Poll: Christine Quinn Continues to Lead Democratic Primary

(Photo: Getty)

(Photo: Getty)

Quinnipiac University Polling Institute is out with another survey of New York City voters today and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, with 35 percent of the vote, still posts a wide margin over her main Democratic rivals in the campaign for City Hall. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio came in second with 11 percent, followed by former Comptroller Bill Thompson at 10 percent and Comptroller John Liu’s 9 percent.

“Council Speaker Christine Quinn still dominates the Democratic field,” Maurice Carroll, the polling firm’s director, said in a statement. “There is almost no gender gap for any candidate. For example, Quinn gets 36 percent of women and 34 percent of men, while Liu gets 10 percent of men and 9 percent of women.”

The fact that Ms. Quinn leads isn’t surprising since she held a similar number–32 percent–in Quinnipiac’s November poll. Other than Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer dropping out of the field, there have been few significant developments in the race. Indeed, of the four Democrats polled, only Mr. Thompson has officially kicked off his campaign for  Gracie Mansion.

On the Republican side of the aisle, things have changed substantively since November, with former MTA Chairman Joe Lhota ramping up his mayoral efforts and receiving a relatively large amount of press coverage as a result. At 23 percent of the vote, Mr. Lhota now leads his primary, confining the other Republican candidates to single digits. In the general election, however, Mr. Lhota gets crushed–although slightly less painfully than in Quinnipiac’s last poll that found Mr. Lhota trailing “Unnamed Democrat” 60 percent to 9 percent. In today’s survey, Mr. Lhota holds roughly 18 percent in a match-up with leading Democrats, who have support ranging from 55 percent to 62 percent against him.

“The top three Democrats all thump Lhota. We limit the matchups to candidates who show some strength in their primaries,” Mr. Carroll said. “New York City is a very blue city. Any Republican who wants to follow in the footsteps of Mayors Rudolph Giuliani or Michael Bloomberg will need to win lots of Democratic and independent voters.”

Of course, it should be noted that polls taken this far out, especially of notoriously fluid multi-candidate primary fields, are mostly a test of name recognition, and the campaign itself is certain to shake things up once it is officially underway and voters are actually paying attention. Nevertheless, Ms. Quinn’s dominating 64-18 percent approval rating among all of the city’s voters is a serious challenge her opponents will have to surmount.

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