Tour de Gracie: The Peloton Reels Quinn Back In

The mayoral race is like a long distance bicycle race, with the peloton reeling the current breakaway leader back in.   In long distance bike races, such as the Tour de France, often a single rider will break will away from the peloton, or main pack of riders, and move into a significant lead for a time.  Without the wind and friction breaking benefit of riding in the pack, the breakaway rider often tires and eventually fades back into the peloton.

In the Quinnipiac poll released this morning, the breakaway leader continues her slide back into the peloton.  Here are a few observations:

  • Quinn broke out early, peaking at 37% in February.  Since then she has slowly, but steadily, faded back toward the pack, with 32%, 28% and now 25%.  She is still the leader, but can hear the rush of wind and sound from the gaining peloton.
  • The peloton has not significantly advanced; the leader has slipped back.
  • The largest change for any other competitor is a 3 percentage point drop for John Liu.  That’s not a huge numerical decrease, but it’s 1/3 of his support in the April 19th  Q poll and leaves him hanging off the back of the main pack and in danger of being dropped.
  • Anthony Weiner is unchanged at 15% in his second Q poll.  He’s at the head of the peloton, but in it and not meaningfully ahead of it.  (Noting that this poll was completed before Weiner’s “official” campaign launch.)
  • It’s worth looking back at the April 19th Q poll, the first to include Weiner, and the apparent effect of his entry on the other candidates.  Contrary to the widely held belief that Weiner most harms de Blasio, in that poll, Weiner took 15%, while Quinn dropped 6, Thompson and de Blasio each dropped 3 and undecideds dropped by 6%.  (Liu gained 2%.)
  • Thompson and de Blasio are each at 10%, unchanged for Thompson, down a single point for de Blasio.  Albanese has gone from “na” to 2%.  Literally an infinitesimal increase, but …
  • The poll does not include Erick Salgado.  While Salgado is undoubtedly in single digits, even a small presence may significantly affect the race.
  • It’s important to note that this poll is a very rough picture.  Among the rough points, it only asks about party registration, not likelihood of voting, has high margins of error and, as John Liu likes to point out, only separates white, black and hispanic voters and asian voters are not identified.