Mayor Extends String Of Victories Over FF In Another Poll
This time, the New York Times poll taken from June 21 to 26 had the mayor defeating the best the Democrats have to offer, former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer.
More important, the poll showed the mayor’s approval rating at 50 percent, twice what it was in July 2003 and seven points higher than last February.
The high approval rating coincides with the high marks the mayor got on the three issues most important to those polled—education, housing and jobs.
As for the Democratic contenders who hope to derail the mayor’s re-election plans, Ferrer continues to lead them by a comfortable margin. Again Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields is the closest pursuer, with Congressmember Anthony Weiner third and Council Speaker Gifford Miller bringing up the rear.
In the Bloomberg–Ferrer matchup, the mayor led with 48 percent of the vote to 35 percent for Ferrer.
In the balloting for Democratic contenders, Ferrer led with 34 percent, Fields followed with 20 percent, Weiner third with 10 percent and Miller last with 7 percent.
Among Hispanics, the survey found Ferrer leading, but not by a huge margin. Ferrer got 54 percent of this ethnic group’s vote to 31 percent for Bloomberg. In the 2001 primary, surveys of voters leaving polling places had 72 percent of Hispanics voting for Ferrer. In the runoff against Mark Green, Ferrer received 84 percent of the Hispanic vote.
In last week’s column, we reported the result of a Quinnipiac University poll on Bloomberg versus Ferrer et al. which was taken a week earlier than the Times survey, so we have a look at the race for a two-week period.
The Quinnipiac poll showed the mayor with a 55 percent approval rating, almost the same as the Times and a 50 percent to 37 percent lead over Ferrer, not far from the 48–35 lead the mayor had in the Times survey.
If nothing else, the results of the two tests prove the validity of each and serve to confirm that each Bloomberg showing is no fluke. As a matter of fact, the mayor has been showing sustained strength over Ferrer for a reasonably long period of time. We can conclude that he has genuine strength in this race as the time left steadily gets shorter.
It’s clearly evident that Ferrer has to do something to start reversing the trend shown by the last three or four polls. This is now just a four-month campaign, leaving Ferrer much less time to start showing winning form.
A good place to start would be in his own backyard in Riverdale in The Bronx. A little over a week ago, it was reported in one of the major dailies that the mayor made a very favorable impression when one Democratic organization up there invited him to visit. The group might possibly endorse him, the report said. It also said that a local Democratic lawmaker who represents Riverdale has endorsed Weiner. Another Bronx legislator has endorsed Miller.
The thought comes to mind that if Ferrer can’t even win support in his own baliwick there’s something inherently lacking in his candidacy, since there doesn’t appear to be any easy explanation.
VALLONE RAPS MAG: Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. (D–Astoria) who’s vehemently opposed to graffiti in all its forms and having offered several bills to try to discourage vandals, didn’t take it so kindly when he heard Time magazine had paid a persistent violator of the graffiti statutes $20,000 to paint a billboard.
“ Time magazine should have spent its money rewarding legitimate artists, not some punk who’s been defacing our city,” Vallone commented.
Time President Eileen Naughton defended the hiring of Fernando Carlo, who’s better known by his tag, Cope2, saying: “We’re not necessarily endorsing it, we’re just using it as a provocation.”
The billboard, at Houston and Wooster Streets shows the magazine’s famous red bordered cover with the question: “Post-Modernism? Neo-Expressionism? Just Vandalism? Time. Know why.”
ADVICE TO BUSH ON S.C. PICK: Reacting to the future appointment of a new United States Supreme Court Justice by President George W. Bush following the resignation of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor last Friday, Congressmember Joseph Crowley reminded the president:
“This is a time to seek consensus and to listen to the American people. I hope that the president will take the opportunity to unite the American people instead of continuing to divide.”
Another Queens lawmaker, Congressmember Anthony Weiner, struck similar theme in trying to guide the president in making a choice.
“The president has a choice now whether he divides the country or whether he unifies us. A right-wing ideologue is exactly what the country does not need right now as we seek to find common ground on the challenging legal issues that confront the court. We cannot tolerate further radicalization of the federal judiciary.”
The president has had a very difficult time over the past several years trying to get his court picks past a very combatitive and questioning Democratic minority on the Senate Judiciary Committee; chief among these is Senator Charles Schumer (D–New York).
We think the president will appoint a conservative, right-leaning jurist and we can expect a fierce battle which will make the past few look like a game of tiddlywinks.
HILLARY PRAISES STEM CELL BILL ADVANCE: New York’s other Senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton, last week praised a Senate committee for passing legislation she co-sponsored which would expand access to adult stem cell therapies such as cord blood and bone marrow transplants.
“This legislation is an important step, but to realize the full potential of stem cell research, we also need to lift the Bush Administration’s choke hold on scientists struggling to pursue the promise of embryonic stem cell research,” she stated.
Clinton explained that the president has prohibited research on lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and other blood disorders. Her bill will help make life-saving treatments available to thousands of Americans, she said. The president has refused to provide any funding for stem cell research.