Poll: De Blasio holds 3-1 lead over Lhota, wins Quinn endorsement

Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio is endorsed Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio is endorsed by City Council Speaker and former Democratic Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn on the steps of City Hall in Manhattan. (Sept. 17, 2013) Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

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Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio holds a 3-to-1 lead over Republican rival Joe Lhota in the first poll since the Sept. 10 primary.

The Wall Street Journal-NBC4 New York-Marist survey released Tuesday night has de Blasio leading Lhota by 43 percentage points, 65 percent to 22 percent, with seven weeks to go until Election Day.

"It's pretty lopsided at this point," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. "De Blasio is winning with all groups, and in a town with six Democrats for every Republican, it's a pretty tall order for Lhota . . . to actually convert voters."

Lhota set out on that task Tuesday. In the evening, he went to the Rev. Al Sharpton's Harlem headquarters. Earlier, he met leaders of the city's largest municipal labor union, DC 37, who then endorsed de Blasio.

Lhota wasn't hunting for endorsements. Instead, he was seeking to broaden his appeal by casting himself as an "inclusive" leader who wouldn't be polarizing -- a frequent criticism of his onetime boss, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

"I'm here because dialogue is needed in the city of New York," Lhota said after his meeting with Sharpton.

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The civil rights activist tweeted, "We disagree on issues. Good to talk." Giuliani famously refused to meet with Sharpton.

The Marist poll showed that 51 percent of voters said Giuliani's support of Lhota will make them less likely to vote for him. It also found de Blasio dominating 86 percent to 3 percent among blacks, 74 percent to 11 percent among Latinos and 50 percent to 37 percent among whites.

The poll also found that 41 percent of those questioned had an unfavorable view of Lhota. The survey of 632 likely voters, conducted Sunday and Monday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

De Blasio's campaign did not comment on the poll.

Lhota campaign spokeswoman Jessica Proud said, "We always knew we'd be the underdog in this race and once New Yorkers learn more about Bill's radical policies, they will be looking for a practical alternative."

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De Blasio was endorsed Tuesday by a former rival, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who two weeks earlier called him a man New Yorkers couldn't trust.

"To sum it up, we need a Democrat," the primary's third-place finisher said of de Blasio, the city's public advocate.

De Blasio stressed that New York City Democrats are now unified as they look to the November general election against Lhota. If successful, de Blasio would be the city's first Democratic mayor in two decades.

He and Quinn said their ugly, mudslinging campaign days are behind them. "I respect Christine Quinn for being a fierce competitor," he said.

"I trust Bill de Blasio. I believe he will be a terrific mayor," she said.

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