Has the media already declared Lee Zeldin a winner of New York’s governor’s election?

By Richard Lee

We won’t know the winner of New York’s 2022 gubernatorial election until next week (possibly later if the vote is close), but news organizations are hinting that Republican Lee Zeldin may upset incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Take a look at some of the headlines appearing as Election Day approaches:

Some articles take it a step further and already speculate about what Zeldin will do as governor:

And at least one publication is writing about who should take the blame if Hochul loses:

Don’t get me wrong. If Kathy Hochul is elected governor of New York, where Democratic have more than twice as many registered voters as Republicans, it is not as big a story as Zeldin pulling off an upset victory. The longtime journalism mantra still rings true: “Dog Bites Man” is not a story, “Man Bites Dog” is.

Although Zeldin could emerge the winner on Election Day, the evidence that he will lose is just as strong, perhaps even stronger, and that evidence is getting overshadowed by the media’s obsession with a “Dog Bites Man” story.

As of Oct. 31, Hochul led Zeldin by a margin of 6.2%, according to an average of major polls compiled by Real Clear Politics.

The New York City area has more voters than the rest of the state, and those voters tend to support Democratic candidates. In 2018, Democrat Andrew Cuomo won re-election by a margin of 23.4 percentage points. Cuomo lost almost every county outside of the New York City area, but he still finished with more than 1.4 million votes than Marc Molinaro, his Republican challenger.

After the votes are counted, we could very well have a “Man Bites Dog” story, but at the moment, anyone who suggests the election is over is simply barking up the wrong tree.

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.

Categories: Jandoli Institute, On the Road to Albany, Politics, richleeonline

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