Friday, April 18, 2014

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NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt's daily look Inside City Hall.

NY1 ItCH: Bill De Blasio Has Fun With Numbers

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With a new poll coming out today in the mayor's race, the only question remaining is which numbers do you believe: today's poll which showed Bill de Blasio with a 49 point lead or yesterday's poll which gave him a 50-point margin?

Putting aside those Grand Canyon figures, there are some other interesting findings in today's Siena College/New York Times poll – including that New Yorkers still really like Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Although residents are split over the NYPD's stop-and-frisk tactic, 62% say they'd like Kelly to stay on as the city's top cop. This may reveal why Christine Quinn was talking up Kelly so much on the campaign trail in her failed primary run. But someone should have told her pollsters that Democratic primary voters are a very different beast than those who cast their ballots in the general election.

That's what makes de Blasio's numbers all the more impressive. He dominates Joe Lhota in categories that you'd think the Republican would do well in. Lhota was the right-hand man for the crime-fighting Rudy Giuliani for much of his second term and yet New Yorkers think de Blasio would do a better job fighting crime than his rival (52% to 29%.) Lhota was by Giuliani's side during the 9/11 attacks and yet people think de Blasio would do a better job keeping the city safe from a terrorist attack (49% to 26%). By all accounts, Lhota did a good job running the MTA during Hurricane Sandy last year but the poll finds that de Blasio has the upper hand when it comes to keeping the city safe from a natural disaster (50% to 28%.)

Beyond some explosive revelation appearing about de Blasio over the next month, Lhota's only hope may be scoring some sort of knockout punch in this month's debates. Perhaps that's why he's ducking a debate next week that's being sponsored by a bevy of media organizations, including NY1. De Blasio's team notes that they've committed to three debates with Lhota but it's clear they want to minimize any risk as much as possible. But with these numbers, the only risk for Bill de Blasio may be running into a rogue motorcycle gang on the West Side Highway this weekend.

Bob Hardt

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