WASHINGTON -- Two new polls confirm that Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has emerged as a clear frontrunner in the race for mayor of New York City. And in a race likely headed for a run-off between the top two finishers on Sept. 10, they show former Comptroller Bill Thompson gaining and on the verge of overtaking Council Speaker Christine Quinn for the second place spot.
In a New York Times/Siena poll released Friday, de Blasio had the support of 32 percent of likely Democratic voters, followed by former city comptroller Bill Thompson at 18 percent and city council speaker Christine Quinn at 17 percent. Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) took 11 percent, with support for city comptroller John Liu, former city councilmember Sal Albanese and pastor Erick Salgado in the single digits.
De Blasio and Thompson were viewed favorably by a majority of Democrats -- 57 percent and 53 percent, respectively. Quinn’s ratings were underwater, with just 39 percent viewing her favorably. Forty-five percent viewed her negatively, giving her a higher unfavorable rating than any other candidate save Weiner.
De Blasio, who has painted himself in advertising as a progressive who will break from the Bloomberg years, was also voters’ preferred candidate on most issues. He was seen as the best choice to work with police, create jobs, make the city more affordable and address housing needs. Thompson was favored to improve education, and seen as equally competent to negotiate union contracts and manage city finances.
The results are a close echo of an earlier Quinnipiac poll that found de Blasio at 36 percent.
An amNewYork-News 12 poll , also released Friday and conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, gave de Blasio a smaller lead over Thompson, 29 percent to 24 percent, with Quinn a relatively distant third at 17 percent. Weiner took 10 percent.
In the Republican field, former MTA chairman Joe Lhota held a runoff-proof 50 percent, followed by businessman John Catsimatidis at 28 percent and Doe Fund founder George McDonald at 5 percent.
HuffPost Pollster’s chart, which includes all publicly available polling, shows de Blasio’s swift ascent over the final month of the race, as Weiner’s chances dwindled and Quinn’s early lead faded away. As of this writing, the chart gives de Blasio a clear lead, with 31.6 percent, with Quinn (20.8 percent) and Thompson (20.7 percent) in a near tie for second. The trends may be more important, showing a 2 percentage-point drop for Quinn and a 4-point gain for Thompson over the past month.
The NYT/Siena poll surveyed 505 likely Democratic voters between Aug. 19 and Aug 28. The amNewYork-News 12 poll surveyed 600 likely Democratic voters and 400 likely Republican voters between Aug. 22 and Aug. 27. Both polls used live telephone interviews.