoff, a political science professor and director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. "Hochul is not an unknown entity. She is doing very well with Democrats and doing decently against the primary matchups."

The poll, from the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, found:

  • 55% of state residents rate Hochul favorably. The Buffalo native has solid support in New York City, the suburbs, including Long Island, and upstate.
  • 49% approve and 31% disapprove of the job she’s been doing since replacing Cuomo, who resigned amid sexual harassment accusations.
  • 56% say she is a good leader for the state.
  • 39% of voters grade her as good or excellent; 52% rate her fair or poor.

At this time, Hochul has a double-digit lead over her potential Democratic primary candidates next summer. They include New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Attorney General Letitia James and Cuomo.

Cuomo’s standing, even within the party he led for three terms as governor, appears to have improved slightly from an August poll, but remains low at 42%, with 53% disapproving of him, the poll shows. The poll found that 77% of New Yorkers, including 74% of Democrats, don’t want him to run again for governor.

In a primary matchup against Hochul, Cuomo would get 19% of the vote compared with 24% for James. Hochul would get 36% of the primary vote.

In a three-way matchup with Hochul and James, Williams would get 15% of the primary vote, James would get 28% and Hochul would get 44%. In a four-way matchup that includes Cuomo, Williams would get 9% of the vote, according to the poll.

Neither James nor Cuomo have said they plan to run for governor next year. Williams is exploring a run.

"I think the telling number is that nearly three-quarters of Democrats do not want him (Cuomo) to run, and that his favorable rating is upside down still," said Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist Poll.

The poll questioned 822 adults between Oct. 4 and Thursday. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points when all residents were included, and a margin of error of plus or minus 6.9 percentage points on questions only directed to Democrats.

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