NEW YORK—Joe Lhota, the Republican mayoral candidate, got a rude awakening on Oct. 3 when a Quinnipiac University Poll showed him trailing his Democratic rival by 50 points
But don’t expect Lhota to throw in the towel.
“The polls will narrow and I have no doubt this race will get closer over the next two weeks,” Lhota said outside of the Queens Library in Flushing on Thursday morning. Lhota was there to receive the endorsement of the Statewide Association of Minority Businesses PAC and Latinos Unidos de Flushing.
Lhota said he believes the endorsements show his message is gaining steam, particularly in minority communities.
The poll numbers seem a bit daunting for the Republican, but there was a little light at the end of the tunnel. Of the 1,198 surveyed, 39 percent said they did not know enough about him to form an opinion. This gives Lhota room to pick up some points before the election on Nov. 5.
Lhota has not received nearly as much exposure as his Democratic counterpart has, an issue that has frustrated him. At numerous press conferences over the past several weeks, Lhota reiterated how much he wants to talk about the issues and get his message out.
De Blasio, who received a ton of media attention during the primary, was able to make his message of income inequality loud and clear. The message played at just the right time in a city where the police department’s stop-and-frisk practice came into focus over the summer.
Lhota did everything he can to get de Blasio to go toe to toe, set a stage for Lhota to get his message out, and to showcase their differences. The Republican challenged de Blasio to weekly debates, however de Blasio declined, adding only one additional debate to the schedule.
Lhota has tried to bully de Blasio out, calling his Tale of Two Cities theme “cute,” but just phraseology.
“Don’t just stand by and say Tale of Two Cities. It’s the name of a book and a phrase,” Lhota said on Thursday. “It has nothing to do with dealing with that problem [income inequality].”
Lhota has tried to invoke a response by poking at the fact that de Blasio has not been in the public as much.
“Finding Bill [de Blasio] is like a little book I read my daughter—’Where’s Waldo.’ He needs to come out and debate the issues,” Lhota said. “We need to make sure we all know where he stands.”
With the latest polls showing de Blasio’s lead widening, not shrinking, Lhota’s plan does not appear to be working.