By Richard Lee
Campaign commercials about crime and reproductive rights are flooding the airwaves in the final weeks of New York’s 2022 gubernatorial campaign, but the top priority for voters has not changed since James Carville coined the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid” while working on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.
In a Marist Poll released Thursday, voters chose inflation as their top priority followed by preserving democracy. The numbers were modest – 28% said inflation was their primary concern; 24% chose preserving democracy. Crime was third on the list with 18%, and abortion was fourth with 14%.
A Siena College Research Institute poll conducted last month produced similar findings. Economic issues were the top priority for 30% of the respondents, the highest total of any issue. Threats to democracy clocked in second with 22%. Only 12% of voters identified crime as their top priority, and 6% said abortion was their greatest concern.
Both polls show in Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul with double digit leads over Republican challenger Lee Zeldin – 10 percentage points in the Marist poll and 17 points in the Siena poll.
Richard Lee, executive director of the Jandoli Institute, covered politics and government as a reporter and later served as Deputy Director of Communication for two New Jersey governors. Click here to read more of Lee’s On the Road to Albany columns, and follow the Jandoli Institute on Twitter and Facebook.