Throughout the current mayoral race, Democrats in NYC have expressed their eagerness to take control of the city after 20 years of Republican rule. However, there is one guy that could destroy the dream for the Democratic hopefuls: Ray Kelly.
A new test poll of 600 likely voters in New York City shows the entrance of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly into the mayoral campaign would dramatically shake up the race and catapult him to instant front runner status in both the Republican primary and the general elections.
As an undeclared candidate, Kelly already edges out two leading Democratic candidates tested in head-to-head match-ups in this survey, conducted by the polling company, inc/Woman Trend. As the Republican nominee in the general election, Kelly would likely beat both Christine Quinn (41 to 38) and Bill Thompson (40 to 39).
Against Quinn, Kelly leads in four of the five boroughs and only trails by three points among women . Against Thompson, Kelly leads in three of the five boroughs and has an edge among both men and women, eliminating the gender gap.
Voters were asked if they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the candidates: more voters said they were favorable toward Kelly than anyone else tested (49% favorable to 19% unfavorable), including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other announced candidates. His support is wide and deep, with a positive image among every age group, ethnicity, income level, in all five boroughs, even among liberals and Democrats.
To the dismay of John Catsimatidis and Joe Lhota, Ray Kelly is also in a great position to win the Republican nomination, should he enter the race. On the Republican primary ballot, Kelly leads with more than 50% of the vote and is ahead of all other candidates tested. Similarly, 54% of Republican primary voters say that Kelly has the best chance to win in November.
But there is one major barrier standing in Kelly’s way, if indeed he decides to shake up the race by running. To get on a major party line, he’d need a Wilson-Pakula, or permission from three out of five county committees from any given party, Azi Paybarah notes.
A critical number of Republican county officials are at the moment committed to John Catsimatidis, who has donated a substantial amount of money to their organizations. That ain’t happening.
In a statement responding to the poll, Catsimatidis said, “I think the world of Ray Kelly, and I hope he would stay on as Police Commissioner in a Catsimatidis administration. I’m in this race to stay and, frankly, with petitioning starting next Tuesday, it’s really too late in the game to enter the race.”
Joe Lhota, in a previous conversation, told this reporter that as far as he was aware, “Ray Kelly is focused on his job as Police commissioner.”
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly would not rule out running for mayor when asked Tuesday about the telephone poll.
Kelly told reporters “I’m not aware of who’s behind the polling,” and added that he’s focused on his job as commissioner and has no plans to run for office.
When pressed on whether he was ruling it out, Kelly would only say: “no plans.”
And now, as promised, Anthony Weiner’s message about trust at The Jewish Press candidates forum Wednesday night: