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De Blasio Takes Lead Among Democrats in New York Mayoral Race

New York Mayoral Candidate Bill de Blasio
Public Advocate and New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio speaks in Times Square in New York City, August 12, 2013. Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York Public Advocate Bill de Blasio surged to the lead among seven Democrats vying for their party’s mayoral nomination with four weeks to go in the primary campaign, a Quinnipiac University Poll showed.

De Blasio was favored by 30 percent of likely voters, topping City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who received 24 percent support and has led most polls this year. Former city Comptroller William Thompson was backed by 22 percent; and former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner got support from 10 percent, according to the survey released today.

The findings reflected strong support for de Blasio among voters critical of the police department’s stop-and-frisk tactics, which U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin yesterday ruled had unlawfully targeted minority citizens, the university said in a news release.

“A few weeks ago, de Blasio looked like an also-ran and today, he’s the leader of the pack,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Hamden, Connecticut-based university’s polling institute.

Sixty percent of likely Democratic primary voters said the police practices were excessive, while 31 percent found them acceptable. Among those critical of stop-and-frisk, 34 percent backed de Blasio, 24 percent supported Thompson and 22 percent favored Quinn, the poll reported.

Resonating Issues

“Two related issues which seem to resonate with Democratic voters are stop-and-frisk and the creation of an inspector general for the New York Police Department,” Carroll said in a news release.

Likely Democratic voters support creation of an inspector general, 66 percent to 25 percent, the poll found. The City Council approved the measure 40 to 11 in June, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed it last month, returning it for a council vote next week on whether to override Bloomberg’s action. Approval by 34 of its 51 members would enact the law.

The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

Of the other candidates in the race, 6 percent supported Comptroller John Liu, 1 percent backed former Council member Sal Albanese and 7 percent were undecided.

Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city about 6-to-1. If no candidate gets 40 percent in the primary, the top two finishers in each party will compete in an Oct. 1 runoff.

De Blasio led Quinn in a possible runoff, 54 percent to 38 percent. He also led Thompson, who opposes creation of an inspector general for the police department, 50 percent to 41 percent, according to the poll.

The telephone survey of 579 likely Democratic voters, from Aug. 7 to 12, had a 4.1 percent-point margin of error.

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