Democrat Bill de Blasio has begun the general election in the New York City mayoral race with a 43-point lead over his Republican challenger, former MTA chair Joe Lhota.
A new Wall Street Journal/NBC New York/Marist poll found de Blasio, the city’s Public Advocate, with a 65-22 lead over Lhota in the first look at the matchup since both clinched their respective party nominations.
Many view Lhota as a longshot to defeat de Blasio, who rode a wave of momentum to a surprisingly easy victory in the Democratic primary that did not require a runoff.
Indeed, the poll contains a number of troubling signs for Lhota. Only 13% of likely Democratic voters support Lhota in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 6-to-1 margin. Moreover, Lhota loses 22% of Republicans. De Blasio also leads by 26 points among unaffiliated voters.
Perhaps the biggest problem for Lhota is that a majority of the electorate views him unfavorably. Only 29% have a favourable view of Lhota, compared with 41% who view him unfavorably. About two-thirds of voters, on the other hand, have a favourable impression of de Blasio, compared with only 19% who view him unfavorably.
De Blasio also leads with nearly every major demographic group. The only subgroup with which Lhota wins is with white Catholics, where he leads de Blasio 45-40.
Election Day is Nov. 5.
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