New Poll Finds New Yorkers Want a Lt. Governor Ready to Lead Immediately

  • Nearly 90% of Voters Say “Readiness to Lead Immediately” is Most Important Trait for LG
  • Hochul’s Lead is Shrinking Across the Board, 50% of Voters Say State is on Wrong Track
  • Republican Race for Governor is Neck and Neck, with Wilson doubling last month’s numbers

Albany, NY – Coming on the heels of today’s arrest of Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin on charges of bribery, fraud, and falsification of records, voters are showing their disgust with a broken political system. The results of the poll released today demonstrate New Yorkers want officials who are ready lead, not ready to mount a criminal defense. The poll, conducted by John Zogby Strategies prior to LG Benjamin surrendering to federal authorities, found more than 86% of respondents identified ‘being prepared to take over on day one’ as the most important attribute to any candidate for Lt. Governor, outpacing other qualities such as geography, sexual orientation, or race.

The poll found that while Governor Hochul has a dominant lead in the Democratic primary, in head-to-head matchups with Republicans, she is now at or below 50% support, with some leads as low as 13 percentage points. Depending on the matchup, 15% to 25% of voters are undecided.

On the Republican side, the four-way race is wide open, with former Trump Administration official Andrew Giuliani (29.1%) holding a slim lead over endorsed candidate Lee Zeldin (27.8%).  That close race at the top is followed by 2018 candidate Rob Astorino (15.2%) and Harry Wilson (10.5%). While Giuliani and Zeldin have lost a small share of the vote since last month, Astorino has shown a slight increase, while Wilson has doubled his support from a month ago.  With more than 17% of Republican voters are still undecided, much could change in the primary.

The poll found Hochul’s approval/disapproval rating at 56-37.5%, with more than half of voters (51.6%) saying partisan politics has gotten worse in the State in the last 2 years, and a similar number of voters (50.4%) saying New York is on the wrong track. Other major finding on index issues included:

  • Nearly one third of respondents said the State was on the wrong track because parties and politicians put their interests above those of the voters (29.1%) and that real problems are not being addressed (29.2%).
  • Similar to last month’s findings, nearly 4 out of ten New Yorkers (39%) are considering leaving the State, with more than a quarter saying they plan to do so in the next 3 years.

In addition to the candidate horserace and index issues, voters continued to place a high priority on issues of reform, voicing support for term limits, open primaries, expanding voter access, initiative & referendum, Ranked Choice Voting, and election integrity.  Specifically:

  • More than half of voters would be more likely to support a candidate that advocated for Open Primaries (54.3%), Ranked Choice Voting, (54.6%) no-excuse absentee/vote at home (55.6%), and voter initiatives (58.3%).
  • More than 2/3 would like to see ID requirements for voting (68.7%) to ensure more fair elections.

Unite NY Founder Martin Babinec said, “Unite NY’s Voter Empowerment Index has consistently found that voters not only want political reform, but they are more likely to support candidates who make it part of their campaign platforms. Our latest edition, completed just a few days ago, reaffirms this and with the arrest of the second highest elected official in New York, we need candidates who not only will fight to fix a broken system, but will make sure their ticket doesn’t include someone recently in handcuffs.”

John Zogby of John Zogby Strategies said, “If the GOP can unite, they can make this a competitive race. I have made my living for four decades by asking questions. Here is a good one: can the GOP in New York unite?”

Links to the entire poll are as follows:

About Unite NY

Unite NY is a new political home in New York State for Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, and independents to come together to seek common sense solutions.  Focused on a non-partisan approach to fixing real problems in our government, democracy, and economy, Unite NY supports candidates who understand working together is the only way we can succeed.  Learn more at

About John Zogby Strategies

The world-renowned firm provides a wide range of research and advisory services to clients across the globe. It was founded by pollster, author and trend-spotter John Zogby and his sons Jeremy and Benjamin. Learn more at