Poll: Andrew Yang holds early lead in NYC mayoral race

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Andrew Yang leads all Democratic New York City mayoral candidates in a new poll out Wednesday morning.

The survey found 28% chose the entrepreneur as the best candidate, followed by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams with 17% and City Comptroller Scott Stringer with 13%.

The poll also found Yang enjoys wide-name recognition among voters, likely thanks to his 2020 presidential bid, which put him on the national stage.

According to the survey, 84% of likely voters said they have heard of Yang, while 66% say they have heard of Stringer and and 60% recognize Adams' name. Other candidates, including Kathryn Garcia, Maya Wiley and Shaun Donovan, are lesser known.

Three in 10 voters say vaccine distribution is the most important issue for them, followed by 19% who said they prioritize reopening the economy.

The poll was conducted by Core Decision Analytics and was commissioned by the lobbying group Fontas Advisors.

“New York City is at a crossroads and the election of the new mayor will be a pivotal milestone in our recovery from the pandemic and the resulting economic devastation,” said George Fontas, Founder and CEO of Fontas Advisors. “Our poll found that New Yorkers seek mayoral candidates who offer clear plans to tackle the many pressing issues facing the city, and voters especially value proven experience demonstrated in government or the public sector.”

“Our survey shows that voters are concerned about the many challenges facing the city, though their pick for mayor is still quite fluid at this time,” said Adam Rosenblatt, President of Core Decision Analytics. “Awareness appears to aid three candidates as of late January, though the vast majority of voters are unfamiliar with the wider set of prominent candidates running.”

Baruch College political science professor Doug Muzzio is impressed with Yang's social media mastery and charisma.

"If you listen to or watch the mayoral forum, they're snooze-a-thons. The only one who has any an outstanding personality is Yang," Muzzio said.

But he wonders whether Yang's message will continue to resonate with New Yorkers.

Political consultant Hank Sheinkopf says of Yang, "Well, he's got lots of Twitter followers. It's likely that younger people are tuning in to what Andrew Yang has to say and that older people frankly aren't paying much attention to him. He's fresh though, the others appear tired. This will go on for some time. Until when? Until candidates start scuffing him up one way or the other."

Sheinkopf claims Yang lacks knowledge of New York and its budget, adding a 10-point lead doesn't mean much at this stage in the race.

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