Spitzer, Stringer Almost Tied in NYC Comptroller Poll
New York’s race for the Democratic nomination for city comptroller between Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and former Governor Eliot Spitzer is too close to call, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.
Stringer led Spitzer 47 percent to 45 percent in the survey of likely voters released today, similar to an Aug. 29 Quinnipiac finding that had them tied at 46 percent. Today’s results lie within the poll’s 3.6 percentage-point margin of error. The primary is Sept. 10.
Spitzer entered the race July 7 and led Stringer 56 percent to 37 percent in an Aug. 14 survey. Stringer has since 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 was endorsed by the New York Times, New York Post and Daily News, with the newspapers blasting Spitzer.
“The Democratic primary for New York City comptroller is no longer a Spitzer romp,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Stringer has made the comptroller race a nail-biter.”
The comptroller acts as the city’s chief financial officer, monitoring its $70 billion annual budget, auditing the mayor’s programs and all municipal agencies and overseeing $140 billion in assets held by five pension funds.
Spitzer, 54, a Harvard-educated lawyer and the son of a Manhattan-based real estate investor, has vowed that as comptroller he would reprise his eight years as state attorney general, when his probes of financial-industry abuses made him known as the sheriff of Wall Street. He is funding his campaign with his own money.
Spitzer said he would use the office’s subpoena and audit power to find wasteful spending and fix failing programs. He says he would use city pension stock holdings to improve corporations’ profitability and influence them on social and political issues.
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.
Black voters backed Spitzer over Stringer, 61 percent to 32 percent, while white voters favored Stringer, 60 percent to 36 percent, the poll reported. Male and female voters were evenly split.
The survey conducted interviews with 750 likely Democratic voters between Aug. 28 and Sept. 1.
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