Saturday, October 5, 2013

NYC | Money > 2:1 for de Blasio

Bill de Blasio with an early campaigner. Photo
 by JT Marlin.
Once it was clear that Bill de Blasio had come from way behind to be the favorite in the NYC mayoral primary, the conventional wisdom was that de Blasio for Mayor would be a hard sell to the NYC establishment and that business money would flow to his opponent, Joe Lhota.

That seemed to be the pattern for the first two weeks after the primary on September 10. Lhota raised more money than de Blasio during that period. It wasn't clear where the Thompson and Quinn votes would go. A report came out saying that one-quarter or more of the Quinn votes would go to Lhota.

But two things happened next:

(1) By September 24, polls were out from the NY Times/Siena College and Quinnipiac pollsters that both gave de Blasio a three-to-one advantage. If Quinn votes were going to Lhota, they were thin on the ground.

(2) During the next two weeks, de Blasio has been raising more than twice as much as Lhota, as the table below shows.

de Blasio    Lhota
Dem, GOP primaries, 9/10 $6,800K $3,800K
First 2 weeks after primary $153K $156K
Since polls showed 3-1 deB $635K $280K
Source: NYC Campaign Finance Board filings

The latest poll in October shows deBlasio's advantage has climbed to 3.5 to one. Lhota has become a long shot. De Blasio's campaign team and consultants, having pulled off an upset, are not likely to be caught napping in the short campaign before the general election.

The wild card will be the independent messages from donors to Citizens United-type campaign funds trying to influence the election without having to reveal their identity. While these messages are a potential menace to any candidate, they are less targeted because they are prohibited from engaging in "express advocacy" for a client against another candidate -- and they are therefore likely to be less effective than direct campaign messages.