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Democrats Now Endorsing Lee Zeldin Against Kathy Hochul

Brittainy Newman/Newsday via AP, Pool

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) and her state have been making news for all the wrong reasons, as we get closer to the November elections. She seems desperate. The tide could be turning. Democrats are even endorsing Rep. Lee Zeldin, the governor's Republican opponent. 


As The New York Post covered on Monday night, John Orlando, the president of the New Era Democrats highlighted how Hochul is "too extreme." As he said in a press conference earlier that day, "We have a Democratic machine that has gone far too left – too extreme for even those moderate Democrats." Orlando also warned that "Governor Kathy Hochul doesn’t see what’s in front of her. There has to be a change and public safety needs to be number one." The group is based in Brooklyn, one of the boroughs of the heavily Democratic New York City, and has endorsed Mayor Bill de Blasio and Andrew Yang in the past.

Zeldin also has endorsements from former local Democratic politicians, including the Rev. Rubén Díaz, Sr. in the Bronx. "Lee is my candidate. He’s against crime. Hochul’s for crime. She refused to make any major changes to the bail law," Díaz is quoted as saying. 

"I’m supporting Lee Zeldin. He’s the only choice with the mess New York is in. Does anyone believe that Hochul will make change and stand up to the radical wing of the Democratic Party," former Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind also questioned Monday.

New York has suffered under cashless bail and repeat offenders, though Rep. Zeldin has made combatting crime a major campaign issue, promising to fire Alvin Bragg, Manhattan's soft-on-crime DA who has been endorsed by George Soros.

Also Hochul has talked about fixing cashless bail in the past, earlier this month she actually doubled down on the policy, saying she won't address it further until January 2023, at the earliest, when she would take office for her first complete term, should she be elected. 


As the piece tellingly mentions:

Hochul has dodged questions on controversial public safety issues like repealing qualified immunity and changing cash bail laws by arguing that the timing was not good to express an opinion despite harsh criticism from her Republican opponent.

“Hochul’s no-response to crime attacks is likely giving the Republican what he wants,” political consultant Hank Sheinkopf told The Post.

It's also worth noting that the article highlighted how Hochul cannot say the same about crossover endorsements:

Hochul has yet to announce any endorsements from Republicans or conservative groups, however, while the endorsement from New Era Democrats is part of a growing list of Dems who say they feel more at home with Zeldin than the party of Hochul and firebrand socialist Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Bronx-Queens).

The last Republican governor of New York was George Pataki, who was first elected in 1994 when he defeated Mario Cuomo--father of Chris and Andrew Cuomo--preventing that older Cuomo from serving a third term as governor. There are potential comparisons to the red wave of 1994, which affected not just congressional races, but gubernatorial races as well, and how the potential red wave of 2022 could have similar effects. 

As Zeldin mentioned about the endorsement from the New Era Democrats, what the country is seeing is a "common sense wave."

"It’s been an honor to earn the support of the New Era Democrats. New Yorkers of all backgrounds are leaving this state because they feel like their wallets, their safety, their freedom and their kids’ education are under attack. They’ve reached the point where they’ve decided their American Dream is no longer a New York dream and they’re fleeing. People feel like their money will go further, they’ll live life safer, they’ll live life freer somewhere else," Zeldin pointed out about the state. "Now’s the time to change that. Every day, more and more Democrats are joining our rescue mission to save our state. This isn’t about being Democrat, Republican, or independent. This is about all of us as New Yorkers working together to restore New York to glory. Just as my running mate, Alison Esposito, often says, this isn’t a red wave. This is a common sense wave," he said. 


While the race is currently considered to favor Hochul, it's worth reminding that it likewise favored Cuomo over Pataki, until the final weeks of the race even. Democrats also greatly outnumber Republicans in the state. 

"Support from conservative Democrats, and moderate voters more generally, could help Zeldin win despite Hochul’s currently big leads with fundraising and polling in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by roughly two-to-one," the New York Post thus pointed out. 

Polls also consistently show Hochul in the lead, though the Siena College poll from July 24-July 28 surveying 806 likely New York State voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points might offer a window of hope. There are groups that Zeldin leads with, including with Independents by 44 percent to Hochul's 42 percent; 46 percent support from suburban voters to Hochul's 43 percent support; 48 percent support from upstate voters to Hochul's 45 percent; and 49 percent support from Catholic voters compared to Hochul's 43 percent support. Zeldin and Hochul are also tied with male voters, at 46 percent. 

The endorsement from Democrats may be a sign to come, especially considering that Zeldin has more support from Republicans, at 84 percent, than the 81 percent Hochul has among Democrats. 

All that being said about polling, Zeldin, in a previous interview with Townhall, warned about depending too heavily on the polls, especially when they oversample New York City voters and don't contain enough Republicans. 


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