Looking ahead to the 2013 Democratic primary for mayor, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has the support of 23% of Democrats citywide. Former City Comptroller Bill Thompson follows with 15%. Nine percent of registered Democrats citywide are for current Comptroller John Liu while 8% support Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. Six percent back Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer while the publisher of Manhattan Media, Tom Allon, receives 2%. Nearly four in ten registered Democrats in New York City — 37% — are unsure.
“There’s still a long way to go before Democrats go to the polls,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Nearly four in ten Democrats in the city are undecided.”
When compared with NY1-Marist’s April survey, more Democrats in the city are unsure about whom to support in the contest. At that time, more than three in ten New York City Democrats — 32% — favored Quinn. 12% supported Thompson, and 10% were for de Blasio. Liu received the backing of 9% while Stringer garnered 7%. Only 1% of Democrats were behind Allon, and 29% were unsure.
Plurality Says, “No Go” for Kelly Mayoralty
46% of registered voters in New York City do not want Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to run for mayor. 35% support a Kelly candidacy. 19% are unsure.
In NY1-Marist’s July 2011 survey, voters divided. 42% believed Kelly should stay out of the race while the same proportion — 42% — wanted him to throw his hat into the ring. 16%, at that time, were unsure.
Other well-known names have been bandied about as possible mayoralty candidates. How do they fare? 58% of registered voters citywide do not want Anthony Weiner to run for mayor while one in four — 25% — does. 17% are unsure.
There has been little change on this question since NY1-Marist last reported it in July of 2011. At that time, 64% of voters citywide did not want Weiner to seek the office while 26% did. One in ten, at that time, was unsure.
When it comes to Eliot Spitzer, 57% of registered voters want him to stay out of the contest while 30% would like to see him enter it. 13% are unsure. Here, too, there is little difference from the last time this question was asked in July of 2011. At that time, the same proportion — 57% — reported Spitzer should not run for mayor while 33% thought he should. Nine percent, then, were unsure.
What about actor Alec Baldwin? 66% of registered voters say they don’t want the actor to turn politician. 18%, though, would like to see Baldwin enter the contest. 16% are unsure.
Bloomberg Approval Rating Steady
45% of registered voters in New York City approve of the job Mayor Michael Bloomberg is doing in office. This includes 10% who say he is doing an excellent job and 35% who report he is doing a good one. 32% report his performance is fair while 20% call it poor. Only three percent are unsure.
When NY1-Marist last reported this question in April, 44% of registered voters gave Bloomberg high marks. Included here were 12% who said he was doing an excellent job and 32% who believed he was doing a good one. 33% gave the mayor average grades while 22% thought his performance was subpar. Only 1%, then, was unsure.
How will Mayor Bloomberg be remembered after he leaves office? 43% of registered voters believe he will leave a positive legacy. This includes 12% who think he will be remembered as one of the city’s best mayors and 31% who say he will be considered an above average mayor. 34% think Bloomberg will be thought of as an average mayor while 12% report he will be remembered as a below average one. Eight percent have low expectations and say Bloomberg will be considered one of the city’s worst mayors.
Little has changed on this question since April. At that time, 39% thought Bloomberg would leave a positive legacy behind. 39% said he would be considered an average mayor while 13% believed he would be looked upon as a subpar mayor. Nine percent, at that time, reported Bloomberg would be thought of as one of New York City’s worst mayors.
Majority Remains Optimistic about the Direction of the City
51% of registered voters citywide say the Big Apple is moving in the right direction. 38%, however, believe it is moving in the wrong one. 10% are unsure.
Here, too, the findings are similar to the NY1-Marist April survey when 52% thought New York City was on the right course. More than four in ten voters — 42% — said it was on the wrong one, and 6% were unsure.
According to this NY1-Marist Poll, if the 2013 Democratic primary for mayor in New York City were held today, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn would receive 20% of the vote while 16% would cast their ballot for Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. Former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson is within striking distance with the support of 12% of Democrats. In this hypothetical contest, 10% are behind current Comptroller John Liu, 7% back Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer takes 6% of the vote. Publisher Tom Allon garners just 2%, and one in four Democrats — 25% — are undecided.
