Rep Williams Leads Dem Conole 45-40% in NY 22;
Both Candidates Are Largely Unknown to Voters

Spectrum News / Siena College NY 22 Congressional District Poll:

  • Williams Leads Big in Madison & Oneida Counties and with Independents
  • Zeldin Has Narrow 3-Point Lead over Hochul; Biden Won 52-45% in ’20

Press Release     Crosstabs

Loudonville, NY. Looking to replace retiring Rep. John Katko in the redrawn NY 22, Republican Brandon Williams has a five-point, 45-40% lead over Democrat Francis Conole. Conole is viewed favorably by 23% of voters and unfavorably by 22%, while 55% don’t know him or have no opinion. Williams has a comparable 19-19-62% favorability rating, according to a new Spectrum News/Siena College poll of likely NY 22 voters released today.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin holds a narrow three-point lead over Governor Kathy Hochul, 47-44%. Economic issues are the most important for voters – 61% identify it as one of their top two issues – followed by threats to democracy, abortion and crime.

“In this newly drawn, open district – with two first time candidates, both navy veterans – Williams has a small five-point lead over Conole heading into the final weeks of the campaign. Both candidates are doing well with their own party’s voters, but Williams has a large 51-28% lead with independent voters pushing him in front in this district that is closely divided but has slightly more Democrats than Republicans,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said. “While Conole has a six-point lead with women, Williams’ lead with men is 15 points.

“Williams leads by 21 points in Madison/Oneida Counties – about a third of the district – and Conole has a narrow 44-41% edge in Onondaga/Oswego Counties,” Greenberg said. “Both candidates have work to do getting known to voters, as each has more than half of the electorate that doesn’t know enough about them to have a favorable or unfavorable view of them.”

“With a similar dynamic in the gubernatorial race, Zeldin holds a narrow three-point lead over Hochul, largely based on his 19-point lead with independents. The gender gap is a little wider in this race, with Zeldin leading among men by 15 points and Hochul carrying women by 10 points,” Greenberg said. “Hochul is more known to voters in NY 22 than Zeldin but she’s also viewed more unfavorably. Four years ago, Republican Marc Molinaro beat Democrat Andrew Cuomo by five points.”

Asked to name their most and next most important issues in determining who to support in November, 61% of voters identify economic issues as one of their top two issues; 41% name it number one. That was followed by threats to our democracy (30% top two / 16% most important), abortion (26%/12%), crime (24%/8%), national gun policies (15%/8%), healthcare (14%/6%), and racial justice (10%/3%), tied with education (10%/3%). Climate change and immigration were not named by virtually any voters.

“Nearly three-quarters of Republicans and independents say economic issues are one of their top two issues in choosing candidates this year, compared to 43% of Democrats. A similar number of Democrats – 44% – said abortion is one of their top two voting issues, although that is only identified by 17% of independents and 14% of Republicans,” Greenberg said. “For women, abortion is the second most important voting issue, behind economic issues, while for men it ranks sixth.”

By a 63-25% margin, voters say the country is headed in the wrong direction. Narrowly, 47-45%, voters say they want to see the Republicans control the US House after the election.

“Historically, Democratic congressional candidates do better in this district in presidential election years than they do in gubernatorial election years. Cuomo lost by five points in this district four years ago, and President Biden won by seven points two years ago. That trend seems to be continuing – at least so far. Despite a narrow enrollment advantage for the Democrats, Williams is ahead by five points, Zeldin by three points and Republicans lead the generic congressional ballot by two points,” Greenberg said.

“While both congressional candidates have work to do getting known to voters, given their mood heading to the final weeks of the campaign, it would appear that Conole has the harder job as he must find a way to win over independent voters – two-thirds of whom are unfamiliar with him – if he’s to have a chance,” Greenberg said. “Williams, also unknown to independents, is seeking to hold on to his lead with them. Both candidates also need to ensure their supporters get to the polls and vote, even more important in a midterm election year.”


This Spectrum News/Siena College NY 22 survey was conducted September 25-28, 2022 among 453 likely NY 22 voters. This poll has a margin of error of +/- 5.1 percentage points. Telephone sampling was conducted via a weighted stratified dual frame sample of landline and cell phone drawn from the L-2 database of registered voters. Data was statistically adjusted by age, race/ethnicity, regional turnout in 2018, regional vote pattern in the 2020 election, a combined measure of stated and derived vote likelihood, and gender to ensure representativeness. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social and cultural research primarily in NYS. SCRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. For more information, please call Steven Greenberg at 518-469-9858. Survey cross-tabulations and frequencies can be found at