Nine months before the election, Mayor Bill de Blasio has a huge lead against Republican challenger Paul Massey.
De Blasio, who scored his highest job approval rating in a year, would beat Massey in a head-to-head race, 59 percent to 25 percent, according to the latest Quinnipiac University Poll.
The survey, which collected responses from 1,001 New York City voters, also showed de Blasio beating Democratic challengers in hypothetical races. Against candidates from his own party, de Blasio garnered 43 percent of the votes, much higher than the 14 percent for former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the 10 percent for City Comptroller Scott Stringer. State Senator Tony Avella, who announced his candidacy against de Blasio last December, was at two percent. De Blasio’s share of the votes is higher than the 40 percent needed to avoid a primary run-off.
“You can’t beat somebody with nobody. And if the somebody is Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Quinnipiac University Poll numbers say the other names add up to nobody,” said Maurice Carroll, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
“In a Democratic primary, de Blasio trounces everyone. The nearest challengers, Christine Quinn and Comptroller Scott Stringer – are barely in double digits. Paul Massey? First, New Yorkers would have to learn who he is.”
Massey’s camp was quick to put a positive spin on the numbers. Massey, who wasn’t even included in the previous poll from last January, scored the highest with white voters. De Blasio had a slim lead in the demographic with a split of 42 percent to 39 percent. The number are more lopsided in other categories. De Blasio leads Massey, 83 percent to five percent, with black voters. He also has a 67 percent to 17 percent advantage with Hispanic voters.
“This is now a two-way race, in which less than half of voters want to re-elect Bill de Blasio, 44% already want to replace him, and we are effectively tied among white voters and independent voters,” said Massey campaign spokesperson Mollie Fullington.
“We have a quarter of the vote and we haven’t officially launched our campaign. While Bill de Blasio deals with at least six investigations, two grand juries, and a major new scandal breaking over the weekend, we will run an independent campaign with new ideas to bring the city together.”
Massey, the president of New York Investment Sales at Cushman & Wakefield, has repeatedly criticized de Blasio over a federal inquiry into his fund-raising activities. However, he has yet to connect with voters. According to the survey, 84 of voters said they don’t know enough about him to form an opinion.
De Blasio, meanwhile, has proven to be resilient. He posted a 50 percent favorability rating, up from 45 percent last January. Also, more voters (47 percent to 44 percent) said that he deserved re-election. However, his fate may rest on whether former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton enters the race. Clinton, who is rumored to be exploring running for mayor, would beat de Blasio in a head-to-head race, 49 to 30 percent, according to Qunnipiac’s January poll.