I almost wrote some crazy headline like "De Blasio's Poll Numbers are Slipping" just to have some fun this morning. And while that might be technically true, he still holds a 44-point lead over Joe Lhota in the latest Marist College/WSJ/NBC poll. With a couple of polls showing de Blasio holding a 49 or 50 point lead earlier this month, this means that at this pace, Lhota should slide into first place some time next year. Too bad for him the election is in less than a month.
Except for Republicans, de Blasio continues to dominate with every demographic group. Even with Republican bread-and-butter issues like crime and the economy, de Blasio holds a large advantage over Lhota. So why is Lhota doing so poorly? Part of it is his party label.
It's never a great time to be a Republican in New York City – but the federal budget shutdown is making things even worse. A whopping 40% of those polled think that Lhota is too closely tied to the national GOP. Of those voters, 39% say those ties make them less likely to vote for him.
And all those Sandinista attacks on de Blasio aren't doing very much, either. Of those polled, 72% say they don't care that the Democrat honeymooned in Cuba or supported the leftist Nicaraguan government. With New York being a hotbed of liberalism, 8% percent said that fact made them more likely to vote for de Blasio while 16% said it made them less likely to vote for him.
In a sea of troubling numbers for Lhota, another one that bobs up is that only 7% are undecided. And of those who did declare their allegiance, 90% say they feel strongly or somewhat strongly about their vote. So peel off 10% of de Blasio's support and give all those votes to Lhota – and add those undecided votes to his column – and de Blasio would still win 60% to 40%.
So what can Lhota do? Beyond hoping for an October surprise, he should probably make a forceful statement against the Republicans in the House rather than talking about de Blasio's roots. His only hope may be the three debates coming up over the next three weeks. Meanwhile, his aides should probably make him avert his eyes as the next wave of polls sweeps in this month with similarly scary numbers.