Editorial: Voters want candidate they can trust
With a week to go before the city's mayoral primary, this much we know: While voters appear increasingly happy to see Mayor Michael Bloomberg hit the road, they are far less certain about who they want to replace him.
Most are ruling out a few genuinely awful possibilities, according to an amNewYork-News 12 poll released last Thursday. In particular, they don't seem to like mayoral candidates saddled with major trust problems.
That could explain why Comptroller John Liu -- who saw two of his campaign aides convicted of fundraising improprieties -- has support from a mere 5 percent of next week's likely Democratic voters. And why Anthony Weiner -- who in July was dogged by a new texting scandal -- has the backing of just 10 percent.
But the rest of the Democratic primary fight is starting to look like a tag-team wrestling match as the city searches for a direction. Council Speaker Christine Quinn's lead in late Julyhad evaporated in polls by mid-August, with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio tying her and Bill Thompson in third.Then weeks later, de Blasio took a strong lead with his "tale of two cities" pitch -- falsely implying that the city's high-earners freeload while the poor suffer.
So Primary Day nears with a highly fluid contest and more than a little acrimony in the air -- born of Bloomberg fatigue, a killer recession, struggling earners at many levels of the economic spectrum, and a middle class that could easily wind up getting squeezed out of the city.
Jobs and the economy are at the top of voters' worry lists, the poll confirms. They're desperately searching for a new mayor with a clear vision. And the poll shows, once again, they're willing to abandon their parties in November to find one. Bloomberg dominated the city's political stage for 12 years, and his departure puts the city at a crossroads. Voters have a very big job to do.