May 13, 2009
5/13: Campaign ’09: Change in the Air?
The winds of change may have weakened in New York City. The electorate now divides over whether Mayor Michael Bloomberg deserves to be re-elected. 47% say that he should receive a third term while 48% say, “No.”
This is potentially good news for the mayor. In The Marist Poll’s February survey, a majority — 55% — said it was time to give someone else a turn as mayor while 40% wanted to see Bloomberg remain in City Hall.
Bloomberg Hovers at 50% Mark in Hypothetical Matchups
If this year’s mayoral race were held today, Mayor Bloomberg would win a third term. However, there is a large gap between Bloomberg’s job approval rating — 59% — and the proportion of electoral support he would receive when pitted against hypothetical opponents. Here are some of the scenarios:
- When stacked up against Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner, Bloomberg leads by a wide margin. However, Bloomberg hovers right at the mid-point. Half of city voters say they would cast their ballot for Bloomberg while 36% report they would vote for Weiner. 14% are undecided. Furthermore, Bloomberg’s support remains relatively unchanged since The Marist Poll’s February survey.
- Looking at a face-off against Democratic City Comptroller Bill Thompson, Bloomberg maintains a commanding lead. But still, the mayor garners only a slim majority of support. Currently, 51% would back Bloomberg, 33% would support Thompson, and 16% are unsure about the candidate for whom they would cast their ballot. In February, Bloomberg had the support of 53% of city voters, Thompson garnered 36%, and 11% of the electorate was unsure.
- How does Bloomberg fare against Democratic City Council Member Tony Avella? Bloomberg would beat Avella by 25 percentage points, 52% to 27%. In that matchup, 21% of registered voters are unsure. However, Bloomberg has lost some support, and more voters are unsure than in February. At that time, 57% of voters backed Bloomberg while 30% supported Avella. Just 13% reported they were unsure.
Weiner: Would-be Democratic Candidate for Mayor?
So, who do New York City Democrats want to challenge Mayor Bloomberg this fall? Congressman Anthony Weiner edges out Comptroller Bill Thompson. If the 2009 Democratic primary were held today, Weiner would receive 34% while Thompson would garner 29%. Council Member Tony Avella is a distant third with 8% of Democrats’ support. A notable proportion of Democrats — 29% — remain unsure. When Marist College last asked this question, Weiner had an 8 percentage point lead over Thompson — 38% to 30%. 9% of Democrats said they would vote for Avella, and 23% reported they were unsure.
Short Odds on Bloomberg…Voters Indifferent About Campaign Spending
The New York City electorate believes victory will be a walk in the park for Mayor Bloomberg. Regardless of whom they plan to support, 73% say they think Bloomberg will be re-elected while 18% believe otherwise.
And, New York City voters are indifferent about the amount of money the mayor plans to spend on his campaign. Mayor Bloomberg has said that he will spend millions of his own money on his bid for a third term as he did for his previous campaigns. New York City voters don’t really seem to care. 73% report it will not affect their vote while 11% say Bloomberg’s spending will increase the likelihood they will vote for him. 16% think it will make them less likely to support the mayor. The proportion of voters who think Bloomberg’s campaign spending is immaterial was 65% in February.
Going Green for Public Advocate?
If this year’s Democratic primary for New York City’s Public Advocate were held today, former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green would beat his competition with 42% of the vote, eliminating the need for a runoff. Civil Rights Lawyer Norman Siegel would come in a distant second with 15% of the vote, and City Council Members Bill de Blasio and Eric Gioia would take home 9% and 4%, respectively. Three in ten Democratic voters are unsure. Green has widened his lead by 7 percentage points since February.