Mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio said he is “gratified and humbled” by yet another poll predicting a landslide victory, as his opponent Joe Lhota attacked him as an inexperienced “hack” with no solid ideas.
Shortly after a Quinnipiac poll showed Democrat de Blasio beating his Republican rival 71% to 21%, Lhota began criticizing de Blasio on television and at a campaign stop in Flushing, Queens.
“Bill de Blasio is essentially a political hack who has no plans for the future,” Lhota told reporters who asked about de Blasio’s proposal to raise taxes on the rich to pay for universal prekindergarten.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has indicated he wants to lower taxes, jeopardizing de Blasio’s plan, which would require Albany’s approval.
With five weeks until the Nov. 5 election, the Quinnipiac survey reinforced the uphill battle Lhota faces in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 6 to 1.
De Blasio, who has held a commanding lead in the polls since winning the nomination last month, declined to comment on Lhota’s attacks.
“It's gratifying and it’s humbling,” de Blasio told 1010 WINS radio. “I don’t take anything for granted, even though this is a wonderful poll.”
The poll results show that Lhota’s efforts to tar de Blasio as an out-of-touch liberal too inexperienced to govern are failing to gain traction with voters.
“Lhota, at this point, is flailing,” said Hunter College emeritus professor of political science Kenneth Sherrill.
Two weeks ago, another Quinnipiac poll showed de Blasio besting Lhota 66% to 25%.
Asked Thursday about the latest poll on Fox 5’s “Good Day NY,” Lhota predicted he’ll do better as the candidates debate, and “New Yorkers start to focus on the race.”
The first debate will be held Oct. 15, with two more scheduled for Oct. 22 and Oct. 29.
The most recent Quinnipiac poll was conducted between Sept. 25 and Tuesday. It questioned 1,198 likely voters. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.
Only 5% of those surveyed said they were undecided, and 11% said they were open to changing their minds.
Across all demographics, voters had a favorable opinion of de Blasio, by 69% to 19%. More voters had an unfavorable view of Lhota, 36%, than had a favorable view of him, 26%.
Separately on Thursday, de Blasio’s public advocate’s office filed a court brief opposing an effort by out-of-state conservatives to challenge on free-speech grounds a state-mandated $150,000 donation cap. Lhota’s campaign called on de Blasio to withdraw the brief, calling it “outrageous” that he’s “using his taxpayer-funded office to try and advance his own political career.”