Quinnipiac: de Blasio Leads in NYC Mayoral Race

Image: Quinnipiac: de Blasio Leads in NYC Mayoral Race New York City mayoral candidates Joe Lhota, left, and Bill de Blasio debate on Oct. 15.

Monday, 21 Oct 2013 11:35 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Democrat Bill de Blasio has a commanding 44 point lead in the New York City mayoral race against Republican Joseph Lhota as the campaign heads into the final two weeks, a Quinnipiac University poll showed Monday.

De Blasio, the city's public advocate, has the support of 68 percent of likely voters; Lhota, a former deputy mayor and chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has 24 percent.

"The good news for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is that he probably can start drafting his inauguration speech," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"The bad news is that New York City voters' priority for the next mayor is ... jobs, something over which a mayor has very little control. The next priority is education and if he can succeed where so many have not, they can name a school after him."

The poll showed 32 percent of voters say creating more jobs is the top priority for the next mayor; 24 percent say education is a top priority; 20 percent want to keep crime rates low, and 18 percent want to reduce the gap between rich and poor.

Voters give de Blasio a 65 - 23 percent favorability rating; Lhota gets a 31 - 39 percent favorability, with 27 percent who don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

With more than a month into the general election battle, Lhota hasn't gained any traction, despite nonstop attacks and ads against de Blasio, The New York Times reported.

His latest ad — sugggesting crime could return to the high levels of the 1970s and 1980s if de Blasio were elected — was released last week.

At a Brooklyn senior center campaign stop Monday, Lhota again hit de Blasio on crime, suggesting that as a young staffer in the Dinkins administration he failed to pass on important information as the Crown Heights riots were unfolding.

"It’s one of many examples of bill’s inexperience. There’s nothing in his background that leads him to show that he will be an effective, an efficient, or overall good mayor," Lhota said, NY1 reported.

Ex-Secretary of State and potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2016 Hillary Clinton was to host a fundraiser for deBlasio Monday night that expected to raise $1 million, NY1 reported.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 973 likely voters from Oct. 16 to 20. The margin of sampling error for the poll is plus or minus three percentage points.

The two candidates will meet for their second televised debate Tuesday.

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