De Blasio Seizes Lead


In another setback to Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio seized frontrunner status in the Democratic primary for mayor Tuesday, according to the latest poll of registered Democrat voter by Quinnipiac University.

De Blasio polled at 30 percent, a record high both for the candidate and for the field, with just under a month to go before the Sept. 10 primary. Quinn polled at 24 percent and former Comptroller William Thompson at 22 percent, a statistical tie with Quinn. Former congressman Anthony Weiner fell to 10 percent with 6 percent for Comptroller John Liu, and 1 percent for former Councilman Sal Albanese.

Seven percent of voters said they were undecided.

“A few weeks ago, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio looked like an also-ran. Today, he’s the leader of the pack, and a winner in the runoffs. Follow the bouncing ball, folks. This line-up keeps changing,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in a statement.

An early frontrunner, Quinn has shown difficulty holding the lead, briefly losing it last month to Weiner after several weeks of campaigning following his late entry into the race. A poll taken after revelations that Weiner had a recent extramarital relationship via phone calls and online messages sank his comeback bid, knocking him down to fourth place at 16 percent (from 26 percent). Quinn led the pack at 27 percent, with two rivals virtually tied for second place — William Thompson and de Blasio, at 20 and 21 percent, respectively.

De Blasio has been a harsh critic of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, arguably the most pressing policy issue in the race. He is the only candidate who supports each of two related City Council bills, which would establish an inspector general to oversee the NYPD and make it easier to sue the police by claiming racial profiling. The bills, strenuously opposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, passed in late June.

Among the 579 likely primary voters polled by Quinnipiac from Aug. 7-12 via telephone and cell phones, 60 percent said stop-and-frisk is “excessive” and harms innocent people, versus 31 percent who see it as “acceptable.” Thirty-four percent of stop-and-frisk critics like de Blasio, followed by 24 percent for Thompson and 22 percent for Quinn.

In more good news for de Blasio, he leads in a runoff match-up against all his rivals: 54 to 38 over Quinn; 50 to 41 percent over Thompson. He would trounce Weiner 72 to 22 percent, the poll said.

In mixed news for Weiner, about half of respondents, 52 percent, want him to drop out of the race, but that figure did not change substantially since the July 29th Quinnipiac poll. The number of people who want him to stay in the race also did not change beyond the poll’s margin or error of plus or minus 4.1 percent.

The number of black voters who want Weiner to stay in the race, however, declined from 53 percent to 45 percent.