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Ray Kelly Tops Voters' List for 2013 Mayoral Race, Poll Finds

By Jill Colvin | July 27, 2011 11:04am
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly tops the list of  city officials New Yorkers would like to see as the next mayor.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly tops the list of city officials New Yorkers would like to see as the next mayor.
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AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

CITY HALL — New York’s top cop is also New Yorkers' top choice to take over from Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2013, a new poll shows.

According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is the early top contender in the 2013 race, with 23 percent of those asked saying they’d most like to see him elected mayor — despite him expressing no interest in the post.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is widely expected to wage a powerful campaign, came in second, with 18 percent support.

“Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has never given the faintest hint that he’d like to move from Police Headquarters across the street to City Hall, but New York seems to like the idea of Kelly for mayor,” Quinnipiac University Polling Institute director Maurice Carroll said in a statement.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and City Comptroller John Liu came in next with 12 and 10 percent support respectively, while 2009 mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer rounded out the pack with under 10 percent each.

Among Manhattan voters, Stringer outpaced Markowitz, nine percent to four percent.

Most voters also said they wanted the next mayor to have government rather than business experience in a split of 54 to 26 percent.

“We’ve tried the businessman-as-mayor for three terms.  Next time, New Yorkers say, let’s pick a politician,” Carroll said.

The poll also found that Bloomberg’s popularity is slowly creeping up after months of dismal approval ratings city-wide. His approval rating is now split, with 45 percent of respondents saying they viewed him positively and 43 percent negatively — up from the 51 percent who viewed him negatively back in March.

He remains most popular with Manhattan voters, 61 percent of whom approved of the way he’s doing his job, versus 30 percent who disapproved.

The majority of those polled also said they like the mayor as a person and nearly 50 percent like his policies. More than 60 percent said that Bloomberg’s decade as mayor has been mainly a success — though they believe he's slipped in his third term.

“A lot of New Yorkers think Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s third term isn’t as good as his first two,” said Carroll.  “But they’ve grown to like Mike as a person, a real switch from how they felt when they first elected the zillionaire. And they think 2-1 Bloomberg’s been a success.”

The poll of 1,234 registered voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percent.