The mayoral candidates made their final pilgrimage to Rev. Al Sharpton’s House of Justice this morning, making their case to Harlem voters as they scramble for support in the campaign’s final stretch.
All of the Gracie Mansion hopefuls have been aggressively courting black support, crisscrossing black neighborhoods and vying for the endorsements of prominent black leaders. But one of the biggest prizes–Mr. Sharpton himself–has chosen to stay mum–a decision that has been seen as a particular blow to Bill Thompson, the only black candidate in the race.
The overtones were impossible to ignore this morning as Mr. Sharpton took pains to stress that he wasn’t playing favorites and tried to convince those in the audience that there was no bad blood between him and the five candidates present: Bill de Blasio, Christine Quinn, John Liu, Anthony Weiner and Mr. Thompson.
Through the Liu-king Glass
They may be trying to defeat him in the polls, but Bill de Blasio’s mayoral opponents have his back on this one.
Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson and John Liu all criticized Mayor Michael Bloomberg for labeling Mr. de Blasio’s campaign “racist” because it prominently features his mixed-race family, according to a New York magazine interview published this morning.
Despite trailing his four major rivals in the mayor’s race, at least according to the public polls, Comptroller John Liu continued to express confidence that he’ll emerge victorious as he rolled out still more endorsements for his underdog campaign this afternoon.
“I want to be the mayor of all people. I am proud to be the mayor of change. We are going to win this election, and we are going to change this city,” Mr. Liu declared during a press conference on the steps of City Hall.
Although some might question the probability of Mr. Liu’s electoral prediction, few would question his hustle.
The final debate between the Democratic rivals for mayor turned especially catty tonight–especially when the show moved from broadcast television to an online feed–as the candidates made their final pitches to voters one week before the primary.
Once again, front-runner Bill de Blasio had a giant target on his back, but this time the constant digs seemed to take their toll, with the public advocate constantly on defense over his policy plans as well as his record.
“He will say anything depending on whose votes he’s trying to get,” said Christine Quinn, who once led the public polls and ignored Mr. de Blasio, but now finds herself in third place as she hits him on a whole range of issues.
Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has surpassed the 40 percent he needs to win the Democratic nomination without a runoff, at least according to the latest poll.
New Quinnipiac University numbers put the front-running Mr. de Blasio far ahead of the competition, with the support of 43 percent of likely voters. Former Comptroller Bill Thompson and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn are battling it out for second, the poll shows, with 20 percent and 18 percent of the vote, respectively.
And former Congressman Anthony Weiner remains far behind, with 7 percent, trailed by Comptroller John Liu with 4 percent, according to the poll, which comes exactly one week from primary day.
This is it: The last chance for the Democratic mayoral candidates to face off before voters head to the polls a week from today.
And like professional athletes ahead of a big game, each candidate has his or her own way of preparing for the high-stakes showdown. From rocking out to favorite bands to role-playing with aides, here’s what the candidates will be doing ahead of tonight’s final televised debate.
Supersizing the Election
Two more polls have Public Advocate Bill de Blasio far ahead of his Democratic rivals less than two weeks before the primary–with former front-runner Christine Quinn now lagging in third.
According to a new New York Times/Siena College poll out this morning, Mr. de Blasio is now head-and-shoulders above his rivals, with 32 percent of the vote. Former Comptroller Bill Thompson and Ms. Quinn appear to be fighting it out to for a slot in the expected run-off, with Mr. Thompson at 18 percent and Ms. Quinn at 17 percent.
At least they weren’t throwing food.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former Congressman Anthony Weiner received a round of boos this afternoon when they appeared at a fast food workers rally–one they were there to support–in Union Square.
Ms. Quinn and Mr. Weiner joined the three other leading Democratic mayoral candidates and a slew of other pols showed up en mass to declare their support for fast food workers participating in a nation-wide strike today. Hundreds of workers from chains including McDonald’s and Burger King were present to demand higher wages and union benefits–and listen to the candidates flex their progressive credentials less than two weeks before primary day. But not everyone was warmly welcomed.
Following new revelations about the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim New Yorkers–including allegations that entire mosques were deemed terrorist organizations–the reaction in some quarters of city politics was swift.
Comptroller John Liu, a candidate for mayor, was particularly incensed by today’s Associated Press report on the issue, calling an emergency press conference near his office.
If there was any question that Bill de Blasio is the mayoral race’s new front-runner, there isn’t any more.
A new poll conducted by Quinnipiac University has the city’s public advocate with 36 percent of the likely Democratic vote, placing him within reaching distance of avoiding a widely-expected runoff election.