NEW YORK—It's a well-known fact that incumbents have the upper hand—they have more money, pre-existing publicity, and connections. But is that a reason for voters to throw up their hands and sit the election out?
Thirty percent of sampled voters who support Representative Anthony Weiner as mayor still think Bloomberg is going to win, according to Lee Miringoff of the Marist Poll.
A recent Marist Poll of 741 New York City residents detailed the standings of the mayoral candidates and the Mayor's approval ratings. The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion conducted the survey by phone between Tuesday, May 5 and Thursday, May 7.
Compared to a similar poll in February, Mayor Bloomberg's job approval rating has risen by 7 percent to 59 percent. The rise might have more to do with just Bloomberg's policies and performance. Miringoff thinks Bloomberg is a beneficiary of the general mood of the nation. Back in February, public sentiment about the economy was quite sour—since then, increased consumer spending and good news from banks have brightened the mood a bit.
Marist's survey shows that the public may have softened up a bit about letting Bloomberg have a third term. In their previous survey, 55 percent said it was time to give someone else a shot at mayor. Now, that figure is at 48 percent.
While this year Bloomberg is running on Republican and Independent lines, but he is facing three other contenders: Comptroller William Thompson (D), Queens Councilman Tony Avella (D), and possibly New York Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn/Queens).
This month, compared to February, more registered voters said they approve of Bloomberg's handling of crime and the public school system. Interestingly, 60 percent say the mayor should not have control of public schools.
Weiner, who suspended his campaign for mayor in March, has so far raised $5 million. He said that he would decide at the end of May, when Congress is in recess, whether to pick up the race again.
It's still early, and a lot can happen in the five-plus months until the Nov. 13 election date. “The numbers for the Mayor look good, but it's not locked in,” Miringoff said.