As to the question of whether Ray Kelly is running for mayor, only silence emanated from One Police Plaza yesterday. But one of our spies in Brooklyn got an extremely telling call last night from a pollster who asked a series of questions clearly targeted at taking the pulse of the electorate about a Kelly campaign.
The pollster identified herself as an employee of Opinion Access, a polling firm based in Long Island City, Queens. Among the things she asked, annotated:
“How do you rate the job Ray Kelly is doing as police commissioner? Good? Fair? or Poor?” (Classic job approval question. Kelly’s approval rating has been year after year in the mid sixties at least, and always higher than Bloomberg’s.)
“How do you rate the job Mayor Bloomberg has done? Good? Fair? or Poor?” (Same as above, except it will be used to compare to Kelly’s numbers.)
“Are you satisfied with current candidates for mayor?” (Lumps all the other candidates together, suggesting this is a Kelly poll, and backing up what sources told us, that he thinks he has a better message that the rest of the field.)
“Since Ray Kelly was appointed police commissioner in 2002 NYC crime is down 40%. Does that make you more or less likely to vote for him?” (The statistic is accurate, but it’s kind of a loaded question, no?)
“As police commissioner, Ray Kelly supports NYPD stop and frisk which has been criticized for mistreating blacks and latinos. Does that make you more or less likely to vote for him?” (Clearly, this is Kelly’s potential weak point, and the polling company wants to know how much voters really care about this issue.)
“Please complete this statement: The best reasons to vote for Ray Kelly for mayor of New York City are … Sir, can you please complete the statement for me?” (They’re fishing for other reasons that he could run on and what’s most resonant among voters about him.)
“If the election were held tomorrow between two candidates, which would you choose: Kelly vs. Christine Quinn? Kelly vs. Bill Thompson? (Interesting, because the common denominator is Kelly, and the question imagines Kelly making it to a run-off or the general election.)
So, what does it all mean? We’ll see for sure on June 10, the final filing date for those who want to run for mayor.