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Siena College poll gives Hochul early lead in potential Dem. Primary matchup


A new Siena College Poll shows that Governor Kathy Hochul has an early double-digit lead in various potential scenarios for the Democratic Primary next June.

The Siena College Poll shows Hochul leading in one potential five-way primary, with 31% of those surveyed favoring her, compared to 17% for former Governor Andrew Cuomo, 14% for Attorney General Letitia James, 7% for NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and 6% for NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

With Cuomo excluded in the hypothetical matchup, Hochul gets 39%, James 20%, de Blasio 10% and Williams 8%.

In a head-to-head matchup, Hochul leads James 47-31%.

So far, only Hochul has confirmed she will be a candidate next year.

Siena pollster Steve Greenberg does say that Hochul will still need to work to have New Yorkers learn more about her qualifications and positions as do the other potential candidates.

"The voters will become more familiar with Hochul over the next several months as she continues. She’s only been governor now for less than two months,” said Greenberg. “They will also become more familiar with the candidates as they declare their candidacy and as the campaign gets underway in earnest.”

Greenberg said the Siena Poll gives both Hochul and James similar favorability ratings.

“They are both very popular among Democrats, certainly among the Democrats, we know them. But again, they remain unknown to somewhere between a quarter and third of Democrats, each of them. So there’s a long way to go. But right now, the incumbent governor, Kathy Hochul sits in a strong position, eight months out from Primary Day,” Greenberg said.

A Marist College Poll that was released a week ago, also showed Hochul with a comfortable early lead among potential challengers in next year’s race for governor.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.