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Quinn Has Huge Lead in Mayoral Race, New Poll Shows

By Jill Colvin | February 27, 2013 10:06am

NEW YORK CITY — City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is inching toward the "magic" 40 percent threshold she needs to win to prevent a run-off with a second-place challenger in the Democratic primary, a new poll shows.

The latest Quinnipiac poll shows Quinn would now secure 37 percent of the Democratic vote for mayor if the primary were held today. That's up two percentage points from last month — and more than her three leading challengers combined.

Meanwhile, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio made the biggest gains this month, jumping three points from 11 percent of the Democratic vote up to 14 percent, according to the poll.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 2009 opponent Bill Thompson saw less of a bump, rising from 10 percent to 11 percent, while City Comptroller John Liu held steady at 9 percent.

The Republican candidates, including former MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, are still trailing badly behind, with Lhota losing a theoretical matchup with every major Democratic candidate by a margin of at least 2-1.

“Council Speaker Christine Quinn is edging up toward that magic 40 percent that would make her the Democratic nominee without a primary run-off," Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

"Is that possible in a four-candidate field? We’ll watch as this develops.”

While the primary is still more than six months away, the poll also shows the number of undecided voters has now dipped below 30 percent as the campaign season heats up, with debates and rallies now scheduled multiple nights a week.

Voters also revealed that they would be more comfortable voting for a woman, African-American, Hispanic-American or gay or lesbian candidate for mayor than they would a business executive.

The poll of 1,017 city voters, which was taken Feb. 20 - 25, has a margin or error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.