Adams takes NYC mayoral race lead, Yang support drops with 6 weeks to go before primary


NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — A new candidate took the lead in the New York City mayoral race after the former frontrunner’s support was cut in half, according to the latest survey from NewsNation and Emerson College.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former police officer and founder of a law enforcement reform group, has seen his standing rise amid concern over a spike in shootings during the coronavirus pandemic — including gunfire that injured three bystanders in Times Square. The poll found Adams had the most support out of the 11 other candidates polled with 18% support.

Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who led the March NewsNation/Emerson poll, saw his support fall from 32% to 15%. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer had the largest jump in support since March, going from 6% to 15%. 23% of voters reported being undecided.

Stringer, 61, appeared to be gaining ground when lobbyist Jean Kim accused him in late April of unwanted groping and sexual advances when she was working on his unsuccessful campaign for public advocate in 2001.

Stringer denied the allegation and said the two had had a brief, consensual relationship. When voters were asked about the credibility of the allegations of sexual harassment against Stringer, 28% reported not having heard enough about it, another 28% said they were not credible, 18% said they were credible and 27% were unsure.

Adding to the race’s complexity, the primary will be New York City’s first mayoral race to be determined by ranked-choice voting, a system that lets voters pick up to five candidates and rank them in order of preference. The NewsNation/Emerson College poll allowed voters to rank up to their top three candidates.

Under the system, a candidate who trails in an initial round of vote tallying could still win the race, if enough people selected them as their second choice.

The poll also indicated that housing and homelessness were top priorities for voters with the majority of those surveyed also having a positive view of the New York City Police Department.

The winner of the primary will be strongly favored to win the November general election in the overwhelmingly Democratic city, but there will also be a Republican primary featuring Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa and businessman Fernando Mateo.

Voter turnout tends to be low in New York City primaries, so a relatively small number of people could pick the leader who will guide the city out of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

About 700,000 New Yorkers voted in the 2013 primaries, or 20% of registered Democrats and Republicans.

The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate WPIX contributed to this report.

About the poll

The PIX11/Emerson College NYC Mayoral poll was conducted May 13-15, 2021. The sample
consisted of New York City registered voters, n=1013, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a
poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by
borough, age, education, race, and party registration based on a 2021 turnout model. It is
important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity, and
region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was
collected using a cellphone sample of SMS-to-web and an online panel

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