Election forecasters have shifted another gubernatorial race towards Republicans with less than one month to go until Election Day.
On Saturday, RealClearPolitics shifted the New York gubernatorial race from “leans Democrat” to “toss up” as Republican candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin continues to close the gap between himself and New York Gove, Kathy Hochul.
The latest change comes just a week after the polling data aggregator shifted the race from “likely Democratic” to “leans Democratic.” In August Gov/ Hochul led Zeldin by as many as 24 points but another poll in September showed the governor up by 17. However new data suggest the Republican candidate has remarkably made it a competitive race in deep blue New York, according to The Daily Wire.
New York’s move to “toss-up” comes a week after a Trafalgar Group poll indicated that the race is neck-and-neck. One of the biggest reasons Hochul appears to be lagging among her own party and Zeldin is surging is the growing problem of crime in the state. Trafalgar Group chief pollster Robert Cahaly told The Daily Wire last week that crime is overwhelmingly the top issue for New York voters. “It’s the only state we’ve seen crime exceed the economy,” he said.
As Zeldin mentioned in his tweet, the Hochul campaign has not agreed to more than one debate that the governor wants to hold just two weeks before the election. In return, Zeldin refused to debate Hochul at all if she would not agree to more than one, meaning New Yorkers might not see the two gubernatorial candidates on stage together at all before the election.
“I am rejecting Kathy Hochul’s offer to one single debate at the very end of October,” Zeldin said during a virtual press conference, according to the New York Daily News. “I believe that it’s important for Kathy Hochul to come back with an offer to do multiple debates in multiple parts of this state.”
“I am not playing along with her games, I am not going to be playing along with this strategy that is an insult, disrespecting the voter of New York,” he added.
Zeldin’s surge in the polls follows a recent shooting in front of his home. The Republican Congressman has made the issue of rising crime a cornerstone of his campaign.