Mayoral Race: Stadium Was Pre-Game Show

The stadium is dead. Now what do we talk about?

Readers and reporters alike are so used to the sound of the spin cycle that as soon as news hit of Shelly Silver's move to kill the West Side stadium, everyone was waiting for the other shoe to drop: "What does this mean for Mayor Bloomberg?"

Who knows? Sometimes it's bad to lose because it means somebody else won. And sometimes it's good to lose because it means you get kudos for putting up a fight without the hassle of dealing with the thing you were fighting for. Sometimes it doesn't matter at all because the election is five months away.

What is clear is that, stadium aside, Bloomberg is gaining traction in polls. The most recent NY1/Newsday poll—released yesterday—shows the mayor leading Fernando Ferrer by 46 percent to 39 percent, a 21-point swing from how they stood in the same poll three months ago. Bloomberg's approval rating is up to 57 percent.

It's not all bad news for Freddy, however. Polls taken by Marist and Quinnipiac in the aftermath of his Diallo comments showed the former Bronx borough president's support slipping. In this latest survey, it holds steady and even grows slightly. Back in March, Ferrer had 34 percent support; now he claims 36 percent. The poll confirms two other themes that earlier polls have suggested:

    ·Virginia Fields has gained strength, moving from15 percent to 21 percent.
    ·The other two candidates are making gains but still trailing: Gifford Miller's share rose from 7 percent to 11 percent, and Rep. Anthony Weiner's 8 percent in March is now 9 percent.

The specific rankings of the candidates are probably meaningless. What matters are trends. Each campaign will find good news in the numbers, because that's what campaigns do.

It's fair to say, though, that what the head-to-head numbers seem to show is that Bloomberg is making his case to the people (at least the people answering pollsters' phone calls), a cause in which the millions he's a spent on commercials are a key ally. The stadium's gone, but the mayor's riches remain a real obstacle to those who would unseat him.

Who knows what the stadium deal's implosion means for the mayor, and who cares? What it means for Democrats is they have to find something else to talk about.


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