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Anthony Weiner is not the only source of drama in the New York City mayoral primary. According to a poll from Quinnipiac University, the Democratic race has a new front-runner, Bill DeBlasio, as Weiner continues to drop out of sight.
We've been tracking poll results over the past few months. Here's the latest iteration of our graph.
Even if you're not a poll junkie, this is a fun graph to look at. Let's start with the blue line, Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Over the course of polling, her poll numbers have stayed generally flat: at 22 percent a month ago, she's now at 24. Likewise with the fifth-place candidate, comptroller John Liu (purple), who has been at 6 or 7 percent the whole time.
What this graph shows is the aftermath of Weiner's implosion. While he and the two other candidates (including former comptroller Bill Thompson) gained as Quinn dropped at the end of last month, Weiner's collapse has allowed DeBlasio (green) and Thompson (yellow) to surge. That first big dip in the red line doesn't correspond with any candidate picking up a lot of support — voters often become undecided before they choose a new candidate. But as Weiner kept dropping, his former supporters overwhelmingly went to Thompson and DeBlasio.
This makes sense. Thompson is the sole African-American candidate in the race. Weiner maintained support in the black community even as his poll numbers dropped; it appears that has changed. Thirty-nine percent of black voters now support Thompson. DeBlasio, meanwhile, saw gains among white voters (among whom he leads) and, presumably, those who backed Weiner because he was the most progressive candidate in the race.
Bear in mind, if no candidate gets at least 40 percent of the vote, the top two candidates head to a run-off. For the first time, it appears to be possible that one of those two candidates might not be Christine Quinn. When we spoke with Columbia University's Andrew Gelman last month about the wobbly poll numbers of the front-runners, he made a critical point. "A primary election campaign for mayor can be very volatile," told us. This chart demonstrates that clearly.
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