Public Advocate Bill de Blasio-–long considered a long-shot in the race to succeed New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg–has emerged as the top pick of likely Democratic voters in a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.
The poll shows de Blasio with 30% support, followed by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at 24% and former Comptroller Bill Thompson at 22%. Pulling up the rear are Anthony Weiner at 10%, John Liu at 6%, former Council member Sal Albanese at 1% and 7% undecided.
Weiner’s support has collapsed as stories about his sexting habits continue to make front-page news. Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute said, “Nobody thinks former U.S. Representative Weiner will pack it in, but 55% of all voters wish he’d go away and 51% of Democrats say they’d never vote for him.”
“A few weeks ago, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio looked like an also-ran,” Carroll said. “Today’s he’s the leader of the pack and a winner in the runoffs. Follow the bouncing ball, folks. This lineup keeps changing.”
De Blasio has been stepping up his profile of late–releasing a television ad featuring his son. And on Tuesday night, all the candidates meet for a debate in New York, and the new poll numbers mean all eyes will be on de Blasio.
One of the main topics of Tuesday’s mayoral debate will be the controversial “stop-and-frisk” police tactic which de Blasio opposes. The Quinnipiac poll reveals that among likely Democratic primary voters in New York, 60% say the policing tactics are excessive and harasses innocent people, while 31% say it is an acceptable way to make the city safer. Among those critical of stop-and-frisk, 34% back de Blasio with 24% for Thompson and 22% for Quinn.
The primary will be held Sept. 10. If a candidate doesn’t capture 40% of the vote, the race turns into a runoff between the top two contenders.
The Quinnipiac survey was conducted from August 7 – 12 and surveyed 579 likely Democratic primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points. Live interviewers called land lines and cell phones.