Bill De Blasio Is Your New York Mayoral Front-Runner. Yes! Bill de Blasio!

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 13 2013 4:53 PM

Bill de Blasio Is Your New York Mayoral Front-Runner. Yes! Bill de Blasio!

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Pretty much guaranteed to be in the runoff

Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Not to blow my own horn—just to remind readers that this is a trustworthy blog—it's time to refer to this take on the first poll that showed Anthony Weiner's mayoral bid collapsing.

Bill de Blasio, the city's public advocate and the most credible lefty in the race, now polls at 21 percent. He reminds me of Rick Santorum in Iowa in 2012. Oh, not his politics! I mean that Santorum, by general agreement, was the candidate most in sync with caucus-goers, but most caucus-goers wrote him off as a spoiler. Only when late, post-Gingrich-collapse polls showed Santorum surging did his natural electorate find him—he quickly rose from fifth place to a narrow first. If de Blasio convinces white liberals that he can win, he can make the runoff.

Lo and behold, the new Quinnipiac poll finds de Blasio surging into first place, with the sort of number—30 percent—that would guarantee a runoff berth. He's got 40 percent of the liberal vote and 34 percent from voters who found stop-and-frisk "excessive." Since the Weiner II scandal started, the former congressman has dropped by 16 points, and de Blasio has risen by 15.

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Oh, and about Weiner. Last week, when the candidate remained in the midteens, Kate Taylor wrote a fascinating piece about why "black voters are far more likely than white voters to view Mr. Spitzer and Mr. Weiner favorably, and more likely to say they deserve a second chance."

That's no longer true—sort of. Weiner now polls at 10 percent, but among black voters he's at 8 percent. Bill Thompson, who's black, polls at 39 percent. That vote has left Weiner, probably for good. But 50 percent of white voters say that Weiner's scandals "disqualify" him, and only 34 percent of black voters say so. The pattern holds.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.