Poll: Bill de Blasio leads in NYC mayor's race

The public advocate needs more than 40 percent

The public advocate needs more than 40 percent of the vote to face GOP pick Joe Lhota in the general election. (Credit: AP)

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has jumped into first place ahead of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn among Democrats running for mayor of New York City, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

The race is likely to remain volatile in the final four weeks before the Sept. 10 primary, poll director Maurice Carroll said.

De Blasio was favored by 30 percent of Democrats likely to vote in the primary. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the front-runner in Quinnipiac's previous poll, was second with 24 percent. Rounding out the field are former Comptroller Bill Thompson with 22 percent, former congressman Anthony Weiner with 10 percent and Comptroller John Liu with 6 percent, the poll found.

De Blasio had been virtually tied with Thompson for second place, 21 percent to 20 percent, in the previous Quinnipiac poll, released July 29. Quinn led that survey with 27 percent.

Just last Thursday, a New York Times-Siena College poll had Quinn ahead with 25 percent, followed by Thompson, 16 percent and de Blasio, 14 percent. Weiner's support has faded since his second-wave sexting scandal late last month.

Increased TV advertising as the primary nears could have an impact, Carroll said. "This thing has been all over the lot," he said. "In a race like this that is so tight, any little thing can change it."

Thompson launched his first ad Tuesday, billed by his chief strategist Jonathan Prince as a "reintroduction" to voters. Thompson was the 2009 Democratic nominee and lost narrowly to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. De Blasio is on the air with a spot starring his 15-year-old son, Dante.

Quinn, who debuted her second ad Tuesday, has the biggest Democratic campaign war chest with $8.6 million, including $136,585 raised in the last 3 1/2 week reporting period, city Campaign Finance Board reports show. She was followed by Weiner, $6.2 million; de Blasio, $4 million; Thompson, $3.4 million; and Liu, $1.3 million.

The Quinnipiac poll, conducted from Aug. 7-12, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

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