City Comptroller Scott Stringer has a wide swath of support. Young women of color in state office known for unseating a group of rogue Democrats have his back. A group of progressive lawmakers and activist organizations have all endorsed his campaign.
But Stringer's campaign has barely caught fire. Three months from the primary, Stringer argues there's still plenty of time and he says he's not worried.
"When there is nothing else to talk about, everyone talks about the polls. I feel very comfortable where we are," Stringer told NY1 in a recent interview. "Remember this race is really just beginning."
From day one, Stringer has fashioned himself the most progressive and experienced candidate to succeed Bill de Blasio.
But the campaign has been lagging in early polls. A recent survey showed him far behind other candidates in the race. A survey of Democrats showed they favored Andrew Yang with 16 percent, Eric Adams at 10 percent, Maya Wiley at 6 percent and Stringer down to 5 percent, a decline from a January poll.
"There will be ups and downs and trials and tribulations, but I believe if people want a progressive Democrat with real experience who is ready on day one, I'll be mayor," Stringer said. "If people want something different, I probably won’t be."
He is, in fact, the candidate with the most political experience and has spent the longest time serving in elected office, but that status could pose a challenge as the race continues and voters look to elect new leaders. At a time of crisis, New Yorkers may cast doubt on candidates who are part of the establishment.
"I think in every office I've had, I have been a trailblazing reformer who has been very effective in elected office, and to me, it's one of the main points that I make when I am running," Stringer said.
It's unclear if the voters will want an aspirational mayor or a manager to steer the city out of its current crisis. Stringer believes they will want both. Less clear is if he can inspire energy and enthusiasm at a time the city is looking for a new beginning.
"We have a mayor now, a lot of rhetoric on progressive issues, but the agenda was never realized because there was a governance issue," Stringer said.
He bristled at the suggestion there is little energy behind his campaign, pointing to his endorsements, volunteers and millions of dollars in fundraising.
Stringer, a career politician who’s been around more than 30 years, has an uphill climb, but he says he's been counted out before.
"I'm a very good closer," Stringer said. "With three weeks to go, I was 20 points behind Elliot Spitzer, our former governor. People were writing the final chapter of my government career, and we won. Give me an opportunity to close strong because that's how we win. And I wont be surprised at the outcome, but I guess some of you will, and that will make it more fun."