With just a little more than three weeks until Election Day, Democrat Bill de Blasio outpaces his Republican opponent, Joe Lhota, 67% to 23%, among likely voters in New York City including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who voted by absentee ballot. Independence Party candidate Adolfo Carrion has the support of 2%. One percent supports another candidate while 7% are undecided.
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll
“This is a very lopsided contest,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Joe Lhota hasn’t gotten any traction to offset the Democratic registration advantage in the city.”
When The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll last reported this question in September, de Blasio — 65% — was ahead of Lhota — 22% — by 43 percentage points among likely voters. Carrion received the support of 3%. One percent backed another candidate, and 9%, at that time, were undecided.
- Among Democrats who are likely to vote, 82% support de Blasio while 13% are for Lhota. One percent supports Carrion. Last month, 77% of Democrats backed de Blasio. 13% were behind Lhota, and 1% supported Carrion.
- Looking at likely Republican voters, 69% back Lhota. 16% are for de Blasio, and 1% supports Carrion. In September’s survey, 63% of Republicans were for Lhota compared with 25% for de Blasio. Five percent were behind Carrion.
- Among non-enrolled voters, de Blasio has the backing of 58%. Lhota garners 21%, and Carrion has 7%. In that previous survey, half of non-enrolled voters likely to cast a ballot — 50% — supported de Blasio compared with 24% for Lhota and 9% for Carrion.
Regardless of race, de Blasio has a wide lead over Lhota. Among white voters who are likely to participate on Election Day, 57% support de Blasio while 33% are for Lhota. In September, 50% of whites backed de Blasio while Lhota had the support of 37%. Among African American voters, de Blasio has 89% to 4% for Lhota. When The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll last reported this question, 86% of African American voters likely to cast a ballot supported de Blasio compared with 3% for Lhota. De Blasio has a 62 percentage point advantage over Lhota among Latinos who are likely to vote. Here, de Blasio receives 76% compared with 14% for Lhota. Last month, 74% of Latino voters likely to participate on Election Day were for de Blasio while 11% backed Lhota.
How strongly do likely voters with a candidate preference support their choice for mayor? 54% strongly support their pick while 36% are somewhat behind their candidate. Nine percent might vote differently, and 2% are unsure. When The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll last reported this question, 54% said they were firmly committed to their choice of candidate. 33% were somewhat behind their pick while 13% said they might change their minds before Election Day. One percent, at that time, was unsure.
Among likely voters who are for de Blasio, 56% strongly support him. This compares with 49% of Lhota’s backers who are firmly committed to him. This is little changed from September when 58% of de Blasio’s backers said they strongly supported him while 47% of Lhota’s supporters expressed the same level of support for him.
Looking at registered voters, de Blasio — 66% — outdistances Lhota — 20% — by 46 percentage points. Carrion has the support of 3% while 2% back another candidate. Nine percent are undecided. Last month, 63% of registered voters backed de Blasio while 20% supported Lhota. Four percent were for Carrion, and 2% backed another candidate. 12% were undecided.
What does the contest for mayor look like when all fifteen candidates on the ballot are taken into account? Little changes. Among likely voters in New York City including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate and those who voted by absentee ballot, 64% support de Blasio compared with 21% for Lhota and 2% for Carrion. Jack Hidary and Michael Greys each receives 1%. Erick Salgado, Anthony Gronowicz, James McMillian, Michael Sanchez, Randy Credico, Dan Fein, Joseph Melaragno, Sam Sloan, Michael Dilger, and Carl Person each garners less than one percent of the vote. One percent mentions another candidate, and 8% are undecided.
A Tale of Two Favorability Ratings
65% of registered voters have a favorable opinion of de Blasio while 23% have an unfavorable one. 12% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him. In September, 65% thought highly of de Blasio while 19% had an unfavorable view of him. 16%, at that time, had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.
It’s a different story when it comes to Lhota. 43% have an unfavorable impression of the candidate. 32% have a positive view of him, and a notable 25% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him. There has been little change on this question since September when 41% had an unfavorable opinion of Lhota, and 29% said they had a favorable one. Three in ten — 30% — had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.
De Blasio Tops Lhota on Issues and Qualities
How do de Blasio and Lhota stack up when it comes to campaign issues and candidate qualities? Among registered voters in New York City:
- Two out of three — 67% — think de Blasio is better able to make the city more affordable for the average family. 19% have this view of Lhota, and 14% are unsure. In September, 63% had this impression of de Blasio while 20% said Lhota could make New York City more affordable. 17% were unsure.
- When it comes to improving the city’s public schools, about two-thirds of registered voters — 65% — say de Blasio is the better candidate for the job. This compares with 19% who think Lhota is better able to improve education in the city. 16% are unsure. There has been little change on this question. Last month, 65% reported de Blasio was the candidate with the skills to improve education while 18% had this view of Lhota. 18%, at that time, were unsure.
