With just over two months to go to the polls for New Yorkers to elect the Democratic mayoral candidate, Andrew Yang is widening the gap over his second-place rival, Eric Adams.
A poll by Data For Progress, a national think tank, found that 26 percent of voters support Yang’s candidacy, double the 13 percent who said they would support Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. The news comes as several PACS are in the works to further assist Yang’s campaign.
The poll also found that Yang leads Adams between 25 and 22 percent among black voters, a surprising number given the county president’s political base in predominantly African-American parts of Brooklyn. Data For Progress surveyed 1,007 likely voters between March 21 and April 5 via web and text interviews, which would not necessarily capture the older New Yorkers that Adams, a former police officer and state senator, counts on. .
City Comptroller Scott Stringer, a career Manhattan politician, captured 11 percent of respondents, and former City Council attorney and MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley ranked fourth with 10 percent. All other candidates surveyed in single digits.
The poll, which was conducted in English, found that Yang leads his opponents in all demographic groups: women, men and voters who identify as Asian, Hispanic and white. It was also the first choice for people with and without college degrees.
Yang, who joined the race in January, has dominated almost every news cycle with controversy and creative campaigns. It relentlessly promotes New York City’s return after Covid, proposing incentives for out-of-city travelers and emphasizing the desire to attract tourists back to the Big Apple. He attended a game at Yankee Stadium, promised a “key to the city” to the creator of TurboVax, and put on a show buying movie tickets with his wife when theaters reopened.
His light-hearted style and near-celebrity status have overshadowed the attention his opponents receive when they launch their own political endorsements and proposals.
The new findings, which were the compilation of several surveys recently conducted by Data for Progress, showed a growing advantage for Yang. He was just 6 points ahead of Adams in a poll published last month by lobbying firm Fontas Advisors. That poll found that half the electorate was undecided, a trend that Data for Progress supported in a different problem-based poll released earlier this week.
But, when the question was posed differently, only 14 percent did not select a candidate in the first place, and another 4 percent said they supported someone who was not on the list.
The poll found that Yang also benefits from ranked voting, a system that will debut in municipal elections this year. 31 percent named him their second pick, compared to 13 percent for Adams and Stringer and 11 percent for Wiley. Adams slightly outscored him in the third-place picks with 15 percent compared to Yang’s 14 percent.
“There will be a lot of room for persuasion in this race, but it is very clear to me that Andrew Yang is in the strongest position,” said Sean McElwee, co-founder of Data for Progress.
McElwee’s firm also conducted a poll for Our City, a PAC that is raising funds to oppose Yang’s candidacy and elect someone else in line with its center-left political agenda. That poll, which was not published with any candidate rankings, found broad support for a progressive agenda, but these findings were slightly different.
Yang, who unsuccessfully ran for president with a promise of “universal basic income,” and Adams are not considered the progressive candidates in the race; Earlier this week, the left-leaning Working Families Party endorsed Stringer, former nonprofit CEO Dianne Morales and Wiley as its three picks.
“At the present time, a classified election system will not benefit progressives,” McElwee said. “Eric Adams seems to be the strongest in a head-to-head against Yang.”
But he cautioned that there is still time to turn the tide of the race, particularly since the only two candidates who have been running announcements are in the single digits: Wall Street executive Ray McGuire and former Obama and Bloomberg official Shaun Donovan. They each have a PAC that they spend on their behalf, although Donovan’s is causing problems for their traditional fundraising efforts.
“We’ve been out for 70 days and no money has been spent,” McElwee said. “I think this race will come down to advertising and earned media.”