Colby Hamilton, Writer, WNYC News
Colby Hamilton is a general assignment reporter. He originally joined WNYC as a political blogger. He's a proud graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
For months, polls have shown Police Commissioner Ray Kelly as an early favorite in the 2013 mayoral race—despite repeated vows that he’s not interested in the job.
“I have no plans to run for any elected office,” the police commissioner reaffirmed this past Tuesday at a press conference.
A new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows that he might have good reason to stay out of the contest. When put head-to-head against the three leading Democrats likely to run next year, voters say they’d vote for the Dems by double-digit margins over Kelly on the Republican line.
“Ray Kelly is a great police commissioner, and he’d be a good mayor, New Yorkers think – but it’s still a Democratic town. All three of the Democrats’ top potential candidates beat the popular top cop,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a statement.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn—who continues to lead the field of Democratic hopefuls among with 26 percent of primary voters supporting her—currently matches up best against Kelly. While Republicans break heavily for Kelly, overall Quinn beat Kelly 48 – 33 percent among those polled.
The next two most popular Democrats looking for their party’s nomination in 2013—former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson (13 percent) and the current Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (10 percent)—both beat Kelly by 12 percentage points among voters polled, 46 – 34 percent.
Despite Quinn’s relative popularity among Democrats, the primary field is still very much up in the air.
“Among Democrats, Council Speaker Christine Quinn is the favorite. Former Comptroller William Thompson and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio are in double digits, but she’s comfortably ahead,” Carroll said in a statement. “The leader in this early look remains ‘don’t know.’”
Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,066 New York City registered voters between May 3 and May 8, on both land lines and cell phones. The poll has a margin of error plus or minus 3 percentage points. The survey includes 658 Democrats with a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.