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Analyzing the New York State Governor race

Final get-out-the-vote rallies
Election 2022 New York Governor
Posted at 4:20 PM, Nov 07, 2022

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — This is the final round before election day and Democrat Kathy Hochul made a stop in her hometown of Buffalo Monday for a final get-out-the-vote rally at the Statler in downtown Buffalo as she heads into what is considered an extremely tight race against Republican opponent Lee Zeldin for New York State Governor.

Zeldin fired up voters during an appearance in West Seneca Sunday as the polling numbers continue to show a close race with Democrat Hochul leading only by a few percentage points.

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Jacob Neiheisel, associate professor of Political Science, University at Buffalo.

“The polls tightened in the last two weeks and so that in of itself is not shocking, I think what's shocking is it's not double digits in favor of Kathy Hochul right now,” replied Jacob Neiheisel, associate professor of Political Science, University at Buffalo.

I met with Neiheisel on UB’s North campus Monday where he talked about this close race as both candidates stage their final get-out-the-vote rallies.

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Jacob Neiheisel, associate professor of Political Science, University at Buffalo.

“Are those effective?" Buckley questioned. “That's a great question — yes — candidate visits can be effective. It’s not something that we normally take as a sign of enthusiasm — at least we didn't until Trump — we look at these rallies and go — yes — you can fill a rally, but these are self-selected types of things. This is not a representative look at the public,” Neiheisel responded.

“I find it interesting that it is as close as it is,” remarked Andrew Serio, UB professor.

While on campus, I talked to voters about this race.

Serio tells me inflation, crime, and bail reform are all issues that are very important to him.

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Andrew Serio, UB professor & voter.

“Bail reform is a policy that I think was, though with good intention, but isn't really playing out the way I think they thought it would,” explained Serio.

Zeldin has been hitting hard against the Hochul campaign, blaming bail reform for a series of crimes across the state and right here in Western New York.

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Voting stickers.

“We are going to declare a crime emergency here in the State of New York and we are going to suspend New York's cashless bail law,” Zeldin declared.

“What has Kathy Hochul done wrong?” Buckley asked. “I think it's been messaging. I think it's been not explaining policies to people in a way that resonates, particularly on things like bail reform,” Neiheisel replied.

Some younger voters I spoke with are excited to be able to have their voices heard by voting in the governor's race.

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Nora Dawiscch, voter.

“It’s actually very important because having a great leader really signifies how we will be — you know — ordered in our life and it's really important,” Nora Dawiscch said.

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Alexis Tuccio, voter.

“My rights — don't let those take it away from me and a lot of other people as well,” stated Alexis Tuccio.

I also asked Neiheisel if early voting indicates any support for either candidate.

“I am very, very skeptical of reading much into early voting numbers, for a couple of reasons, we've seen in other places, although not everywhere, that they have a tendency to just to cannibalize election day vote and so these are people who are going to turn out anyways,” Neiheisel reflected.

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Voting in WNY.

Both Zeldin and Hochul will be watching Tuesday night’s results in New York City.

"No matter what side you vote, I think it's important to show up and vote because it's a voice we have and it's a privilege and we should take advantage of it," Serio noted.