Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani’s son, Andrew, leads GOP rival Rep. Lee Zeldin by eight points in the race to take on scandal-scarred three-term Democratic incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo next year, according to a poll commissioned by Giuliani’s campaign.
The survey results of 587 Republicans statewide, performed by Triton Polling & Research on June 24-25 and provided to The Post, shows Giuliani with the backing of 35.2 percent of Republicans compared to 27.2 percent for Zeldin — an eight point lead — with 6 percent support for another candidate and 31.6 percent of voters undecided.
The survey, conducted via automated calls on landlines to likely Republican voters, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Andrew Giuliani, who served as a White House aide to former President Donald Trump, for whom his father has served as a personal lawyer. He conducted the poll to challenge what looks like the Republican Party leadership’s coronation of the Long Island congressman Zeldin to be the party’s nominee.
Party leaders from across the state are meeting in Albany Monday to conduct a “straw poll” on their preference for governor.
More than 30 Republican Party county leaders have already endorsed Zeldin and his campaign said he already has the weighted party vote to be selected the GOP’s preferred candidate.
But Giuliani on Sunday told The Post, “The most important voices in the public process are the 3.4 million registered Republicans. We are the people’s candidate.”
“Let the registered Republicans decide the nomination, not a few Republican leaders in a backroom in Albany,” he added, “I think I am the strongest candidate to defeat Cuomo and take the state back.”
An insurgent must get at least 25 percent of the party’s weighed vote at next year’s party convention to qualify for ballot status to participate in a primary.
Absent that, a candidate would have to spend money to collect voters’ signatures from across the state to earn ballot status to run in a primary.
Giuliani said he’s willing to petition voters to get on the ballot, if necessary.
He said Republican leaders are “overreacting” after failing to land a candidate until late in the process to run against Cuomo in 2018. Cuomo handily defeated GOP nominee Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, 59 percent to 37 percent, in that contest.
The survey shows Zeldin leading handily in the congressional districts in his home base in Long Island’s Suffolk and Nassau Counties.
But Giuliani led by 20 points in the city’s strongest Republican area, the 11th congressional district taking in Staten Island and southern Brooklyn, and was ahead in upstate congressional districts, where voters may be more familiar with the Giuliani name at this point than Zeldin.
Zeldin’s campaign pollster John McLaughlin dismissed the Giuliani survey as garbage because it doesn’t cover the huge number of voters who use cell phones.
“This is not a poll,” McLaughlin said. “Giuliani is not being honest with the Republican county leaders by putting out these robocall results before their meeting.”
The Giuliani campaign survey also did not mention another declared candidate while querying Republican voters — former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the 2014 GOP nominee for governor.