President Joe Biden rallied alongside Gov. Kathy Hochul in Bronxville on Sunday, using one of his final stops of the campaign season to bolster support among New Yorkers ahead of the state’s tighter-than-expected race for governor.
Speaking before hundreds of people at Sarah Lawrence College, Biden took aim at Hochul’s opponent, Rep. Lee Zeldin, describing him as an election-denying “MAGA-Republican” out of step with New Yorkers’ views on climate, guns, and abortion.
“New York, you’ve got two days to make sure the rest of New York knows the good they have in Kathy Hochul,” Biden told the crowd, which included a large number of students.
“If y’all show up and vote, democracy is sustained,” he added. “This is not a joke.”
With his party expected to lose one or both houses of Congress on Tuesday, Biden has made only sporadic appearances at campaign rallies in recent months. His decision to stump for Hochul reflected the growing attention on a race that was once seen as an easy victory for Democrats, but has recently become a cause for concern. In the last month, polls have shown Zeldin within single digits of Hochul.
In her speech, Hochul referenced the discussion of a potential upset, alluding to Republican aspirations to “crush that strong, blue fortitude in a place like New York.”
“They think that if they can be successful on Tuesday, that there’s no stopping them across the nation,” Hochul said. “That’s why this election is important beyond our boundaries.”
Both Biden and Hochul emphasized their roles in bringing back manufacturing jobs, highlighting the decision by Micron earlier this month to build a computer chip complex outside of Syracuse. They made passing reference to the subject of public safety, which has dogged Democrats, including Hochul, in the lead up to the midterms.
“The governor’s opponent talks a good game on crime, but it’s all talk,” Biden said, before lashing out at Zeldin for refusing to support the American Rescue Plan, which included funding for law enforcement.
In the final stretch of the campaign, both Zeldin and Hochul have focused much of their energy on New York City. On Saturday, Hochul also appeared in Brooklyn alongside former President Bill Clinton.
Officials with Zeldin’s campaign have suggested the candidate could close the gap if he secures 30% of the citywide vote.
Zeldin rallied in Western New York on Sunday, speaking with voters at a community center in West Seneca alongside former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. He also campaigned with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin in recent weeks.