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The Call Blog: Poll Finds Spitzer Has Big Lead in City Comptroller Race, De Blasio Still On Top

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If done well, polls can be a great indicator of election results. But, it really falls down to the number, type and makeup of the people polled. To be believable, there has to be consistency in the results and right now, it's just so all over the place. It's one thing if the public is undecided - which was the case for quite some time in the Democratic mayoral race - and the polls consistently reflect that. It's another thing to ask the same question in the same time period twice and get completely contradictory results.

Just one day after a poll showed Eliot Spitzer in a tie with Scott Stringer in the Democratic primary for City comptroller, another one finds he has a double-digit lead over his rival. The Siena College/New York Times poll showed the former Governor has the support of 50 percent of likely Democratic voters, while Stringer, the Manhattan Borough President, has 35 percent. The poll surveyed 505 likely Democratic voters between August 19th and August 28th. It had a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Yesterday, a Quinnipiac poll found Stringer had overcome a 19 point deficit to tie with Spitzer in the race with 46 percent. The survey came after weeks of polls finding Spitzer with a sizeable lead, prompting the Stringer campaign to use it as evidence of a tightening race. Today, Stringer downplayed the Siena poll’s significance, saying there are quote, “many polls out there.”

The same Siena poll meanwhile is the latest to affirm Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s status as front runner in the Democratic mayoral primary, this time with 32 percent. It finds former City Comptroller Bill Thompson and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in a statistical tie for second place with 18 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

What’s your reaction to the latest poll findings? Why do you think two polls found such drastically different results just a day apart? Do you think it’s fair for campaigns to promote the polls that favor them, but dismiss the ones that don’t? What do you make of Bill de Blasio’s recently consistent presence at the top of the Democratic mayor’s race?

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I think Quinnipiac is probably more accurate.

Spitzer would probably make a good Comptroller for NYC, but people are weary of elites.


de Blasio is currently on top and I hope he stays there, but the truth is that the only vote that will count is on election day, which I foresee as resulting in a run-off between de Blasio and speaker Quinn.

Bay Ridge

The polls depend on what clients were surveyed.

Park Hill

I think all these polls are just garbage. I support John Liu for Mayor and Scott Stringer for Comptroller and I have never been called.

I vote in every election. Don't I count?

Upper West Side

I think all these polls are just garbage. I support John Liu for Mayor and Scott Stringer for Comptroller and I have never been called.

I vote in every election. Don't I count?

Upper West Side

I don't believe in poll numbers, i know the candidates that have morals and compassion will win Diblasio keep flip flopping that's why his numbers keep jumping around Ms Quinn is right when she said students can learn about politics being a intern i think parents should sit down with their kids that are in elementry and middle school and explain to them the process of voting kids are our future one of them might be president one day

Upper West Side

Obviously, some pollster is asking the wrong questions and/or the wrong people.

Port Richmond

I am not sure what to make of the polls. On the one hand, it is possible Stringer is gaining – almost every elected official, union, and editorial board has endorsed him and he seems to be campaigning like crazy. On the other hand, it is strange to me that I have not received one piece of campaign literature from him. His campaign says it is trying to reach African-American and female voters so I would think he would be targeting my vote: I am African-American, female, and a super prime voter.

But I have already made up my mind. I am voting for Spitzer and almost everyone else I know is too. Stringer simply does not have the qualifications to be the City’s Comptroller. And I think he knows it. To me, it seems he struck deals with other elected officials so that he could run for the seat unopposed. The inside party establishment Democrats agreed to his plan – but not Spitzer. Now Stringer needs every elected official, union, and editorial board to come to his aid just so he can battle Spitzer. I have never seen anything like this before and, to me, it just validates that he has no real credentials to stand on.


The Siena poll is the result of 505 likely voters who were surveyed. Is this truly an adequate number of people to make a firm statement in a city of over 8 million people?


The media has gone away from reporting the news to the public to trying to SWAY the publics opinions on many situations. Even by poztinv polls when their favorite is or was in front. Look at how they've all endorsed a certain candidate. Perhaps hoping that the public will fall in line and vote that way. The way THEY want us to vote. Perhaps a billionaire that has everything to gain if this candidate wins. I guess everyone has a price. Even the local newspapers.

Upper East Side

I don't necessarily trust the poll results, largely because there's really no way to prove that those participating are registered to vote and/or actually will vote. I did, however, just participate in a poll tonight. I've been supporting Bill De Blasio for months and I guess I just contributed to his lead in the polls! :)

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