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Bill de Blasio, Christine Quinn in dead heat, says poll

New York City Democratic mayoral candidates (L-R) Christine

New York City Democratic mayoral candidates (L-R) Christine Quinn, Anthony Weiner, Bill Thompson, John Liu, and Bill de Blasio participate in the first primary debate for New York City mayor in the WABC/Channel 7 studios in New York. (Aug. 13, 2013) Credit: James Keivom

Bill de Blasio and Christine Quinn are in a statistical dead heat among Democrats in the New York City mayoral race, with each Democrat finding 24 percent support among likely primary voters, according to an NBC 4 New York-Wall Street Journal-Marist poll released Thursday.

Former Comptroller Bill Thompson is within striking distance with 18 percent, former Rep. Anthony Weiner has 11 percent and Comptroller John Liu draws 5 percent, the survey showed.

The results come two days after a Quinnipiac poll that showed de Blasio surging for the first time this campaign season. In that poll, however, de Blasio, the city's public advocate, had 30 percent to City Council speaker Quinn's 24 percent.

"Voters are getting to know Bill de Blasio and they are responding," his campaign manager Bill Hyers said in a statement Thursday.

"Another day, another poll. This is going to be a three-way race until the end," Quinn's spokesman Mike Morey said.

Quinn and Weiner had been taking turns at the top of the polls until Weiner was forced to admit on July 23 to continuing cyber-affairs after he resigned from Congress in 2011.

"Weiner's numbers have continued to fade," Marist poll director Lee Miringoff said Thursday. "He's really not in the top tier anymore."

If no candidate receives 40 percent of the vote in the Sept. 10 primary, the first- and second-place finishers will meet in a runoff election on Oct. 1.

In the comptroller's race, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who left office after a 2008 prostitution scandal, leads Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, 54 percent to 36 percent. That's 6 percentage points better for Spitzer than a July Marist poll.

Thursday's poll surveyed 355 likely Democratic voters between Monday and Wednesday via landline and cellphone, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.2 percentage points. The survey showed 12 percent of likely Democratic primary voters are undecided about the mayoral race.

In the Republican primary, former MTA chairman Joe Lhota is leading with 33 percent, supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis has 22 percent and nonprofit founder George McDonald has 12 percent. The poll surveyed 132 registered Republicans and has a margin of error of plus or minus 8.5 percent.

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