In the topsy-turvy race for City Comptroller, a new poll released Thursday by Quinnipiac University shows the race is now a dead heat. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
A group of women at a Scott Stringer campaign event in Harlem Thursday want to see the Manhattan borough president win the Democratic primary in the city comptroller's race, and so, apparently, do an increasing number of other New Yorkers.
A new survey finds him tied with former Governor Eliot Spitzer, 46 percent to 46 percent, with 8 percent unsure or not answering.
The poll has Stringer surging 19 points in just two weeks.
"Over the last few weeks, we have been out in every single neighborhood, campaigning at the subways, street corners, and the response has been very positive," Stringer said.
That may be an overstatement. But what's clear is that Stringer wants to spotlight people intent on denying Spitzer a political comeback, especially women, as shown at the Harlem event Thursday.
"He broke the law. He is a lawbreaker, whatever crime you want to call it," said Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal of Manhattan. "As governor, and previously as attorney general, he was found to have patronized prostitutes. It's against the law."
The poll actually has roughly the same percentage of women supporting both men.
Well aware of his liability, Spitzer has a new ad aimed at women, and Miriam Hess, a top aide, said his notoriety is one part of his story.
"I think that Eliot should be judged on the totality of his record, which, in fact, has been fantastic for women's health care and economic security," Hess said.
Stringer is also heavily courting African-American voters, and the poll shows that he's been successful in bringing some over to his side. Spitzer's 47-point lead among them two weeks ago has now shrunk, according to the poll, to 12 points.
Some, however, question whether the poll is accurate, even as the university behind it defends itself.
"We don't know what's going on," said Greg David of the CUNY Journalism School. "Look, is Stringer doing a little better than what he did before? Probably. But that's probably all we know."
We do also know that as we reach the finale, the drama is surging.
First, Stringer sent out a mailer suggesting Spitzer should be in jail, but didn't clearly note his campaign was behind it.
That prompted Team Spitzer to say that Stringer isn't "man enough to put his own name on the false attacks."
Team Stringer responded that the phrase "man enough" is "outrageous and offensive, and that nobody in this city needs a lesson in manhood from Eliot Spitzer."