While New York Gov. Kathy Hochul secured a full four-year term in the governor’s mansion with 52% of the vote statewide Tuesday night, according to unofficial vote tallies, Republican challenger Rep. Lee Zeldin racked up more than half a million votes – about 47% of the vote – across the five boroughs.
In New York City, Hochul boasted a wider margin of victory, securing 70% of voters’ support. Still, Zeldin earned at least 514,000 votes to Hochul’s 1.2 million, according to preliminary tallies from the city’s Board of Elections, which don’t include all affidavit and mail-in ballots. The city BOE is required to certify the election by Dec. 15.
While the results are still preliminary, the maps below show how New York’s Republicans managed to pick up new supporters, mostly in Brooklyn and Queens, since the last election for governor in 2018. In that race, former incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo defeated Republican challenger Marc Molinaro.
A Gothamist map of the city’s assembly districts shows how that support fractured all across the five boroughs, with Hochul handily carrying Manhattan, the Bronx, central and northern Brooklyn, and western and central Queens. Zeldin enjoyed support across Staten Island, south Brooklyn and eastern Queens.
This year, Zeldin secured around 200,000 more votes in New York City than Molinaro did back in 2018. Hochul, on the other hand, won 524,000 fewer votes across the five boroughs than Cuomo did that year, according to a preliminary analysis of election night returns. These margins could change slightly as outstanding absentee and affidavit ballots are factored in.
Granted, 2018 was a unique year for a variety of reasons. It was the first midterm election following Donald Trump’s election in 2016, and Democrats all over the country were energized to head to the polls.
Turnout was significantly higher that year, with more than 2 million voters, or about 41% of registered voters, casting ballots. On Tuesday, 1.6 million voters cast ballots according to preliminary counts, about 36% of active city voters. This came even as the race marked the first time voters would be casting ballots for a governor’s race during early voting.
Still, this general election, Zeldin enjoyed far broader support than Molinaro, with a more decisive margin of victory from voters on Staten Island and in southern Brooklyn. Zeldin also picked up new territory Cuomo had carried in Queens in 2018, including parts of eastern Queens such as College Point, Bayside and Kew Gardens, as well as much of the Rockaways.
Members of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party said the fact that Zeldin – a Trump-supporting, pro-abortion candidate who voted against certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election – could earn as much support as he did in reliably blue New York, should serve as a wake-up call for the party.