But the congressman, who is vying to get through to moderate voters and disaffected Democrats, downplayed Mr Trump’s formal support, saying Monday it “shouldn’t have been news.”
The Siena poll, which surveyed more than 700 likely voters last week and has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points, showed that Ms Hochul and Mr Zeldin had a tight grip on voters from their respective parties. However, Mr Zeldin increased his lead among independent voters by six percentage points (49 percent to 40 percent over Ms Hochul).
The governor still holds a leading edge in New York City, beating Mr. Zeldin by 70 to 23 percent, and among both women and black and Latino voters, according to the poll.
Mr Zeldin, for his part, took the lead in the suburbs of the city, where he now beats Ms Hochul by 49 to 45 percent, after trailing her by one percentage point last month. He also increased his margin in New York state to four percentage points, compared to one percentage point in the latest poll. He has improved his brand awareness, even though most voters continue to have an unfavorable image of him.
Despite the modest profits, Mr. Zeldin must make a much larger advance across the map in order to team up a winning coalition. The state’s electoral landscape is against him: Democratic voters outnumber Republicans two to one in New York.
And while Mr. Zeldin gets significant support from Republican-backed super-PACs pumping money into the race, it seems unlikely he will surpass Ms. Hochul’s significant fundraising advantage.
The governor has maintained an aggressive fundraising schedule to promote the millions of dollars in television ads she has deployed to promote Mr. Zeldin to attack, to finance.
But Ms Hochul has, until recently, mostly avoided overt political events, such as rallies and other retail politics where she personally interacts with voters. Mr Zeldin, on the other hand, has wagered an ambitious ground game, touring the state in a truck decorated with his name and a “Save Our State” slogan.