Two polls released Tuesday morning show New York Gov. Kathy Hochul with comfortable leads over her Republican rival, Rep. Lee Zeldin, as attention turns to the November general election matchup.
But the surveys also show New York voters' discontent with the direction of the country and state as well as with President Joe Biden.
The polls come amid high gas prices and other inflationary pressures as well as growing concerns surrounding the health of the broader economy, but also concerns over crime as well as a recent series of blockbuster Supreme Court decisions.
And both polls, which were in the field at similar times and asked similar questions, show stark gender and geographic divides in New York, further highlighting that intense polarization is not contained among Democrats or Republicans.
Hochul, the first woman to serve as governor of New York, is seeking a full term this year. She faces Zeldin, a congressman and former state senator, who is vying to become the first Republican elected statewide in New York since 2002.
One poll released by Siena College shows Hochul leading Zeldin 53% to 39%, with comfortable leads for the incumbent Democrat among women and New York City voters. Similarly, the Emerson College survey shows Hochul with a 51% to 35% margin against Zeldin.
There is a pronounced gender gap between the two nominees in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
In the Siena College survey, Hochul leads Zeldin among women 59% to 33%, while tied with men, with both drawing 46%. In the Emerson poll, women support Hochul over Zeldin 55% to 26%. Among men, Zeldin and Hochul are in a statistical dead heat at 46% for Zeldin and 43% for women.
Hochul has backed measures in recent weeks meant to strengthen abortion rights and access in New York; Zeldin has said he remains opposed to abortion, but has insisted the matter is a settled one in New York.
Still, there is also a pronounced geographic gap in both polls: Hochul comfortably leads Zeldin among New York City voters, but he remains competitive upstate and with suburbanites, both surveys found.
Zeldin has criticized how Democrats in Albany have handled criminal justice and public safety policy, calling for the repeal of laws like a measure that ended cash bail requirements for numerous criminal charges.
Zeldin, a Suffolk County congressman, draws 46% of the vote among suburban voters in the Siena College poll, with Hochul receiving 43%, the Siena poll found. Emerson's poll shows a clearer advantage for him over the governor, 46% to 43%.
The suburban vote could potentially be key for either candidate going forward this year given the swing nature of the counties around New York City.
Hochul, who took office a year ago following the resignation of Democrat Andrew Cuomo, draws a 52% to 42% job approval rating with voters in the Siena College poll. Emerson's survey gives her a similar job approval rating of 53%.
But her favorable rating with voters in Siena's poll remains relatively low at 46% favorable, 41% unfavorable.
Both polls show dissatisfaction with Biden in a heavily Democratic state. Biden's job approval among New Yorkers is underwater at 47%, with a majority disapproving of the job he is doing at 51%, according to the Siena poll.
And both polls show voters believe New York and the United States are heading in the wrong direction. Emerson found 51% of New Yorkers believe the country is going in the wrong direction. Siena found an even larger slice of voters, 71%, feel that way.
As for the state itself, 50% of New Yorkers are also downcast about its direction, the Siena poll found.
The Emerson College poll surveyed 1,000 likely and almost certain general election voters from July 26-28 with margin of error of 3 percentage points.
The Siena College survey polled 805 likely voters from July 24-28 with a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.