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NY Post

Mayor's Got Ferrer All Tied Up, Poll Says


January 20, 2005
Copyright © 2005 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. 

Watch out, Freddy.

A poll shows Mayor Bloomberg has gained 5 points and is now tied with former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer in the mayoral race.

Two months ago, Bloomberg was trailing Ferrer, 45 percent to 40 percent, but now they're neck-and-neck at 43 percent each, according to the Quinnipiac University poll.

In a Democratic primary, Ferrer leads the pack of five hopefuls, with 31 percent.

Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields is second, at 15 percent, ahead of City Council Speaker Gifford Miller (12), Rep. Anthony Weiner (10) and Councilman Charles Barron.

Joseph Mercurio, a campaign consultant for Fields, said, "Who she is and how she is resonates with voters. I think she looks more mayoral than some other candidates. She has a look of maturity."

Fields is 59 years old, as opposed to Miller, who, at 35, has been needled by some critics for looking too young to be mayor.

Miller pooh-poohed the poll.

"It sounds to me like it's pretty early to be polling on a race that's many, many months from now," he said.

The poll marked the first time in 11 months of tracking Ferrer and Bloomberg that Ferrer wasn't alone on top.

"Obviously, you'd rather have them [poll numbers] go up than go down," Bloomberg said during a press conference in Brooklyn yesterday.

Some political pundits are attributing Bloomberg's 5-point gain to his upbeat and generally well-received State of the City speech in The Bronx.

The mayor gave his annual address on Jan. 11, the day Quinnipiac began polling.

"The State of the City Address gave him an opportunity to lay out his vision for the city, and it dominated a news cycle, so it's not surprising that he gets a bump out of that," said Democratic consultant Evan Stavisky.

Bloomberg trails Ferrer among black and Hispanic voters: 57 percent of that group would choose Ferrer, while just 25 percent of blacks and 29 percent of Hispanics would pick the incumbent. Among white voters, however, Bloomberg leads Ferrer, 57 percent to 30 percent.

Bloomberg's approval rating also got a slight boost. In November, it was 49 percent. Now it's at 50 percent.

"The mayor's race is a marathon, not a sprint," Stavisky said. "A lot can happen over the next 10 months."

On one issue that's sure to dominate the mayoral race over the coming months education Bloomberg got mediocre marks.

When asked if the city's school system has gotten better or worse under the Bloomberg administration, 45 percent said it's stayed about the same. Only 24 percent said it's gotten better, and 19 percent said it's worse.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,027 registered voters. The poll's margin of error is 3 percentage points.

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