New York has become a bluer state since the last gubernatorial election in 2018, according to party data released by the state Board of Elections on Tuesday. 

The enrollment data re-affirms the uphill challenge Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin faces in his bid for governor as polls have nevertheless shown an increasingly tighter race against Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul. 

At the same time, independent voters — those not enrolled in any of the parties with ballot status — continue to edge the number of overall Republican voters. 

Democratic enrollment since this time in 2018 has increased from 5.7 million registered voters to more than 6 million — an increase of more than 4%. Republicans grew their ranks at a slower rate in the last four years, from 2,633,776 voters in 2018 to 2,695,984. 

But the unaffiliated voter ranks have swelled in large part due to multiple ballot lines — including the Green Party, the Independence Party and the Libertarian Party — being removed after failing to achieve a new, stricter threshold for ballot status. 

Independent voters increased from 2,486,209 voters four years to 2,805,351 voters in New York.