“With twenty-five percent of Democrats undecided and the field lacking a dominant top tier of candidates, this is a campaign story still to be told,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Those looking to succeed Mayor Bloomberg might welcome his support. But, if the numbers hold, don’t expect anyone to make his endorsement the centerpiece of their campaign.”
In NY1-Marist’s July survey, 16% of Democratic voters supported Quinn, 15% backed Thompson, and 14% were for Markowitz. Nine percent, at the time, were behind Liu, 7% said they would vote for de Blasio, and 6% thought they would cast their ballot for Stringer. Only 1% backed Allon, and 32% were undecided.
If Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz decides not to run for the office, Quinn and Thompson are neck and neck. Without Markowitz, 22% of Democrats are for Quinn followed closely by Thompson with 18%. John Liu receives 12%, Bill de Blasio nets 10%, and Scott Stringer garners 7% of the vote. Two percent back Tom Allon, and 28% are undecided.
What kind of influence could an endorsement by Mayor Michael Bloomberg have on a mayoral candidate? Nearly half of registered voters in New York City consider it the kiss of death. 48% report an endorsement by Bloomberg would make them less likely to vote for a candidate, 30% think it would make them more likely to vote for one, and 15% say it makes no difference to their vote. Only 8% are unsure.
Nearly half of Democratic voters citywide — 47% — report an endorsement by Bloomberg would make them less likely to vote for a candidate. 29% say it would make them more likely to support a candidate, and 17% think it would not make a difference. Six percent are unsure.
In the aftermath of former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s sex scandal about one-third of New York City’s Democrats, 32%, are undecided about whom to support in the Democratic primary for mayor in 2013. The leading contenders are City Council Speaker Christine Quinn with 16%, New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson with 15%, and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz with 14%. They are followed by New York City Comptroller John Liu who receives 9%, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio who has the support of 7%, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer who garners 6%, and Publisher Tom Allon who is backed by 1% of Democrats citywide.
“With Weiner out of the picture, there are twice as many undecided voters than voters who support any one of the current contenders,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “That makes for a very fluid contest.”
When NY1-Marist last reported this question in April, now former Congressman Anthony Weiner received the backing of 18% of Democrats in New York City. Thompson took 15% while Liu and Quinn each received 13% of the Democratic vote citywide. At that time, 9% of Democrats reported they were pulling for de Blasio while 4% backed Stringer. 27%, then, were undecided. Markowitz was not included in the previous survey.
Voters Want Weiner, Spitzer Out of 2013 Mayoralty
Citywide few voters, including those within their own party, want the sex scandal plagued pols, former Congressman Anthony Weiner or former Governor Eliot Spitzer, to seek the New York City mayoralty in 2013. Only 26% would like to see Weiner in the race and just 33% would want Spitzer to enter the contest.
New York City Voters Divide Over Top Cop Candidacy
How do New York City voters feel about Police Commissioner Ray Kelly becoming “Candidate Kelly?” The electorate divides. Citywide, 42%, would like to see Kelly run for mayor and 42% say he should stay out of the race. 16% are unsure.
Among Democrats, 41% would like Kelly to toss his proverbial hat into the ring. This compares with 54% of Republicans and 35% of non-enrolled voters who say the same.
The pool of potential 2013 Democratic mayoral candidates is wide, but does anyone stand out in the minds of voters? Not yet. According to this NY1-Marist Poll, 18% of Democratic voters citywide say, if the primary were held today, they would support Congressman Anthony Weiner. Former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson takes 15%. Comptroller John Liu receives 13% of the Democratic vote as does City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Nine percent of Democrats say they would support Public Advocate Bill de Blasio while 4% would back Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. A notable 27% are undecided.
There has been little movement on this question since Marist last reported it in October. At that time, 21% supported Weiner, 16% backed Thompson, and 10% threw their support behind Liu. Quinn and de Blasio received the support of 9% and 8%, respectively, while 4% supported Stringer at the time. 32% were undecided.
