Until recently, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul was expected to cruise to victory against her Republican challenger Rep. Lee Zeldin. Although Hochul still clings to a small lead over her opponent, his singular focus on the state’s skyrocketing crime rate seems to be resonating with voters. As her edge disintegrates before her very eyes, Hochul has tried to portray those concerned about crime as fearmongers as she did during a Friday appearance on MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour.”
Early on in the segment, during a discussion of Zeldin’s support for former President Donald Trump, Hochul and the show’s host, Stephanie Ruhle, seemed to be on the same page. The women were concerned that, as governor, Zeldin would pardon Trump if Attorney General Letitia James’ charges of “significant fraudulent and illegal business activity” resulted in a conviction.
But the situation changed dramatically when the topic turned to crime in the state. In the clip below, the governor rattles off several measures she’s taken to address the issue, and runs into some extremely strong and very unexpected pushback from Ruhle, who says: “Then I’m going to interrupt you then. Here’s the problem. We don’t feel safe, you might be working closely with Mayor Adams, you may have spent a whole lot of money. But I walk into my pharmacy and everything is on lockdown because of shoplifters.
“I’m not going in the subway. people don’t feel safe in this town. So, you may have done these things. But right now, we’re not feeling good. We’re worried we could be San Francisco,” Ruhle added.
Even MSNBC is calling out Democrat Kathy Hochul.
“Here’s the problem: We don’t feel safe…I walk into my pharmacy, and everything is on lockdown because of shoplifters. I’m not going in the subway. People don’t feel safe in this town.” pic.twitter.com/JUKhxXCk4c
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 5, 2022
Crime has risen statewide since New York enacted their bail reform law in 2019 which ended cash bail for most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. This legislation puts criminals back out on the street within hours, free to commit additional crimes. Needless to say, this misguided law has led to a surge in crime throughout the state, most noticeably in New York City, where residents no longer feel safe.
Since becoming governor in August 2021 following the resignation of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, her soft on crime policies have devastated that state even further and hurt countless New Yorkers.
The full segment can be viewed in the video below. Hochul tried to defend herself, telling Ruhle, “We’ll never be San Francisco.” [Timestamp: 5:05]
But the liberal host wasn’t buying it. She replied, “But it doesn’t matter what’s happening in other cities or other states. The reason people don’t feel safe in New York, is why they’re starting to say, can Kathy Hochul be the right governor? Right? It doesn’t really matter what’s happening in Pennsylvania or San Francisco, you need to get New Yorkers’ votes. And safety is a top issue for us.” [Timestamp: 6:00]
You know things are bad when left wingers are calling out liberals like Hochul because of the crime rate in New York City.
A poll released last week from the Trafalgar Group found Zeldin ahead by a margin of 48.4 to 47.6 percent, or 0.8 points, in a state that hasn’t elected a Republican governor in over two decades. This is an absolutely stunning result in the deep blue Empire State.
Trafalgar is a right-leaning pollster, but this group’s record for accuracy tops most of the mainstream polling firms. Notably, Trafalgar predicted former President Donald Trump’s shock victory in 2016.
— Robert C. Cahaly (@RobertCahaly) November 1, 2022
Two weeks ago, results from a less well-known pollster, co/efficient, showed Zeldin ahead of Hochul by a margin of 45.6 to 45.3 percent. This poll is not included in the RCP average.
New Poll Release in #NYGov
10/18 – 10/20
— co/efficient (@coefficientpoll) October 21, 2022
Although it’s premature to predict that Zeldin will pull off an upset victory against Hochul, he has managed to close the gap from a whopping 24 points to a statistical dead heat.
Republicans clearly have the wind at their backs this election season. We’re seeing races that were once considered long shots suddenly become competitive and it’s happening across the board, in House, Senate, gubernatorial and local races.
Had Hochul actually taken crime seriously, this race would have been a layup for her. But Zeldin is giving her a run for her money. He has momentum. And if the red wave is as powerful as some are predicting, it just might carry him to victory.
A previous version of this article appeared in The Western Journal.
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