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NY Post: Adams maintains solid lead in latest mayoral poll as Yang moves back up to 2nd

By Carl Campanile | June 16, 2021 | Original Article

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams holds a solid 11-point lead in the Democratic primary for mayor, according to a new survey released Wednesday.

Adams is the choice of 26 percent of likely Democratic voters, with entrepreneur Andrew Yang in second place with 15 percent support, the poll conducted by the lobbying firm Capalino & Company with the Honan Strategy Group.

Former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and ex-City Hall counsel Maya Wiley are tied in third place, with 11 percent support each.

The poll initially conducted 750 live interviews with Democrats on landline and cellphones from May 26 to June 1. But Capalino-Honan Strategy Group went back into the field and interviewed 200 additional Democrats on June 9-10 after a pair of progressive favorites Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams endorsed Wiley for mayor.

Wiley’s support jumped 4 percentage points — from 7 percent to 11 percent.

“Wiley got a modest bump from the AOC endorsement — but it’s not a game changer,” said pollster Bradley Honan, who’s conducted surveys for Hillary Clinton, Mike Bloomberg and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

“An AOC endorsement is perceived as a win, but the reality is that it doesn’t shift the vote in any meaningful way.”

Honan said it’s clearly “Adams race to lose” heading into Tuesday’s primary election.

The winner will be determined by ranked-choice voting, if, as expected, the leading candidate gets less than 50 percent of the vote. Under RCV, voters can select their favorite choices from one to five. The candidates with the fewest votes are eliminated and their voters’ second and third choices are distributed to the remaining candidates in the later rounds until only two candidates remain.

The poll’s RCV simulation has Adams and Yang as the last two candidates standing through a process of elimination. Adams prevails with 56 percent of the vote to 44 percent for Yang in the final round.

Honan said RCV adds more uncertainty to the race.

“We see that a significant number of voters do not have an opinion about who they will vote for beyond their second choice,” he said.

“The likely result of ranked-choice voting is that it will give additional political power to voters who are informed about RCV and take the time to go through and vote for Mayor, Comptroller, Borough President, and City Council.”

The survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.12 percentage points, shows former city and federal housing director Shaun Donovan and city Comptroller Scott Stringer with 9 percent support each. Retired Citigroup executive and Diane Morales both receive 1 percent backing each.

About one in six voters are undecided.

Adams is doing best with voters 35-49 years of age, winning 36 percent of the vote there as well as with those with some college experience, with 33 percent.

In contrast to other recent polls, Adams is doing equally well with white voters and black
voters — with 29 percent support from each group. Other surveys have Adams getting less support from white voters. He garners support from 25 percent of Latino voters.

“Adams is doing best with moderate voters (29 percent), but also winning those who are ideologically liberal (27 percent) and even those who are very liberal (27 percent),” Honan said.

Yang has his largest lead with voters ages 18-34 – winning 27 percent of their votes. But younger voters represent the smallest share of the electorate and only represent half as many voters as those over 65 years of age, according to the poll’s projected profile of the Democratic primary turnout..

Geographically, Adams’ support is strongest in his home base of Brooklyn (31 percent) as well as in Queens, where he grew up (33 percent).

The sample size for Asian voters is smaller. But in a surprise, Yang is ahead of Adams by just one point — 31 percent to 30 percent among Asian-Americans. It is widely believed that Yang will clean up with East Asian-American voters of Chinese and Korean descent.

Yang is backed by leading Asian-American politicians, including Queens Congresswoman Grace Meng and Assemblyman Ron Kim. Candidates are also competing for the South Asian voters of Bengali and Indian descent.

Adams, a retired NYPD captain, has made tackling crime and police reform a cornerstone of his campaign.

But the survey found that Adams (21 percent) is in a dead heat with Yang (23 percent) in support from voters over who is best equipped to address public safety.

Adams was tops among voters concerned about housing (28 percent) and the economy (32 percent).

Adams (22 percent) and Yang (24 percent) also were virtually tied among voters who care about education.

The survey also asked voters about other issues, including the new state law that permits the recreational use of marijuana.

Only 26 percent of Democrats interviewed said they would try cannabis, while three-quarters of respondents said they would not.

“We found that there are likely some stigmas associated with cannabis and that additional education will be required before a broader group of residents are likely to consider trying such types of products,” the poll analysis said.

Hogan said the voter resistance to consuming weed could impact the state and local government’s reliance on tax revenues collected from sales on the new legal drug.