Possible candidates for the 2013 Democratic primary for New York City mayor would each garner support if the contest were held today but statistically speaking their numbers give just an inkling of how they might fare in a real race, a new poll released Monday shows.
The NY1-Marist Poll shows New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn getting 20 percent of the vote; Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, 16 percent; former city Comptroller Bill Thompson, 12 percent; and Comptroller John Liu 10 percent. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio garnered 7 percent and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, 6 percent.
The telephone poll of 403 registered Democrats was taken Sept. 20 through Sept. 22.
It has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points, meaning the results for either candidate could be interpreted as 5 points higher or 5 points lower. In other words, Quinn could end up getting 15 percent of the vote while Markowitz could get 21 percent. Statistically speaking, support for the two is about even.
"This is a campaign story still to be told," said Lee Miringoff, head of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, noting that the election is so far away and the poll showed that 25 percent of the Democrats surveyed were undecided.
Markowitz has not expressed interest in running for mayor. If the popular Brooklyn Borough president were out of the picture, Quinn and Thompson would be about even, the poll shows. Without Markowitz, 22 percent of Democrats are for Quinn, and 18 percent for Thompson.
In polling 623 registered voters, NY1-Marist found another factor in the primary might be Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is serving his third and last term.
"Those looking to succeed Mayor Bloomberg might welcome his support," said Miringoff. "But if the numbers hold, don't expect anyone to make his endorsement the centerpiece of their campaign."
Such an endorsement could have a less than positive effect, the poll shows.
Bloomberg's support would make nearly half of Democratic voters in New York City — 47 percent — less likely to vote for a candidate. But a mayoral endorsement would spur 29 percent to choose that candidate. Seventeen percent said it made no difference; 6 percent were unsure.
The poll had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.