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The New York Times reported Thursday that Democrats are “frantic” over reports that the gubernatorial race between Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., and Gov. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., is tightening. 

In a piece titled, “As Governor’s Race Tightens, a Frantic Call to Action Among Democrats,” the outlet claimed that the party and its allies, including labor unions, have “gone into overdrive” to campaign for and donate to Hochul, who seems to be slipping in her appeal with Black and Latino voters. 

Meanwhile, Zeldin is drawing closer to Hochul, as recent polling has shown.

The Times opened its report, stating, “You don’t need to consult the most recent polls to realize that the race for New York governor between Gov. Kathy Hochul and Representative Lee Zeldin appears to be tightening — just follow the string of Democrats’ calls to action this week.”


Incumbent Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin.

Incumbent Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin.
(Getty Images)

The paper described Democrats, “and their allies,” “mounting a frenzied push to keep Ms. Hochul in office, pouring millions of dollars into last-minute ads and staging a whirlwind of campaign rallies to energize their base.”

The piece added that Democrats have become worried “that their typically reliable bedrock of Black and Latino voters might not turn out.”

It mentioned the heavy lifting on the part of labor unions to get the Democratic incumbent elected in November, stating, “Labor unions have gone into overdrive, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on television and radio ads to cajole those voters to turn up for Ms. Hochul.”

The current governor is also getting campaign support from Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., which the paper noted is “a party power broker whose Brooklyn district provides crucial votes for the Democratic base.” Hochul will also campaign in “southeast Queens with Mayor Eric Adams over the weekend.”

The piece added that the Hochul campaign is so desperate to win that it “has even turned to its former adversaries for help, including progressive lawmakers who opposed her during the Democratic primary in June, and the left-leaning Working Families Party, which called for an ‘emergency all-hands-on-deck meeting’ of its leadership earlier this week to mobilize in favor of Ms. Hochul.”

FILE: Kathy Hochul, governor of New York, speaks during the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting in New York, US, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022. 

FILE: Kathy Hochul, governor of New York, speaks during the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting in New York, US, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022. 
(Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Times acknowledged that Hochul is still ahead in the polls and noted, “she also still has an overwhelming cash advantage over Mr. Zeldin, as well as an electoral one: Democratic voters outnumber Republicans two to one in New York.”

Though the paper claimed, “many Democrats have grown uneasy that they have not done enough to excite the party’s liberal base in New York, where Ms. Hochul’s victory was once presumed safe.”

The New York Times mentioned how the dynamic has shifted: “Recent public polls show Mr. Zeldin, a Republican congressman from Long Island, drawing closer to Ms. Hochul, and during a head-to-head debate on Tuesday, Mr. Zeldin repeatedly sought to appeal to New Yorkers disenchanted with the economy or fearful of crime.

Still, the report claimed that Democratic strategists believe that so long as Hochul secures enough votes in New York City, “She will more than offset any gains Mr. Zeldin makes in the suburbs and rural swaths of upstate, where [Zeldin] is more competitive.”


The Times returned to the party’s concerns about Hochul, stating Democratic operatives have “have questioned whether Ms. Hochul, who hails from western New York, has done enough to excite minority voters in the city.” 

It added, “Others have raised concerns that her campaign, run largely by out-of-state consultants, has lagged in traditional organizing tactics and mobilizing voters, and may have relied too much on the prestige of the governor’s office and not enough on retail politics.”


The piece provided an example, stating, “Others note that Ms. Hochul did not begin to consistently show up at Black churches, traditional campaign stops for Democratic politicians, until very recently.”

Candis Tolliver, political director for 32BJ SEIU, one of the unions shelling out massive amounts of cash for Hochul’s campaign, told the Times, “We’re realizing there is some apathy among voters and a fear that folks are staying home, and so we want to remind people not to stay home, and what’s at stake in this election.”

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