The old saying about New York is that if you can make it here you can make it anywhere.
But what if you can’t make it here?
A Clinton-era political hack is making a shocking claim about the New York Governor’s race that left jaws on the floor.
Mark Penn is chairman of the Harris Poll and worked as a pollster for Bill and Hillary Clinton for 13 years and is now making a bold claim about Gov. Kathy Hochul.
In an op-ed for the New York Post, Penn writes:
“Gov. Kathy Hochul, who stepped into the post after Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned, has a job rating so low it makes President Joe Biden look good. So she may be leading in the primary but is a real vulnerability in the general election. She appears to be unelectable and will send the state right into Republican hands if she heads the ticket this fall.”
“Hochul’s job rating is 36% approve, 57% disapprove, about 5 points lower in New York state than Biden’s national rating of about 42%. She received a 69% negative rating on crime and a 63% negative rating on economic issues — the two most important concerns facing New York voters.”
“In 40 years of polling New York state elected officials, I can’t recall ratings this low for a governor. Even when Cuomo was in effect ousted he had better ratings than this.”
Comparing Hochul’s job approval unfavorably to the hapless Biden, who has seen his ratings plummet over the last year has got to sting for the new Governor, but Penn may be onto something.
New York hasn’t elected a Republican Governor since the Pataki era twenty years ago, but if Penn is correct and the political winds align just right, that could change this year.
Penn goes through an entire list of poor decisions by Hochul that have left her in a precarious political position.
During the pandemic she launched an all-out blitz not against COVID but for her own fundraising, going aggressively after those with an interest in state contracts, even using the state plane to hop around from one undisclosed meeting to another.
Additionally, as crime rates skyrocketed and story after story came out of criminals released under the state’s new bail laws, she refused to change course, being seen as a follower and not a leader.
Every political insider in New York knew that Hochul’s handpicked Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin was under an ethical cloud, but Hochul promoted him to Lieutenant Governor anyway and she ignored all the warnings and defended him right up until he was arrested in a bribery scandal.
Hochul would need to win the primary before she faces Rep. Lee Zeldin, or another Republican in the general election, but Penn is sounding the alarm that if Hochul is the party’s standard bearer, Democrats may well be in for a long night in November.
It seems that even in deep blue New York, the average voter is tiring of incompetence, corruption, and wrong-headed policy.
If nothing else, that’s an encouraging sign.
Stay tuned to Blue State Blues for any updates to this ongoing story.