Pace Poll Redux

WNYC’s Brian Lehrer took some time yesterday talking about the Pace Poll in which the Observer, along with his station, was a partner. The whole poll is now online here.

Our story focused on the straight politics, and Bloomberg’s great numbers among prime Democratic voters. One interesting number I didn’t get to was the fact that Virginia was clearly voters’ leading second choice.

Anyway, Brian picked up on another a striking number: 82% of those polled said they thought the real estate boom is bad for New York.

That’s an amazing figure, reflecting something as close to absolute agreement as you find in surveys like this. It’s also notable because in broad macroeconomic terms, rising real estate prices reflect the market’s confidence in New York’s future; the people deciding Democratic Party primaries have the exact opposite reaction.

Brian discussed the question in terms of the city’s running housing crisis generally, and specifically in terms of the lack of any grand housing policy plans this election year.

But it’s also interesting in what it says about the core Democratic Party vote — the very roughly 800,000 or so people who can be counted on to vote in the Mayoral primary. As much as any other single bond, Democrats are the party of tenants, representing the roughly two-thirds of New Yorkers — though fewer voters — who rent. And on this key measure of the city’s health, their interest is the exact opposite of the truisms about the real estate market that commentators from Bloomberg on down often repeat. But while New York remains a city of renters, this doesn’t seem to be a winning political stance for the Democrats.