Three new polls of the Democratic New York City mayoral primary show Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (D) with a commanding lead. The trio of polls indicate that de Blasio has a chance of winning the 40% necessary to avoid a runoff, while former Comptroller Bill Thompson (D) and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D) are in a battle for second place.
A Quinnipiac University poll (Sept. 6-8, 782 LVs; +/- 3.5%) shows de Blasio leading Thompson, 39-25%. Quinn finishes third with 18%, while former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) receives 6%. Comptroller John Liu (D) garners 4%, and former Councilman Sal Albanese (D) receives 1%. (release)
In a new WNBC-TV/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll (Sept. 3-6; 556 LVs; +/- 4.2%), de Blasio leads with 36%, while Thompson and Quinn are tied with 20% apiece. Weiner receives 7%0, and Liu garners 5%. None of the other candidates tested receive more than 1%. (release)
In a Public Policy Polling poll (D) (IVR) (Sept. 7-8; 683 LVs; +/- 3.8%), de Blasio receives 38%, followed by Thompson at 19% and Quinn at 13%. Weiner receives 9%, while Liu finishes at 5%. None of the other candidates tested receive more than 3 percent. (release)
De Blasio has a solid shot at winning the primary outright on Tuesday. If he fails to reach 40 percent, Thompson appears more likely than Quinn to finish second and advance to the runoff. Polling shows that de Blasio would begin the runoff campaign with a large lead over either Democrat, although Thompson may have a better chance of cutting into his advantage given Quinn’s high negatives.
BLOOMBERG BASHES BILL: During an interview with New York Magazine, Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) interrupted a question about de Blasio that classified his bid as a “class-warfare campaign.” Bloomberg said: “Class-warfare and racist. … Well, no, no, I mean he’s making an appeal using his family to gain support. I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing. I do not think he himself is racist. It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote. You tailor messages to your audiences and address issues you think your audience cares about.”
Capital New York’s Paybarah writes: “Bloomberg is famously unpredictable in interviews. But though his aides got the quote amended in the online version of the story, it hasn’t done much to lessen the political impact of the comment. For de Blasio, who is leading in the latest public opinion polls, the rhetoric from Bloomberg is a gift, giving him one more talking point as he seeks to drive up his support among Democratic voters by highlighting his connections, through his family, to the outer boroughs, public schools and the African-American community.”
“Wherever Mr. de Blasio went on Sunday, he tried to capitalize on the mayor’s comments.” (New York Times)
FINAL GOP DEBATE: Former MTA chairman Joe Lhota (R) and billionaire John Catsimatidis (R) “made their final pitch to Republican voters on Sunday, clashing at a debate on WNBC-TV in which Mr. Lhota sought to leave the impression Mr. Catsimatidis was not a serious candidate, and Mr. Catsimatidis argued that Mr. Lhota was a meanspirited technocrat who lacked big ideas.”
Catsimatidis said he had a “love factor with the minorities. … They all give me hugs.”
Lhota said: “I’m not the anti-kitten candidate. We have thousands of cats — literally thousands of cats — that are in the subway system every single day, day and night, scurrying across the tracks, and they don’t get killed.” (New York Times)
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President Obama became a surprise topic of contention toward the end of the Democratic debate, as Hillary Clinton reminded viewers that Sanders had challenged the progressive bona fides of President Obama in 2011 and suggested that someone might challenge him from the left. “The kind of criticism that we’ve heard from Senator Sanders about our president I expect from Republicans, I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama,” she said. “Madame Secretary, that is a low blow,” replied Sanders, before getting in another dig during his closing statement: “One of us ran against Barack Obama. I was not that candidate.”
It’s all about the 1% and Wall Street versus everyone else for Bernie Sanders—even when he’s talking about race relations. Like Hillary Clinton, he needs to appeal to African-American and Hispanic voters in coming states, but he insists on doing so through his lens of class warfare. When he got a question from the moderators about the plight of black America, he noted that during the great recession, African Americans “lost half their wealth,” and “instead of tax breaks for billionaires,” a Sanders presidency would deliver jobs for kids. On the very next question, he downplayed the role of race in inequality, saying, “It’s a racial issue, but it’s also a general economic issue.”
It’s been said in just about every news story since New Hampshire: the primaries are headed to states where Hillary Clinton will do well among minority voters. Leaving nothing to chance, she underscored that point in her opening statement in the Milwaukee debate tonight, saying more needs to be done to help “African Americans who face discrimination in the job market” and immigrant families. She also made an explicit reference to “equal pay for women’s work.” Those boxes she’s checking are no coincidence: if she wins women, blacks and Hispanics, she wins the nomination.
Under pressure from a judge, the State Department will release about 550 of Hillary Clinton’s emails—“roughly 14 percent of the 3,700 remaining Clinton emails—on Saturday, in the middle of the Presidents Day holiday weekend.” All of the emails were supposed to have been released last month. Related: State subpoenaed the Clinton Foundation last year, which brings the total number of current Clinton investigations to four, says the Daily Caller.