- 63% of registered voters think de Blasio can better unite the city. This compares with 21% who think Lhota can bring New Yorkers together. 16% are unsure. In that previous Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll, 67% of voters considered de Blasio to be the candidate who could better unite the city. 19% thought Lhota was the candidate to do so, and 14% were unsure.
- There has also been little change on whether de Blasio or Lhota has the experience to manage the city. 53% believe de Blasio is the more seasoned candidate while 29% think Lhota has the experience to take the city’s helm. 18% are unsure. Last month, a majority — 54% — reported de Blasio had the experience to be mayor compared with 31% who had this impression of Lhota. 15%, then, were unsure.
- A majority of voters — 52% — say de Blasio is more likely to keep crime down while 31% say Lhota is more likely to do so. 17% are unsure. There has been an increase in the proportion of voters who say de Blasio will improve safety in the city. Last month, 44% said de Blasio was more likely to reduce crime. This compares with 35% who had this opinion of Lhota. 21%, at the time, were unsure.
- When it comes to the candidate who is better able to handle the city’s finances, 49% think de Blasio is more capable. This compares with 33% who say Lhota has the advantage on this issue. 19% are unsure. In The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist’s previous survey, 45% thought de Blasio was the better candidate to deal with the city’s finances while 35% had this opinion of Lhota. 20% were unsure.
The Ideologies of the Candidates
Among registered voters in New York City, 59% report de Blasio’s political ideology is in step. This compares with 24% who think he is too liberal and 3% who believe he is too conservative. 14% are unsure.
In September, 59% of registered voters said de Blasio’s ideology was about right. 22% reported he was too liberal while 5% thought he was too conservative. 14%, at the time, were unsure.
Among registered voters, 35% say Lhota’s political ideology is in line. 31% report he is too conservative, and 8% believe he is too liberal. 26% are unsure.
When The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll last reported this question, 32% of voters thought Lhota’s ideology was about right. 31% said he was too conservative while 7% reported he was too liberal. 29%, then, were unsure.
De Blasio’s Past Experiences in Cuba and Nicaragua Matter Little
Information surfaced that de Blasio went to Cuba on his honeymoon and supported the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Has this knowledge impacted voters’ impressions of de Blasio? More than seven in ten registered voters — 72% — say it makes no difference to them. 16% report it makes them less likely to vote for de Blasio while 8% think it makes them more likely to vote for him. Four percent are unsure.
Voters Divide about Lhota and National GOP
On most issues, 40% of registered voters think Lhota is not independent from the national Republican Party. 36% believe he is independent from the GOP, and 24% are unsure where he stands on most issues.
Among those who believe Lhota’s stance on the issues is tied to the national Republican Party, 39% are less likely to support him, and 54% say it doesn’t matter. Looking at those who say Lhota is independent from the national GOP platform, 42% would be more likely to vote for him, and 51% say it makes no difference to their vote.
Giuliani’s Backing Does Little to Help Lhota’s Chances
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani stumped for Lhota during the primary, but his nod does not bolster Lhota’s chances in the general election. While 31% say Giuliani’s endorsement makes them more likely to support Lhota, 47% report it makes them less likely to do so. 18% think it makes no difference to their vote, and 3% are unsure.
Last month, 29% reported Giuliani’s support made them more likely to vote for Lhota. A majority — 51% — said it made them less likely to vote for him, and 15% thought Giuliani’s endorsement made no difference to their vote. Five percent, at the time, were unsure.
A partisan divide exists. Most Republicans — 72% — say a Giuliani endorsement makes them more likely to vote for Lhota while 8% report it makes them less inclined to support him. Among Democrats, 57% think Giuliani’s backing makes them less likely to cast their ballot for Lhota. 22% disagree and believe it will make them more likely to do so. There is little consensus among non-enrolled voters citywide. 35% say Giuliani’s endorsement makes them more likely to vote for Lhota, and 42% report it makes them less likely to vote for him. 20% believe it makes no difference to their vote.
Departure from Bloomberg Era Policies Desired… Bloomberg Rating Steady
About two-thirds of registered voters in New York City — 66% — want to move the city in a different direction from the Bloomberg years. 29%, however, want the next mayor to continue the policies of Mayor Bloomberg. Six percent are unsure.
When The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll last reported this question, 68% wanted the next mayor to move the city in a different direction while 25% wanted him to stay the course. Seven percent, at the time, were unsure.
When it comes to the job Mayor Bloomberg is doing in office, 45% give the mayor high marks. This includes 12% who say the mayor is doing an excellent job and 33% who report he is doing a good one. 34% rate his performance as fair while 18% think he is performing poorly. Two percent are unsure.
Last month, a similar 42% gave Bloomberg kudos. 33% gave him average grades while 22% thought he fell short. Two percent, then, were unsure.
A City on Track?
When it comes to the direction of New York City, 46% of registered voters believe it is moving in the right direction, and 46% think it is traveling in the wrong one. Eight percent are unsure. When The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll last reported this question in September, voters also divided. 46% reported the city was on the right road, and 43% said it was on the wrong track. 11%, at the time, were unsure.