“With no clear front-runner and a large number of undecided voters, this contest is likely to attract a crowd of candidates,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. ”This is not unusual for an ‘open’ seat.”
Just Don’t Do It, Spitz!
There’s one possible candidate who many voters definitely don’t want to see throw his hat into the 2013 mayoralty ring. 62% of registered voters in New York City say they would prefer former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer not run for mayor. 29%, however, say he should. 10% are unsure.
When Marist last asked this question in October, similar proportions of voters held these views. 62% of voters did not want Spitzer to make a bid for mayor while 24% did. 14%, at the time, were unsure.
Spitzer can’t even gain traction in his own party. More than six in ten Democratic voters — 62% — do not want him to seek the mayoralty while 29% do. Nine percent are unsure. In Marist’s previous survey, similar proportions of Democrats citywide held these views.
Three years is a lifetime in politics, but if the 2013 Democratic primary for mayor were held today, 18% of registered Democrats would support Congressman Anthony Weiner. Former Comptroller Bill Thompson follows closely behind with 15% of the vote. And, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn receives the support of 12%. 10% of the city’s Democrats report they would back Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Comptroller John Liu each garners 9% of the vote. More than a quarter of New York City Democrats — 27% — are undecided.
“There are plenty of potential candidates for 2013, but no clear front-runner,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “With a long way to go, it’s not surprising that ‘undecided’ best reflects the outlook of Democratic voters at this time.”
The Kelly Question
What if New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly decided to run as the Republican candidate for mayor? How would he fare against the Democrats’ top contenders?
When pitted against Congressman Anthony Weiner, Weiner receives a majority of registered voters in New York City — 52% — to Kelly’s 33%. 15% are unsure.
New York’s top cop does better when matched up against City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former Comptroller Bill Thompson. In the hypothetical contest against Quinn, she receives 45% of the vote to Kelly’s 37%. 18% are undecided.
And, Kelly receives a similar proportion of the vote when he and Thompson face off. Here, 45% of voters citywide say they would support Thompson while 36% would back Kelly. 19% are unsure.
What happened in the race for New York City mayor?! Mayor Michael Bloomberg squeaked out a slim victory over Democratic challenger Bill Thompson last night despite the healthy lead given to Bloomberg by all the pre-election polls. The short of it … the scenario is a textbook case of pre-election poll analysis.
It is not unusual in contests between a well-known incumbent (Bloomberg) and a relatively unknown challenger (Thompson) that the incumbent ends up getting pretty much the same number he was attracting in pre-election polls. Undecided voters tend to find the challenger or not vote at all, having already rejected the incumbent.
In the closing weeks of the campaign, all public pre-election polls had Bloomberg in the low 50s, regardless of the margin over Thompson. This is reminiscent of the outcome in 1994 when pre-election polls showed then three-term incumbent Mario Cuomo with a huge lead over relatively unknown challenger George Pataki in the New York State race for governor. The bad news for Cuomo was that he was below 50% despite his big “lead.”
It is not surprising, therefore, that the 2009 race for mayor got closer in the end. The Marist polls showed the trend that Democratic voters were “coming home” to Thompson. These polls revealed growing support for Bill Thompson among Democrats (more than two-thirds of the New York City electorate) and African-American voters (about one-quarter of the electorate). This trend continued through Marist’s final look at the electorate on Sunday and on election eve in a mixed, data collection mode research project. Thankfully, the election of President Barack Obama last year put to rest the unsubstantiated but popular view that African-American candidates are undercounted in pre-election polls in black/white contests … the so-called, “Bradley Effect.”
Having said this, it was a rough night for incumbents, and change is still in the air. Tuesday’s electorate was motivated by economic concerns and laid the blame on the doorstep of government executives. From a three-term county executive in a local New York county to New Jersey’s Governor Corzine (even with the White House’s best efforts), voters rejected the status quo. Bloomberg narrowly escaped.
