Polls: Comptroller’s Race Now a Dead Heat

Scott Stringer and actress Lena Dunham. (Photo: Getty)
Scott Stringer and actress Lena Dunham. (Photo: Getty)

The race to become the city’s next comptroller just got a lot more interesting.

When Quinnipiac University surveyed the field two weeks ago, they found ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer with a dominating 19-point lead over Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. Well, things have changed significantly in their latest poll.

Mr. Stringer and Mr. Spitzer are now tied with 46 percent of the vote each among likely Democratic voters, the poll found.
And while Mr. Spitzer is still leading among black voters, he has seen a huge drop in support, falling from 68 to 52 percent percent in two weeks, according to the poll. Mr. Stringer, meanwhile, has nearly doubled his support among black voters, from 21 percent up to 40 percent.

Additionally, an amNewYork-News 12 poll conducted by Penn Schoen Berland shows the race similarly close, with Mr. Spitzer leading his rival 46 percent to 43 percent among likely Democrats. (There is no recent survey by the same firm to establish trendlines.)

Many factors could be responsible for such a significant shift, including Mr. Stringer going up on television with a major media buy, multiple televised debates and a flood of endorsements from major newspapers and political actors.

“The entire political and media world has jumped on Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s bandwagon, helping him poll-vault from 19 points down to dead even in just two weeks,” Quinnipiac pollster Maurice Carroll said in a statement. “Did the avalanche of media criticism knock Spitzer out of the lead?”

For their part, Mr. Stringer quickly released a statement touting the results.

“Public polling is catching up to what we are seeing on the subways and streets. New Yorkers are looking for a comptroller with a proven record of honesty, integrity and putting the middle-class first,” said Stringer campaign manager Sascha Owen. “After five years since he left office in disgrace, New Yorkers are being reminded of the mess that Eliot Spitzer left us.”

Voters head to the polls to decide the contest September 10.

View the Quinnipiac poll results below:

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