Joe Lhota & Christine Quinn Lead The Polls For Next Mayor

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Could this be the race we're half-heartedly doomed to cover?

According to a recent way-too-soon survey conducted by Quinnipiac University, the frontrunners (so far) are clear for this year's 'Who Will Run City Hall After Bloomberg?' On the Republican side, former MTA chairman Joe Lhota has captured 23 percent of voter recognition, seconded by billionaire-turned-possible-politician John Catsimatidis's 9 percent. And, on the Democratic end, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn lies on top of a 35 percent lead, seconded by PA Bill deBlasio's 11 percent.

Well, overly extrapolating from polls this early in the game is a sin, especially because most New Yorkers have no idea who the hell all these Mayoral candidates really are yet. Luckily, for their own electoral sake, Quinn has name recognition because of her position in city politics and, after Sandy's widespread damage to the MTA, Lhota temporarily dominated our headlines. And, if we're going to make any proclamation about these frontrunners for now, it is this:

A battle between Joe Lhota and Christine Quinn would be a diluted match-up between the legacies of Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Bloomberg.

As fellow Voice scribe Nick Pinto pointed out a few weeks ago, Joe Lhota's campaign hedges off the aspirations of bringing back Giuliani-era policies. The former Deputy Mayor for Rudy and "rat czar" is a direct political descendant of Mr. Bloomberg's predecessor; if the whole frontrunner thing works out for him, Rudy will without a doubt have a major role in Lhota's run.

The Hizzoner will probably not play the same character for Quinn - we reported a few weeks ago that Mr. Bloomberg is leaning towards being a spectator only, meaning the race this year would be the first since 2002 without his money involved in it. However, that doesn't necessarily mean Quinn's slate is clean from his influence. 

If the whole frontrunner thing works out for her, she will advocate similar positions held by her current boss. And simply being the head of City Council has placed her significantly close to the Mayor's inner circle. Needless to say, she will be Mr. Bloomberg's inheritor to voters, no matter what.

But, we repeat: extrapolating from polls this early in the game is a sin.

[jsurico15@gmail.com/@JSuricz]


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