New York mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has support from 43 percent of likely Democratic voters, which would be enough to avoid a runoff in a seven-candidate Sept. 10 primary, a Quinnipiac University poll reported.
De Blasio, 52, elected four years ago to the citywide watchdog office of public advocate, led former city Comptroller William Thompson at 20 percent and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn with 18 percent. An Aug. 28 poll showed de Blasio with 36 percent.
A candidate needs more than 40 percent in the primary to avoid an Oct. 1 runoff with the runner-up. De Blasio’s 3 percent cushion is within the survey’s 3.6 percentage-point margin of error.
“Can de Blasio keep his surge going for seven more days? If he does, his first contribution could be to the New York City budget -- saving the expense of a run-off election,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Hamden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The survey is based on 750 telephone interviews Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, a week after Quinn, 47, won endorsements from the New York Times, the New York Post and the Daily News.
Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city more than 6-to-1. Of the other Democratic candidates, former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner has support from 7 percent; city Comptroller John Liu, 4 percent; Sal Albanese, 1 percent. About 8 percent were undecided, the poll said.
De Blasio, a former city council member from Brooklyn, has proposed increasing the municipal tax on income above $500,000 to raise $532 million to pay for all-day pre-kindergarten and after-school activities for adolescents. The measure would have to be approved by the state legislature.
De Blasio, who is white, has also highlighted his opposition to police stop-and-frisk tactics, which affect mostly young black and Latino men. His wife, Chirlane McCray, who is black, is a frequent companion at campaign events. In a television commercial, their 15-year-old son, Dante, sporting a large Afro, praises his father as the candidate most likely to rein in stop-and-frisk.
Among black people, de Blasio outpolled Thompson, the only African-American candidate, 47 percent to 25 percent.
“Dante’s big Afro is the campaign image everyone remembers,” Carroll said.
Women gave de Blasio the edge over Quinn, the only woman in the race, 44 percent to 18 percent. Weiner, who resigned from Congress in 2011 after posting lewd photographs of himself on Twitter, got 6 percent of the Democratic female vote, according to the survey.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, is barred by law from seeking a fourth term.