De Blasio, Spitzer Lead NYC Races In New Siena Poll

Aug 30, 2013

A new Siena poll shows candidates taking new positions in two New York City political races that have commanded national attention.

The New York Times/Siena College Poll shows public advocate Bill De Blasio, a Democrat, leading the pack in the race for New York City mayor ... Pollster Steve Greenberg says De Blasio has opened up a significant lead over the other candidates.

In order for a Democrat to win the nomination, he or she must get more than 40 percent of the vote on Primary Day, September 10th. If not, there will be a runoff between the top two candidates.

In what had once been a sleepy race for City Comptroller, former Governor Eliot Spitzer leads Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer by 15 points. Greenberg says Spitzer has support from 50 percent of likely Democratic voters while his opponent, Stringer, has just 35 percent.

I asked Albany activist Alice Green to speculate if there may be a reason why African-Americans polled seem to favor Spitzer. She opined that blacks are "a forgiving people."  Green added that blacks cannot forget that when Spitzer made his bid for governor, he took a black man, then-Senate Minority Leader David Paterson, as running-mate, although Paterson himself backed Stringer before Spitzer’s late entry. Not all African-Americans share that point of view: New York's oldest black newspaper is backing Stringer:  The Amsterdam News says “You can’t get anything done when a whole bunch of people abhor you. Spitzer is self-aggrandizing and a self-serving latecomer…”

The New York Times/Siena College poll surveyed 505 likely Democratic primary voters from Aug. 19-28 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.