The race for New York City mayor is in the homestretch, and if today were Election Day, Mayor Michael Bloomberg would handily win a third term. Bloomberg currently leads Democratic challenger Bill Thompson — 53% to 38% — among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate. Bloomberg’s lead among likely voters is consistent with the results of a Marist survey last week when Bloomberg received 52% to Thompson’s 36%.
Looking at political party, 45% of likely Democratic voters report they will back Bloomberg on Tuesday while 47% say they will support Thompson. On the Republican side, 74% of likely GOP voters are behind Bloomberg compared with 17% for Thompson. 60% of non-enrolled voters back Bloomberg, and 27% say they will cast their ballot for Thompson.
Among registered voters citywide, Bloomberg leads Thompson, 48% to 37%, a difference of 11 percentage points. Last week, Bloomberg garnered 47% of registered voters’ support while Thompson received 38%, a gap of 9 percentage points.
Table: 2009 Race for Mayor in New York City — Likely Voters Including Leaners
Table: 2009 Race for Mayor in New York City — Registered Voters
Click Here for Complete October 30, 2009 NYC Poll Release and Tables
Three-Quarters of Likely Voters Strongly Committed to Candidate
75% of likely voters citywide say they will not waver when it comes to their choice of candidate. An additional 20% report, regardless of whom they are planning to support, they are somewhat committed to their pick, and just 4% say they might change their minds before Tuesday.
The proportion of likely voters who strongly back their choice of candidate has grown since Marist last asked voters about their intensity of support. Last week, 65% said they will definitely not change their vote come Election Day. At that time, 26% were somewhat behind their candidate, and 8% reported they might change their vote.
Both Bloomberg and Thompson currently enjoy firm backing from their respective supporters. 77% of Bloomberg’s supporters and 73% of Thompson’s backers say they are firmly committed to their candidate. Last week, those proportions were 71% for Bloomberg and 57% for Thompson.
A Tale of Two Candidates’ Favorability Ratings
Mayor Bloomberg’s favorability rating is on solid ground. 61% of registered voters say they have a positive view of the mayor while 32% of voters report they have an unflattering opinion of the mayor. These proportions are little changed from Marist’s previous poll when 63% rated the mayor favorably and 33% had a negative perception of him.
Bill Thompson’s favorability ratings have also not changed significantly since last week. 44% of voters maintain a positive impression of the comptroller, and 31% hold him in a negative light. 25% say they are either unsure how to rate him or have never heard of him. Last time, 47% viewed Thompson favorably, 33% held a negative impression of him, and 20% were unsure how to rate him.
Voters Care About Term Limits, But Does It Make a Difference?
Mayor Bloomberg’s action to extend term limits from two to three terms is not a deciding factor for 45% of voters. Although a large proportion of voters — 43% — says it makes them less likely to vote for the mayor, this number has not grown through the course of the campaign. 9% report his action will make them more likely to vote for him.
A majority of New York City registered voters — 54% — think Mayor Michael Bloomberg is doing either an excellent or good job in office. 45%, on the other hand, say he is doing either a fair or poor job. The mayor’s job approval rating has inched down for the first time since February. When Marist asked about Bloomberg’s job performance last week, 58% gave him high marks.
Democrats are the difference in the mayor’s lower approval rating. 51% of Democrats now say he is doing either an excellent or good job in office. In Marist’s previous survey, 60% of Democrats held this view. Among New York City’s GOP, 69% of registered Republicans think Bloomberg is doing an above average job as mayor. He received the same rating when Marist asked this question last week. When it comes to non-enrolled voters citywide, 55% approve of Mayor Bloomberg’s job performance. Last week, half of non-enrolled voters approved of his job performance.
Voters also believe the city is on the right path. 56% say the city is moving in the right direction while 34% report it’s travelling along the wrong course. Similar proportions of the electorate held these views last week.
