Former front-runner Christine Quinn spent her final day before the polls open chatting with public school parents in Upper Manhattan and zigzagging through Queens, where she greeted Latino and South Asian voters in the heart of Jackson Heights’s business district, and strolled along major thoroughfares in Forest Hills and Astoria.
Although she trails the poll-leading Public Advocate Bill de Blasio on the eve of the Democratic primary and appears locked in a battle for second place with former Comptroller Bill Thompson, Ms. Quinn was nevertheless confident she would make it into the expected runoff tomorrow night.
“I’m very satisfied and proud of our campaign,” she told reporters at one of the stops. “I knew this campaign would be tough. I knew it would be tight up until the end … And I’m extremely confident that I’m going to get into the runoff.”
Ms. Quinn’s spokesman, Justin Goodman, explained the stops were “very targeted” and part of a large get-out-the-vote effort zeroing in on slices of the electorate–Upper West Side residents, undecided voters and the Latino community, for instance—where Ms. Quinn is expected to perform well.
At one of the stops this afternoon in Jackson Heights, Congressman Joe Crowley and Assemblyman Francisco Moya escorted Ms. Quinn through bustling streets past Latino restaurants, Italian bakeries and South Asian sari stores. Ms. Quinn smiled and embraced almost any resident who stopped, with Mr. Moya serving as a Spanish-language translator.
“I’ve been in Washington Heights, East Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights and I think the response I’ve been getting from the Latino community has been extraordinarily positive and really uplifting and I think we’ll see that in the final results in the polls tomorrow,” Ms. Quinn told reporters.
Edie Jara, an Ecuadorian native, was thrilled to see Ms. Quinn walking his neighborhood streets. He thought she would be the mayoral candidate to help his community “She’s gonna help us,” he said. “She’s more honest than anyone.”
Shamshad Begum, a Bangladeshi native, said she would vote for Ms. Quinn during tomorrow’s primary. But she was more excited to take a photo because she saw her “on the television of course.”
Ms. Quinn explained at the stop that she’d always expected her early poll numbers to falter as her opponents gained name recognition. “I always knew this would be a fight ’til the end. But you know what? What New Yorkers want and need in a mayor is a fighter,” she said, “and that’s what I am. And that’s what we’re going to continue to do up until polls close tomorrow.”
It was a similar reception on the Upper West Side this morning, where Ms. Quinn greeted parents bringing their children to their first day of kindergarten at P.S. 333 Manhattan School for Children. Doubling down on Ms. Quinn’s get-things-done message, the stop was intended to tout the fact that kindergarten is mandatory for the first time this year—thanks to a law that Ms. Quinn helped to pass.
Ms. Quinn eagerly greeted parents at the school, posing for photos and offering words of encouragement to the kids on their first day.
But not everyone was familiar with the Council Speaker.
“Is she running against Obama?” one little boy asked his mother as they walked down the school steps.
“No, not Obama. That was the last election,” she said, with a smile.
Still others, like Morningside Heights resident Jenny Falcon, said they were torn about how to vote for tomorrow, even after hearing Ms. Quinn’s pitch.
“Well, she’s a politician,” said Ms. Falcon after dropping off her daughter, Zoe, at kindergarten.”I’m skeptical of what anyone says during an election because getting it done is different from saying something.”
Additional reporting by Jill Colvin.