Spitzer Tied With Stringer in NYC Comptroller Race, Poll Says
Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer lost a lead of 19 percentage points and is now tied with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in the race for city comptroller, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.
Today’s survey, released 12 days before a Sept. 10 primary election, shows each candidate getting 46 percent support from likely Democratic voters. In an Aug. 14 poll, Spitzer led Stringer 56 percent to 37 percent.
In the past two weeks, Stringer has run television commercials and appeared in debates characterizing Spitzer as a failed governor who resigned in 2008 after getting caught consorting with high-priced prostitutes. Stringer also garnered endorsements from the New York Times, the New York Post and the Daily News, with the newspapers blasting Spitzer.
“The entire political and media world has jumped on Stringer’s bandwagon,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Hamden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The comptroller acts as the city’s chief financial officer, responsible for overseeing about $140 billion in pension assets and auditing agency spending. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city by more than 6 to 1, almost ensuring that the winner of the primary will be elected on Nov. 5.
Spitzer, 54, the son of a Manhattan-based real estate investor, is funding his campaign with his own money. He announced his candidacy July 7, less than a week before the entry deadline. He has vowed to revitalize the agency with aggressive reviews of city spending and by using pension funds’ shareholder power to make companies more profitable and socially responsible.
A Harvard-educated lawyer, Spitzer was elected governor with 69 percent of the vote in 2006 after becoming nationally known for prosecuting financial-industry abuses as state attorney general. He served just two years and three months of his four-year term, increasing education funding statewide before he resigned. Since then, he has worked as a commentator on CNN and run the family’s real estate investment firm.
Stringer, 53, a graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, is a career politician who served in the state Assembly for 13 years before his election as borough president in 2005. His job makes him a trustee of one of five city pension funds and gives him a voice in borough zoning and land-use planning. He also appoints members to local community boards and acts as a booster for Manhattan commerce and quality-of-life issues.
Men and women back each candidate without a gender gap, according to the poll, with women choosing Stringer over Spitzer 48 percent to 45 percent, and men preferring Spitzer to Stringer 47 percent to 45 percent.
White voters support Stringer over Spitzer, 58 percent to 35 percent, while black voters back Spitzer, 52 percent to 40 percent, the poll reported.
Voters who describe themselves as “very liberal” favored Stringer to Spitzer, 60 percent to 35 percent while those who say they are “somewhat liberal” backed Spitzer 51 percent to 40 percent.
The survey, based on telephone interviews with 602 likely Democratic voters from Aug. 22 to Aug. 27, had a 4 percentage-point margin of error, according to the institute.
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