A new survey by a group dedicated to booting Mayor Bill de Blasio from City Hall seems to have found the man for the job: city Comptroller Scott Stringer.
A poll of 600 Democrats by NYC Deserves Better found Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Stringer practically tied in a theoretical 2017 primary, garnering 41 and 40 percent of the vote, respectively. Bradley Tusk, the founder of NYC Deserves Better, served as an aide and campaign manager for former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, communications director for Sen. Charles Schumer and a consultant to e-hail app Uber—which the mayor unsuccessfully sought to regulate a year ago.
“The upshot is simple: de Blasio is extremely vulnerable, but not dead,” Mr. Tusk said in a statement. “The point of this poll is to get a realistic sense of where the race stands among people likely to vote in the primary next year.”
The NYC Deserves Better findings contrast with those of a Quinnipiac University poll from just a few weeks ago, which found Mr. Stringer and Mr. de Blasio dead even among the general electorate—but with the mayor beating the comptroller by better than 20 points among members of their party.
Mr. Stringer has emerged as one of Mr. de Blasio’s biggest critics in city government, most recently slamming the administration over its controversial decision to rescind a restrictive deed on a Lower East Side property owned by a well-connected developer. But the comptroller has insisted his only plan is to seek re-election to his current job next year, a plan he would have to abandon to embark on an uncertain challenge to the mayor.
The poll found Mr. Stringer’s numbers would suffer somewhat if more candidates, like Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.—seen as perhaps the most likely figure to take on Mr. de Blasio—or Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, entered the hypothetical race. Nevertheless, Mr. Stringer stayed within a three to four point striking distance of the mayor.
The poll also queried voters on a range of potential challengers, ranging from MSNBC host and ex-Florida Congressman Joseph Scarborough to White House budget director and ex-Bloomberg administration commissioner Shaun Donovan to the Rev. Al Sharpton, with mixed results.
Mr. de Blasio said he was unworried at a press availability today.
“Polls come and go, they go up and they go down, they don’t always reflect what happens in elections,” Mr. de Blasio said.
Jillian Jorgensen contributed to this report.