Public Advocate Bill de Blasio leads a crowded Democratic field for mayor of New York City, according to a new poll.
With just four weeks to go until the Democratic primary, de Blasio leads with 30 percent of the the vote from likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday (PDF). City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, once considered the front runner, trails in second place with 24 percent. Former Comptroller William Thompson has 22 percent, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (who briefly led the field before the latest round of his sexting scandal broke) follows with 10 percent, Comptroller John Liu polled at 6 percent, and former Councilman Sal Albanese brings up the rear with 1 percent, the survey showed.
Most importantly, the poll shows de Blasio defeating potential rivals in a runoff election: 54 percent over Quinn's 38 percent; 50 percent to 41 percent for Thompson, and crushing Weiner 72 percent to 22 percent.
"A few weeks ago, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio looked like an also-ran. Today, he’s the leader of the pack, and a winner in the runoffs," said Maurice Carroll, the director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Follow the bouncing ball, folks. This line-up keeps changing."
De Blasio appears to be benefitting from his strong stance against the NYPD's stop, question, and frisk program, which suffered a setback in a federal court this week.
The poll found that 60 percent of Democrats said that stop-and-frisk is "excessive and harasses innocent people," while 31 said it is an "acceptable way to make the city safer." Among those who are critical of the program, 34 percent stand behind de Blasio, with 24 percent for Thompson and 22 percent for Quinn.
De Blasio, who lives in Brooklyn, previously served two terms on the City Council, as an regional official at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (during Gov. Andrew Cuomo's tenure as HUD secretary), and as a staffer to Mayor David Dinkins.
The public advocate, a citywide office that is first in the line of succession to the mayor, has little power but serves as an ombudsman for residents and can introduce legislation in the City Council.