Tomorrow night’s debate on WABC-TV between NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Democrat Bill Thompson represents the challenger’s best and probably last opportunity to close the gap in the race for mayor. I’m not sure Thompson’s chances are as dire as a Hail Mary pass but they are certainly no better than trying a 50 yard field goal into a strong wind.
The latest Marist Poll numbers put Bloomberg ahead of Thompson by 16% among likely voters. The gap has widened since last month when Marist had the contest at 9% in Bloomberg’s favor. Although undecided voters typically gravitate to the challenger in these kinds of matchups, that doesn’t appear to be happening this time around.
Several reasons. First, the Bloomberg campaign has been on the attack. Although Bloomberg’s approval rating is nearly 60%, the mayor is garnering only in the neighborhood of the low fifties in the tossup. The focus of the Bloomberg campaign is to make sure undecided voters don’t find the challenger in the closing days of the campaign. So far so good for the mayor. Not only has his lead widened but Thompson’s negatives have grown from 22% to 33% in a month.
The money factor also plays Bloomberg’s way. No shock here, but this mayoral campaign is different from previous ones. There are fewer journalists providing less free media … something an underfinanced Thompson campaign needs. The premium has been on paid media and that favors Bloomberg and contributes to the problems Thompson has faced in getting any traction.
Third, the Thompson campaign has repeatedly relied on a single sheet in its playbook – namely, Bloomberg’s reversal on term limits. New Yorkers aren’t happy with this change in the rules, but it alone is not a winning issue for Thompson. Campaigns are about telling voters something they don’t already know. Rick Lazio fell victim to a similar failed strategy in 2000 when he harped on Hillary Clinton’s carpetbagger status. Thompson needs to get beyond this issue if he has any hopes of scoring an upset.
That brings us back to the candidates’ final debate. Mayor Bloomberg no doubt will continue his strategy of disengagement. He certainly is not the most gifted debater to stand behind a podium and he has no need to mix it up with Thompson. Instead, Bloomberg is likely to counterpunch when attacked and point to the future every chance he gets. Isn’t that what campaigns are about?
On Thompson’s side of the equation, he was surprisingly feisty during the NY1 debate but now needs to establish his rationale for running. What will he do as mayor? This is not Obama vs. McCain. The currents of change are not strong enough to carry Thompson into office.
There are several other elements that are unique to NYC campaign ’09. Baseball has been in the air and has distracted voters from what has generally been a ho-hum contest. 79% of the city’s electorate, including 62% of Thompson backers, think Mayor Bloomberg is a shoo-in.
Issues concerning New Yorkers right now are more national and international in scope … the economy, the war, health care etc. There hasn’t been a local issue to mobilize voters save the already discussed extension of term limits.
And, there is for campaign 2009 a letdown from this time last year when candidate Obama was moving New Yorkers to follow that campaign in unprecedented ways. Turnout is likely to be low, and that may also play Bloomberg’s way with his GOTV effort ready to launch.
Finally, this is a somewhat charisma-challenged contest. New York City voters historically have rotated mayors between the bigger than life grandstand type to the image of a competent manager mayor. From Broadway Bound John Lindsay to Comptroller Abe Beame to “How Am I Doing” Ed Koch to David Dinkins to Rudy Giuliani to Michael Bloomberg. If history is any guide, the mayor to follow Bloomberg should be a slam dunk candidate.
Thompson has failed to demonstrate that capacity so far and must now do so. We’ll be taking a final pre-election sample of New Yorkers following the debate to see if they are thinking any differently.
As Election Day nears, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has widened the gap between himself and his Democratic challenger Comptroller Bill Thompson to 16 percentage points in the race for New York City mayor. Among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, Bloomberg has 52% to Thompson’s 36%. Last month, Bloomberg led Thompson among this group of voters by 9 percentage points — 52% to 43%, respectively. Although Bloomberg’s support is unchanged, Thompson has lost ground.
Support among likely Democratic voters has shifted in Bloomberg’s direction. Nearly half of Democrats — 47% — are planning to cast their ballot for Bloomberg while 39% are backing Thompson. Last month in a Marist survey conducted during the week of the Democratic primary, 51% supported Thompson, and 43% were behind Bloomberg. Among Republicans, 82% of likely GOP voters including leaners now support Bloomberg while 14% are behind Thompson. This is relatively unchanged since last month.
