With last week's statewide primaries in the rear-view mirror, both Gov. Kathy Hochul and her Republican rival, Rep. Lee Zeldin, are gearing up toward their head-to-head matchup in November.

While last month's Supreme Court rulings on guns and abortion could have an impact on the campaign and give the governor a political opening, election watchers predict that this will be a tight race in an already chaotic year.  

Shortly after her big primary win, Hochul immediately tried to frame the upcoming general election as a referendum on the Supreme Court and what many New Yorkers see as a conservative movement.

"Once again, our rights are at stake," Hochul said. "But what are we going to do about it? We are going to fight back. Rights and freedoms that we secured once before, we need to secure again."

But Hochul’s opponent, Zeldin, also has issues that people are worried about. He is hoping to tap into fears about crime and the high cost of living to swing independent voters into his camp.

"This isn’t just a red wave," Zeldin said in his primary victory speech. "This is a common sense wave. It’s a common sense wave that reaches out to everybody across this state."

"I think the key question of this race in November is going to be, 'will the driving force be anti-incumbent due to frustration over inflation and the economy and the lingering pandemic, or will the Supreme Court rulings on guns and abortion drive voters to the polls because they feel strongly about gun reform and the right for women to make their own healthcare choices?'" added Democratic strategist Eric Soufer.

For Republicans, this had been shaping up as their best chance to win statewide in years. Then, abortion rights were overturned, changing the tenor of the race.

"I was very surprised that Congressman Zeldin sent out a very, very strong pro-life statement the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe," said Republican strategist Tom Doherty. "And I was a little confused as to why he did that. Certainly that type of statement is not going to help him in November."

Hochul exceeded expectations in what turned out to be a primary with very low turnout. She received more than 66% of the vote, which is a larger margin than her predecessor got in any primary for governor.

“Well, I think she had really weak opposition in the primary. Just underfunded opponents who did not have a clear rationale for why they deserve to be governor. Nonetheless, it did send a strong signal, certainly to the Republican side of the aisle,” Soufer said.

It was also a very bad night for the progressive left. Most insurgent candidates lost their races. Some within the party worry that this could spell trouble in November if a large portion of the base isn't energized.

"Where is the progressive wing of the party going to be in November? The progressive wing of the party, they are going to stay home. They stayed home on Hillary [Clinton]. And what did that get them? Look, stay home. If they stay home in record numbers, then Zeldin has a real chance to upset the incumbent governor,” Doherty said.

It is particularly unusual this year that the primaries aren’t even over.

Because district maps were thrown out by a judge, state Senate and congressional primaries are next month.

That could lead to even more voter fatigue this fall.