Huge increases in crime and energy prices have voters in even the bluest of states reconsidering support of Democratic candidates.
Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) is facing a tougher-than-expected contest to win her first election to the state’s top spot. The former lieutenant governor ascended to the governor’s mansion after Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace last year.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was initially considered a quixotic challenger to preserve the appearance of choice in the Empire State. Zeldin’s continued hammering of Hochul over crime and inflation have made a previously 24 percent lead shrink to just a six-point advantage in polls.
Fox News further reported:
With a week and a half to go until Election Day, a handful of gubernatorial showdowns across the country that were once believed to be anything but competitive have tightened up in the closing days of the 2022 campaign, which could result in November surprises at the ballot box.
In the high-profile race for New York State governor, where polls indicate that Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul and Republican challenger Rep. Lee Zeldin are now locked in a close contest, the two candidates quickly fired away at each other in their singular debate on Tuesday.
Zeldin for weeks has been hammering Hochul over soaring crime and inflation, blasting the Democratic incumbent at the very start of their debate, charging “you’re poorer and less safe because of Kathy Hochul and extreme policies.”
Hochul, formerly the state’s lieutenant governor who was sworn in as New York’s first female governor after three-term Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace amid multiple scandals 14 months ago, fired back on crime and targeted Zeldin over his stance on abortion.
She also took aim at the conservative congressman and strong supporter of former President Trump for election denialism and his stance on climate change, calling him an “election denier” and “also a climate change denier.”
Zeldin is aiming to become the first Republican in 20 years to win a gubernatorial election in blue state New York, where the latest public opinion polls indicate that Hochul’s once formidable lead has melted away.
And it’s not just New York state.
It has been 16 years since a Republican was elected governor in Minnesota, but most of the latest polls suggest a very close contest between Democratic incumbent Gov. Tim Walz and GOP challenger Scott Jensen, a former state senator and physician.
The two candidates attacked each other last week in their one and only debate. Jensen criticized Walz on crime and specifically for his handling of the 2020 riots following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police, while the governor knocked Jensen for his past support of abortion bans.
In the key Midwestern battleground state of Michigan, first-term Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican challenger and conservative commentator Tudor Dixon clashed on the debate stage Tuesday over legalized abortion, election denialism, school safety and education. Whitmer’s once comfortable lead over Dixon has diminished, according to the most recent public opinion surveys.
In New Mexico, which leans blue, new polling suggests Republican challenger Mark Ronchetti, a former meteorologist at a local TV station and the 2020 GOP Senate nominee, closing the gap with first-term Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
In red-state Oklahoma, where state superintendent of public instruction Joy Hofmeister is hoping to become the first Democrat in 16 years to win a gubernatorial election, polls indicate she has closed the gap with first-term Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt.
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