With less than a week to go before Election Day, Mayor Michael Bloomberg must be feeling pretty good. The billionaire leads his Democratic challenger by 15 points, according to a new poll.
If the election were held today, Bloomberg would handily defeat Bill Thompson 53 percent to 38 percent, the latest Marist Poll found. Bloomberg had 53 percent to Democrat William Thompson Jr.'s 38 percent. Five percent were undecided.
That's similar to a Marist poll last week that had him leading by 16 points, and a Quinnipiac University poll on Monday that put the mayor 18 points ahead.
The mayor also enjoys a comfortable lead in favorability ratings among likely voters. More than 60 percent of registered voters have a positive view of Bloomberg, while a third say they have an unflattering opinion of him. It appears fewer people have a strong opinion of Thompson either way, with 44 percent rating him favorably and 31 percent rating him negatively. A quarter of voters surveyed said they either were unsure how to rate him or had never even heard of him.
The Thompson campaign says its internal polls by pollster Geoff Garin show a smaller gap in the mayoral race.
"Eight years is enough" has been a primary slogan of the Thompson campaign, but the latest Marist poll shows it may not make a difference. Voters do care about term limits, but it may not matter come Election Day. Although 43 percent of voters say Bloombeg's move to extend term limits makes them less likely to vote for him, that number hasn't gone up at all throughout the course of the campaign. And 45 percent of voters say the mayor's move is not a factor in their decision of whom to vote for.
Voters who reported they're leaning toward one candidate or another say they're sticking to their decision. Seventy-five percent of voters say they won't change their mind before Election Day, compared with 65 percent who said the same last week.
Friday's Marist poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The Marist College survey questioned 525 likely voters from Monday through Wednesday.
While the mayor's approval rating remains solid at 54 percent, it inched down for the first time since February. Last week, 58 percent of voters said he was doing an excellent or good job in office. Overall, voters believe the city is moving in the right direction.