Posted by on October 30, 2013 in Blog
By Dena Elian
Fall Intern, 2013
The New York Times reported Monday that Bill de Blasio, the Democratic candidate for Mayor of New York City, is leading the race against Republican opponent Joseph J. Lhota by 45 points. If that number holds and carries over into the election taking place in a short 8 days, de Blasio will set a new record for the greatest win by a non-incumbent candidate. The record is currently held by Abraham D. Beame, who won in 1973 with a 40-point margin.
De Blasio’s campaign themes have targeted the middle and lower class, underlining income inequality, improving public education, and creating housing. His advocacy for increasing the transparency in the New York Police Department (NYPD) is also one of his strong distinctions. The Times article reported that nearly half of likely voters said de Blasio’s greatest strength was his ability to understand the needs and problems of people like them. Despite having been the most liberal of the major candidates, one in five Republicans support him for mayor.
In addition to leading in the polls, de Blasio is already demonstrating his ability to connect with a variety of communities. He has received outspoken support from many American Muslim and Arab American New Yorkers. At a rally in Brooklyn two weeks ago, de Blasio expressed support for the Arab American and American Muslim communities’ ongoing resistance to stop-and-frisk. He also spoke out against the NYPD’s illegal surveillance, assuring that if elected as mayor, he will put a stop to the police spying which targets Muslim and Arab American citizens and organizations.
The Arab American Institute recently signed onto a letter that requests the Department of Justice to investigate the NYPD’s practices for civil rights violations.
Despite there being one last televised debate left before the election next week, a whopping 87 percent of likely voters say they expect de Blasio to win. The debate will air tonight at 7 p.m. on NBC.