Yang widens his lead in latest public poll as PAC forms to boost his candidacy

The poll found that Andrew Yang leads his opponents in every population group. | Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

Just over two months before New Yorkers go to the polls to pick the Democratic mayoral candidate, Andrew Yang widens the gap to his runner-up rival Eric Adams.

A poll by Data For Progress, a national think tank, found that 26 percent of voters support Yang’s candidacy – twice as many as 13 percent who said they would support Brooklyn City President Eric Adams. The news comes as several PACS are in the works to further support Yang’s campaign.

The poll also found that Yang Adams leads the black electorate with 25-22 percent – a surprising number given the district president’s political base in mostly African-American parts of Brooklyn. Data For Progress surveyed 1,007 likely voters between March 21 and April 5 through web and text interviews that New York senior Adams – a former police officer and senator – wouldn’t necessarily count on.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer, a Manhattan career politician, took 11 percent of the respondents, and former City Hall attorney and MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley came in fourth, with 10 percent. Every other candidate was asked a single digit.

The poll, conducted in English, found that Yang leads his opponents across all ethnic groups: women, men, and voters who identify as Asian, Hispanic, and White. It was also the first choice for people with and without a college degree.

Yang, who took part in the race in January, has dominated almost every news cycle with both controversy and creative campaigns. He tirelessly promotes the comeback after Covid in New York City, proposing incentives for commuting outside the city and emphasizing the desire to lure tourists back to the Big Apple. He took part in a game at Yankee Stadiumpromised a “key to the city” for that TurboVax creator and did a show buying movie tickets with his wife when the theaters reopened.

His airy style and quasi-celebrity status have dwarfed his opponents’ attention as they roll out their own Notes and policy proposals.

The new results, compiling several recent Data for Progress surveys, showed a growing lead for Yang. He was only 6 points ahead of Adams in one Poll published last month by lobbying firm Fontas Advisors. That poll found that half of the voters were undecided – a trend that Data for Progress underpinned in another, topic-based poll released earlier this week.

However, when asked differently, only 14 percent did not select a candidate for first place, and another 4 percent said they supported someone who was not listed.

The poll found that Yang also benefits from being elected by rank – a system that will be introduced in city elections this year. Thirty-one percent named him their second choice, compared with 13 percent for Adams and Stringer and 11 percent for Wiley. Adams easily ousted him to third place with 15 percent compared to Yang’s 14 percent.

“There will be plenty of room for persuasion in this race, but I know Andrew Yang is in the strongest position,” said Sean McElwee, co-founder of Data for Progress.

McElwee’s company also conducted a poll for Our City, a PAC that raises funds to oppose Yang’s candidacy and elect someone more in line with his left-wing political agenda. This poll, which was not published with candidate rankings, found widespread support for a progressive agenda, but those results were slightly different.

Yang – who ran unsuccessfully for president with a promise of “universal basic income” – and Adams are not considered progressive candidates in the race. Earlier this week, the left-wing Working Families Party backed Stringer, former nonprofit CEO Dianne Morales and Wiley as their three favorites.

“Right now a ranking system is not going to benefit progressives,” said McElwee. “Eric Adams seems to be the strongest in a head-to-head battle with Yang.”

However, he cautioned that there was still time to change the course of the race, especially as the only two candidates who ran ads are running single-digit votes – Wall Street executive Ray McGuire and former Obama and Bloomberg official Shaun Donovan . Everyone has a PAC issue in their name, though Donovans causes problems for its traditional fundraiser.

“We have 70 days off and no money has been spent,” McElwee said. “I think this race is going to boil down to advertising and earned media.”

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