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New York Democrats

New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks to accept the nomination as Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor during the New York state Democratic convention, Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Hempstead, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

If the latest Siena College poll is any indication, incumbent Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is locked in a tough race with New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams for the Democratic nomination. 

The survey of 630 likely Democratic primary voters found Hochul leads Williams by nine points, 30 to 21 percent. Half of voters said they are undecided. 

Hochul, a Buffalo-area Democrat, has served one term as lieutenant governor. She was Gov. Andrew Cuomo's running mate in 2014. But she is still largely unknown statewide. The poll found 68 percent of voters don't know or have no opinion of the incumbent. 

Among voters who know Hochul, she has a 21 percent favorable rating. 

Williams' favorability is similar. He is viewed favorably by 20 percent of primary voters. Nearly three-quarters of voters — 72 percent — don't know him. 

"With a lead of only 30-21 percent, Hochul is far from a shoe-in to win renomination as lieutenant governor," Siena pollster Steve Greenberg said. 

The Democratic primary is Thursday, Sept. 13. 

Hochul's lead is boosted by strong support from upstate. She has a 37-point advantage, 48 to 11 percent, among upstate voters. She also leads by seven points, 27 to 20 percent, in the New York City suburbs. 

But in New York City, Williams' home base, he leads by a 27 to 18 percent margin. 

Hochul does lead among other demographics, including men, women, liberals and older voters. williams has a 12-point lead with young voters (ages 18 to 34) and is up 33 points, 48 to 15 percent, among black voters. 

In New York, governor and lieutenant governor are separate offices for the primary. There could be a scenario in which Cuomo and Williams or Cynthia Nixon and Hochul win their respective primaries and form the Democratic ticket. 

The Republican ticket of Marc Molinaro and his running mate, Julie Killian, await the winners of the Democratic primary. 

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