But, likely non-enrolled voters have moved toward Thompson. 48% would prefer to see Thompson in City Hall while 41% of these voters back Bloomberg. This is a big shift since last month when 65% said they supported Bloomberg, and 31% were behind Thompson.
Looking at race, Bloomberg has the support of nearly seven in ten white likely voters compared with 27% for Thompson. Among African American voters, 62% say they plan to vote for Thompson while 22% report they are going to cast their ballot for Bloomberg. When it comes to Latino likely voters, the mayor receives support from 42% while Thompson garners 35%.
Among registered voters citywide, Bloomberg’s lead is 9 percentage points. He nets 47% of the electorate’s support to Thompson’s 38%. When Marist last asked voters about the mayor’s race in New York City in September, Bloomberg received 50% of registered voters’ support compared with 39% for Thompson.
Majorities Shower Candidates with Strong Support…Bloomberg Voters More Committed
What are the odds voters will change their minds before Election Day? For 65% of the city’s electorate that plans to show up on Election Day, the answer is, slim. This is the proportion of likely voters who, regardless of whom they support, say they strongly back their choice of candidate. 26% are somewhat behind their pick, and just 8% of likely voters report they could change their minds before casting their ballot.
71% of Bloomberg supporters are solidly in his camp while 57% of Thompson backers are strongly committed to their candidate.
When it comes to selecting a candidate, 71% of likely voters in New York City say they are backing their pick, because they are for that candidate while about one in four report they are against his opponent. But, Bloomberg and Thompson supporters differ about why they are choosing to back their candidate. 88% of Bloomberg’s supporters are for Bloomberg, and 10% are against Thompson. A slim majority of Thompson’s supporters, though, aren’t necessarily voting for him. 51% plan to cast their ballot for Thompson, because they oppose Bloomberg. 43% say they support Thompson, because they are for him.
Most Think Bloomberg Will Win…Majority of Thompson Backers Predict Mike
All in all, do voters think their ballots really matter? 79% of registered voters, regardless of whom they plan to support, think Mayor Bloomberg will be re-elected. Even 62% of Thompson supporters believe Bloomberg is a shoo-in. Similar proportions of both the overall electorate and voters for Thompson shared this view last month.
Thompson’s Unfavorable Rating Up…Bloomberg Remains Steady
The good news for Thompson is more voters know who he is. The bad news is more people have a negative impression of him. Currently, 47% of voters citywide think favorably of Comptroller Thompson. This is comparable to the favorability rating he received in Marist’s September survey.
However, there has been a change in Thompson’s unfavorable rating. Currently, 33% of voters citywide have a negative view of the comptroller while 20% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him. In September, 22% did not think highly of him, and 29% were unsure how to rate him.
On the flip side, Mayor Bloomberg’s favorability ratings are steady. 63% of voters have a positive view of the mayor while 33% have a negative impression of him. Those proportions are relatively unchanged from last month.
Money Makes No Difference, but Term Limits Do
The amount of money Mayor Bloomberg is spending on his re-election campaign doesn’t matter to New York City voters. 72% report the funds will not impact their vote. 20% say the mayor’s spending will make them less likely to vote for Bloomberg, and 8% are more likely to vote for him because of it. These numbers are consistent with Marist’s September findings.
However, the mayor’s decision to extend term limits from two to three terms does impact voters’ preferences. 42% say they are less likely to vote for the mayor because of his move to extend term limits compared with only 8% who are more likely to cast their ballot for Bloomberg because of it. 49% say the decision makes no difference to them. There is a silver lining, though, for the mayor. Dislike of the mayor’s action has not grown during the past eight months. When Marist last asked this question in February, 44% said his move would make them less likely to vote for the mayor, and 12% reported it would make them more likely to vote for him. 44% revealed his decision made no difference to them.