In Race Shakeup, It’s de Blasio’s Turn in the Limelight

NEW YORK -

As the New York City mayoral race continues its unpredictable path to the primaries in seven weeks, one candidate long stuck in the lower tier appears to be earning a second glance from voters.

A new poll has Public Advocate Bill de Blasio nipping at frontrunner City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s heels, with Anthony Weiner slipping to fourth place for the second time in a week.

The Quinnipiac University survey has Quinn leading with 27 percent of likely voters, followed by de Blasio at 21 percent. Former city comptroller Bill Thompson is at 20 percent with Weiner at 16 percent and Comptroller John Liu at 6 percent.

Poll director Maurice Carroll says Weiner, whose campaign manager quit on Saturday, is in “freefall” — and it’s beginning “to look like a three-way race again.”

If Weiner were to exit the race, Quinn’s support would go up to 30 percent, followed by de Blasio and Thompson with 25 percent each.

The poll shows that Thompson would handily beat both Weiner and Quinn in a runoff, which will take place in the beginning of October in the likely scenario that no candidate gets 40 percent. He is ahead of Weiner 66 percent to 28 percent, and Quinn by 50 to 40 percent.

This would indicate that Quinn’s best chance at the mayoralty is if Weiner were to stay in the race and make the runoff. She faces a tougher battle against Thompson.

As this is the first poll showing de Blasio in the top tier, he was not included in the runoff question.

“Don’t bet your paycheck. This is a really goofy election year,” Carroll said.

The bulk of Weiner’s support is currently from the black community, which backs him by 24 percent, with 22 percent going to Thompson, the only major black candidate, and 21 percent for Quinn. White support for Weiner stands at 7 percent.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, marveled Monday at the mayoral race. “This is summer political theater in New York,” he said. “We laugh because if we didn’t laugh, we would cry, right?”