That's the last time a Democrat won the race for mayor.
Although they have a six-to-one enrollment advantage over Republicans, the party that once operated Tammany Hall with the skill of a crooked gambler has managed to be shut out of Gracie Mansion for the last five elections.
Yes, there are many mitigating circumstances for that losing streak. David Dinkins' unpopular mayoralty gave Rudy Giuliani the opening he needed in 1993 while the perfect political storm occurred in 2001; a massive terror attack combined with a self-immolating Democratic party allowed a billionaire who would spend whatever it takes to win City Hall.
So could the Democrats lose again?
The New York Post is reporting today that Mayor Bloomberg is set to endorse Joe Lhota should Bill de Blasio win the Democratic primary (and Lhota captures the GOP nomination.) A new group is already coalescing together that could make the general election a real battle.
But first Lhota has to beat businessman John Catsimatidis and the cash-poor George McDonald. Catsimatidis has been willing to spend some of his personal fortune on expensive mailings and TV ads that lately have been bashing the bejesus out of Lhota, focusing on Lhota's time as the head of the MTA, his support of legalizing marijuana, and an unfortunate remark Lhota made about the Port Authority Police.
Lhota – who made a splash when he entered the race – has largely been overshadowed by the Democratic circus in the mayor's race. Although he's been favored in his primary battle, his political team is taking nothing for granted, realizing that as few as 50,000 Republicans could be voting on Tuesday. (Compared to as many as 800,000 Democrats.)
Lhota tomorrow is enlisting the help of his old boss, Rudy Giuliani, to campaign with him tomorrow while he and Catsimatidis will square off in a debate on Sunday.
Meanwhile, we'll have all three candidates on "The Road to City Hall" tonight. One of them just may be able to keep the elephants in the room in Gracie Mansion for another four years.
And a quick programming note: We'll be following the candidates all weekend – and have a special edition of "The Road to City Hall" on Sunday night at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.