In the first poll released since they became the nominees of their respective parties, Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio has a huge lead over his Republican opponent Joe Lhota in New York City's mayoral race.
Likely voters favor de Blasio by 43 points in the race for New York City mayor according to the NBC/WSJ Marist poll, a positive sign for those hoping to elect the first Democratic mayor since David Dinkins was defeated by Rudy Giuliani in 1993. Barring a major shift in the campaign, Lhota has a relatively small pool of undecided voters from which to cull more votes. All told, only 9% of likely voters said they had made no choice in the race, while nearly two in three voters named de Blasio as their preferred candidate, only 1 in 5 named Lhota.
While he has received criticism that his campaign focus on "two New Yorks" and the inequalities in the city is "divisive," de Blasio also enjoys even support across income levels in the poll. Exactly 66% of those making both more than $50,000 a year and less than $50,000 a year support his campaign. Lhota enjoys a slight bump among those making more than $50,000.
De Blasio enjoys strong support from minority voters as well, with an 83-point lead over Lhota with African American voters and a 63-point lead among Hispanic voters. He even holds a 13-point lead over Lhota with white voters.
Lhota holds a lead with only three groups of voters. Republicans, who favor him by a 38-point margin, self-described conservatives, who favor him by 2 points, and white Catholics, who favor him by 5 points.
De Blasio's weakest leads are in Queens and Staten Island, where he still enjoys a 32-point lead over his opponent, although 12% of voters say they're undecided.
"It's a very lopsided contest at this point," Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, said. "Coming out of the starting blocks, it is playing de Blasio's way in a big way."
This lopsided contest might be due at least in part to favorability numbers, where Lhota suffers severely. Only 31% of likely voters say they have a favorable opinion of the Republican candidate, while 43% say they have an unfavorable opinion. Even among registered Republicans, he does surprisingly poorly, with one in four saying they have an unfavorable view of him.
De Blasio, on the other hand, has a negative favorability rating only with registered Republicans. When it comes to all likely voters, his net favorability is at 47 points.
Lhota's spokeswoman Jessica Proud dismissed the early deficit in an email to the Wall Street Journal saying, "We always knew we'd be the underdog in this race and once New Yorkers learn more about Bill's radical policies, they will be looking for a practical alternative. Joe's experienced leadership and solutions to expand the middle class will resonate with everyday New Yorkers in all five boroughs."