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Four Charts That Show How Hochul Struggled to Turn Out NYC Voters

Voter turnout lagged in the city, and her challenger, Lee Zeldin, outperformed the last Republican who ran for governor.

SHARE Four Charts That Show How Hochul Struggled to Turn Out NYC Voters

Kathy Hochul raises her arms while speaking at her election night party in the Lower East Side.

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, won Tuesday’s election with 52.4% of the vote, beating Republican rival Lee Zeldin and his 46.8%.

But a closer look at the numbers shows that the incumbent governor lagged when it came to getting voters to the polls in the five boroughs.

New York City’s turnout — which usually trails the rest of the state — dropped even further in 2022. In 2018, 44% of registered voters in the city turned out to vote for governor, compared to just 36% this year. Meanwhile, non-NYC turnout remained the same: 55% in 2018 and 55% again this year.

That mattered for Hochul because Democrats are 68% of all active registered voters in New York City — even as the GOP, the registration party of 10% of city voters, made gains this year.

In 2018, when Democratic former Gov. Andrew Cuomo ran against Republican Marc Molinaro, New York City delivered 47% of Cuomo’s votes. Hochul got only 39% of her votes from the city — while Zeldin got nearly twice as many votes from the five boroughs as Molinaro did, accumulating more than half a million.

Hochul received almost one third fewer ballots from NYC voters than Cuomo did in 2018. Zeldin, on the other hand, beat Molinaro’s 2018 vote count within the city by over 60%. 

The arrows show the shift between the 2018 and 2022 elections in total votes counted for Democratic and Republican candidates for governor, in New York City and statewide.

Despite these setbacks for the Democratic Party, Hochul’s massive vote margins over her opponent in New York City and Westchester fueled her victory. Ultimately, Hochul was able to carry the race by winning just 13 out of the state’s 62 counties. 

A big gap in voter turnout still distinguishes New York City from the rest of the state. The majority of voters in each borough did not cast a ballot for governor this election — including only 27% of registered voters in The Bronx. 

Outside the city, by contrast, every county aside from Sullivan had a turnout rate above 50%.

We updated this article on Nov. 10 to reflect the latest vote counts. The updates didn’t change election results. 

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