NEW YORK -- A growing number of New York City Democrats aren't sure whom to back in next year's mayoral race, but City Council Speaker Christine Quinn still comes out ahead of several likely primary rivals, a new poll showed Thursday.
The NY1-Marist poll showed 23 percent of Democrats choosing Quinn, down from 32 percent in an April NY1-Marist poll and 29 percent in a Quinnipiac University poll in August. Thirty-seven percent were undecided, up from 29 percent in the April poll and 34 percent in the August survey.
The new poll shows former city Comptroller Bill Thompson at 15 percent, current Comptroller John Liu at 9 percent, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio at 8 percent and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer at 6 percent. About 68 percent of the city's registered voters are Democrats.
The results come with about a year to go before the election to succeed term-limited Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent. With voters largely focused on next month's presidential race, it's understandable that many aren't certain what they think about next year's mayoral election, said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
While Quinn has an advantage, "this is a wide-open contest, given the universe of people who are undecided," Miringoff said.
Newspaper publisher Tom Allon got 2 percent of the vote in the telephone poll of 453 registered Democrats, conducted before he announced Monday that he was switching to the Republican Party.
More broadly, questions asked of 742 registered voters showed waning interest among city voters in seeing Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly get into the race. Voters were evenly split on the idea in an NY1-Marist poll in July 2011, when 42 percent said they hoped the city's top cop would run and another 42 percent said he should stay out of it. Now, 46 percent don't want him to run, while 35 percent do.
Kelly has said he has no plans to run.
As for Bloomberg, he has a 45 percent approval rating in the latest poll.
The questions asked of registered voters have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.6 percentage points for the queries directed at the smaller sample of registered Democrats.