Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio leads Republican Joe Lhota by 43 points among likely voters, in the first geenral election poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal-NBC 4 New York-Marist poll and released Tuesday evening.
Mr. de Blasio, running high out of the primary, attracts 65% to Joe Lhota’s 22%. Adolfo Carrion, who is running on the Independence Party line, is trailing with 3%. The poll found 9% are undecided and 1% support another candidate. Among those voters with a candidate preference, 54% said they strongly support their choice and 13% said they might vote differently.
The poll also showed the uphill battle Mr. Lhota is faced with. Only 13% of likely Democratic voters support Mr. Lhota, while 25% of likely Republican voters and 77% of likely Democratic voters back Mr. de Blasio. Of those voters who are unaffiliated with any party and likely to vote in the Nov. 5 election, 50% support Mr. de Blasio, 24% back Mr. Lhota and 9% are going with Mr. Carrion.
“It’s a very lopsided contest at this point,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Coming out of the starting blocks, it is playing de Blasio’s way in a big way.”
In the coming weeks, Mr. Lhota needs a “game change” to have a chance at beating Mr. de Blasio, Mr. Miringoff said. “He may close the gap,” he said, “but right now this is not competitive.”
The poll showed Mr. de Blasio leading among every major demographic group: blacks (86% to 3%); Latinos (74% to 11%); whites (50% to 37%); women (68% to 18%) and men (61% to 26%). Mr. de Blasio is leading in every borough, including Manhattan where he’s ahead 70% to 19%. The only group in which Mr. Lhota leads is white Catholics, 45% to 40%.
According to the poll, 41% of registered voters have an unfavorable view of him, 29% have a favorable impression and 30% have either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.
Among Republicans, 27% have an unfavorable view of Mr. Lhota, a clear sign of lingering damage from his primary battle with John Catsimatidis.
On the other side, 63% of registered voters have a positive impression of Mr. de Blasio, 19% have an unfavorable opinion of him and 16% don’t know him or were unsure how to rate him. Among Democrats, 15% have an unfavorable view of Mr. de Blasio, which means he wasn’t too damaged in the primary.
Among registered voters, two thirds believe Mr. de Blasio is the best candidate to unify the city, and more than six in 10 voters said he is more likely to improve the city’s public schools, make the city more affordable and is the candidate who better understands their problems. A majority believe Mr. de Blasio has the experience to manage the city and is the better choice to lead the city during a crisis.
When it comes to keeping crime down, the candidates were more closely matched, with 44% saying Mr. de Blasio will do a better job and 35% citing Mr. Lhota. Similarly, 45% said Mr. de Blasio is better able to handle the city finances, and 35% said Mr. Lhota, a former city budget director, is.
The poll showed 53% of registered voters want to see taxes raised on higher-income New Yorkers to fund prekindergarten programs, one of Mr. de Blasio’s signature proposals, while 40% said the city should find the money within its budget to pay for it, which is Mr. Lhota’s view.
(Jacob Kornbluh – YWN – via the WSJ)