Yesterday morning, Quinnipiac Polling Institute released its latest polling numbers for the leading contenders of the 2013 mayoral race. While it’s still early and multi-candidate primary elections are notoriously hard to poll, the numbers did show Council Speaker Christine Quinn in a rather strong starting position and her opponents struggling with relative support and name recognition. Subsequently, various consultants weighed in on why that might be, but one of Ms. Quinn’s theoretical rivals also did so personally in an interview on Inside City Hall.
“Listen, these polls are what they are,” Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer countered when his 4% citywide standing was raised. “At the end of the day, the poll that counts is going to be the one late next year when we vote for who the next mayor is and the other citywide offices are.”
Mr. Stringer then brought up a slew of past citywide and statewide elected officials who may have also been polling poorly at one point.
“But I’m polling at the same place Chuck Schumer polled when he started out running for the U.S. Senate,” he added. “I’m polling out in the same place where Attorney General Eric Schneiderman started out, that Ed Koch started out, that Mario Cuomo started out. “
Of course, those races also all featured plenty of candidates who started out behind in the polls, and stayed that way through Election Day, but Mr. Stringer nevertheless yawned at the idea of closely following horse-race politics and pointed to his own base of support.
“Every year we go through the same poll dance,” he said. “Then we get to the election and then the headline is ‘Upset Victory.’ I’ve raised millions of dollars from thousands of people across the city. I’m holding conversations in people’s living rooms talking about the real issues that matter to working people, to middle-class New Yorkers who feel, that at the end of the day, their voice is not being heard at City Hall. We need a different kind of energetic leadership. So I am good to go. We are building a base in this city. And I hope that we can continue to have a conversation.”
“And obviously any time one of these polls comes out, people will speculate and the speculators will get some coverage, but that’s not what New Yorkers care about,” he continued. “They want to know where you stand on issues, what’s your vision, do you believe that we can move this city forward. And can people who’ve always been the backbone of New York, can they have a say in their government in the post-Bloomberg era moving forward.”