comments_image Comments

De Blasio surges to the front in NY mayoral race

Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio speaks in Union Square, New York City, on August 29, 2013
Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio speaks in Union Square, New York City, in support of demonstrating fast food workers on August 29, 2013. De Blasio, the most left-leaning Democrat in the New York mayoral race, has surged to the front of the pack 11 days b

Public advocate Bill de Blasio, the most left-leaning Democrat in the New York mayoral race, has surged to the front of the pack 11 days before primary elections, a poll showed Friday.

A poll released by the New York Times/Siena College gave De Blasio 32 percent of the vote if the September 10 primary were held now.

If he wins he has a strong chance of becoming mayor in the Democrat-dominated city after November elections.

Early frontrunner Christine Quinn, a 47-year-old gay woman who has styled herself as the "natural" successor to billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg, fell back with 17 percent.

Bill Thompson, the sole African-American candidate and former city comptroller, would win 18 percent of votes, the poll showed.

Anthony Weiner, a onetime frontrunner engulfed in a sexting scandal, polled at 11 percent, with 66 percent saying they did not favor him.

The poll cements De Blasio's resounding lead after Quinnipiac University gave him 36 percent of intended votes earlier this week.

The 52-year-old is married to a black woman and his bi-racial family has featured strongly in his campaign which has focused on inequality.

He has come out strongly against the city's stop-and-frisk program which he says unfairly targets blacks and Hispanics.

A federal judge ruled in mid-August that stop-and-frisk, seen as the cornerstone of policing in New York, was unconstitutional.

His son Dante, 14, with his towering afro, has become a social media sensation, appearing in many of his father's campaign videos.

De Blasio has also proposed taxing New Yorkers who earn over $500,000 a year to pay for school after-care programs for young children.

The new mayor will take over from Bloomberg on January 1, 2014, who has been in office for 12 years.

Key to the election will be voter turnout, typically very low in New York. In 2009, only 29 percent of registered voters went to the polls.

Share