POLITICS
08/28/2013 05:12 pm ET

HUFFPOLLSTER: NYC Mayor's Race Gets A Clear Frontrunner

AP

De Blasio continues to rise in the NYC mayoral race. The Affordable Care Act continues to puzzle Americans. And we mourn the passing of Republican data analytics pioneer Bill Steiner. This is HuffPollster for Wednesday, August 28, 2013.

DE BLASIO PULLS AHEAD IN NYC MAYORAL RACE - HuffPost: “New York City public advocate Bill de Blasio has pulled further ahead in the New York City mayoral race, coming close to the 40 percent threshold he'd need to avoid a runoff in the Democratic primary, according to a poll released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University. De Blasio took 36 percent among likely Democratic primary voters, by far the largest share of the vote any candidate has garnered in polling so far. New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former city comptroller Bill Thompson trailed at 21 and 20 percent, respectively...Although De Blasio had stronger support among men than women, he led among voters of both genders. He also held a lead regardless of racial group, taking 38 percent among white voters and 34 percent among black voters.” [HuffPost]

One caution - In the second week of August, a Quinnipiac Poll had de Blasio running six percentage points better than a NBC New York/WSJ/Marist poll fielded over roughly the same dates that found otherwise similar results for the other candidates (but with five percentage points fewer in the undecided category). The Pollster chart, which uses a regression model to plot trend lines for each candidate based on all available polls, shows Blasio leading Quinn but by a smaller margin (32.5 to 24.0 percent) than the latest Quinnipiac survey. Please note that since our standard trend line did not fully capture the upward trend toward de Blasio evident in four recent polls by Quinnipiac, Marist and Siena, we have adjusted the default "sensitivity" setting to better fit the data. [Pollster]

Dems want change from Bloomberg - The New York Times endorsed Quinn as "a candidate who is ready to carry on at least as well" as outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg did. Another result from the Quinnipiac poll shows, however, why such sentiments mean little to Democratic primary voters. Nearly two thirds (65 percent) say their city "needs to take a new direction from Mike Bloomberg's," while just a quarter (25 percent) prefers to "continue in the direction in which Mike Bloomberg has been leading." [NYTimes]

De Blasio rises among blacks Via Twitter, the Guardian's Harry Enten identifies the source of de Blasio's gains compared to the previous Quinnipiac poll: "That DB [de Blasio] rise was entirely among blacks btw... He actually fell a point among whites." He subsequently notes that the margin of sampling error for the black subsample is "quite large...over 8" [@ForecasterEnten here and here]

Thompson campaign not buying it - Thompson campaign strategist Jonathan Prince reacts via Twitter: "U know what I think of pub polls, but Q is worst among equals. I've seen very diff results. One internal, echoed in others: 24 [Thompson], 24 [de Blasio], 17 [Quinn]." [@JonathanMPrince]

KFF: MAJORITY DISAPPROVES OF DEFUNDING OBAMACARE - While the August health tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation continues to find more negative than positive views of the health reform law officially known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they also find no enthusiasm for "defunding" it: "A majority of Americans (57 percent) say they disapprove of the idea of cutting off funding as a way to stop the law from being implemented, a finding that has been consistent in Kaiser Health Tracking Polls since January 2011. Republicans and those with an unfavorable view of the law overall are more likely to approve of attempts to defund the ACA, but even among these groups, about a third (34 percent and 33 percent, respectively) say they disapprove. [Kaiser]

Americans not yet hearing from sources they trust - More from Kaiser: “The public is most likely to say they trust health care professionals like doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, as well as federal and state health agencies when it comes to information about the law. Young adults, a key target of outreach efforts, are particularly likely to say they trust official sources of information like state and federal agencies. By contrast, the most common places where people say they’ve actually heard about the law are from the news media, family and friends.” [ibid]

R.I.P. BILL STEINER - Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Reince Priebus: "The RNC lost an important member of our team this week as Bill Steiner ended his long and courageous battle against cancer surrounded by friends and loved ones. Bill was a loyal friend to all who had the honor to know and work with him. He was also very loyal to the RNC and our Party. Bill was an institution at the RNC – he served his Party and his country here for an amazing 18 years and touched the lives of countless campaigns, elected officials and operatives who looked up to him. Our Party and our country are better off thanks to his tireless devotion." [RNC]

-Campaign Consultant Mike DuHaime: "Sad day for the RNC and political world - Bill Steiner, humble trendsetting secret weapon behind Bush '04 data mining, passed away too young." [@MikeDuHaime]

-Pollster Alex Lundry: "We lost a truly class act in politics today. RIP Bill...Hard to understate the role that Steiner had @RNC - he, as much as Rove, Mehlman, Dowd et al. was responsible for data innovations of 04 era." [@AlexLundry here & here]

-NRSC head Josh Holmes: "Bill Steiner was the most important GOP operative the outside world never knew about. A humble innovator who will be deeply missed." [@HolmesJosh]

-Pollster Luke Frans: "Bill Steiner represented everything that was right about being in politics. Humble, smart, and cause driven. Sad to learn of his passing." [@LukeFrans]

-The Washington Post's Reid Wilson: "Bill Steiner, a smart RNC strategist who had the grace to deal with me when I covered them, has died. A tragic loss, forget politics." [@PostReid]

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WEDNESDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to more news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Drew DeSilver runs the numbers on how many of the aspirations articulated by Martin Luther King's speech 50 years ago have been realized. [Pew Research]

-Sixty percent of African Americans believe they do not have equal opportunities get jobs for which they are qualified, only 14 points lower than in 1963. [Gallup]

-In 1963, Gallup asked if President Kennedy was “pushing integration too fast, or not fast enough. [Pinterest, via Roll Call]

-An internal Republican poll show that Lamar Alexander enjoys high job approval ratings and big leads over potential opponents. [MSNBC]

-Matthew Baum says that American opposition to attacking Syria, as measured by public opinion polls, is unlikely to influence policy makers because the public is largely disengaged from the issue. [Monkey Cage]

-Wired compiles maps of cities by their racial distribution. [Wired]

-Haters gonna hate, science finds. [WaPost]

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