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Poll: De Blasio Takes Commanding Lead Among Democrats In NYC Mayoral Race

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is within just a few points of avoiding a runoff from a Democratic challenger for New York City mayor, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll.

De Blasio is leading the Democratic pack with 36 percent of likely voters, near the 40 percent that would be needed to avoid a runoff.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn trails de Blasio with 21 percent, followed by 20 percent for former Comptroller Bill Thompson.

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner has the support of 8 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, followed by 6 percent for Comptroller John Liu. Former Councilman Sal Albanese logs just 1 percent. Eight percent remain undecided.

The poll reflects a dramatic jump for de Blasio from one conducted on Aug. 13, in which he had 30 percent, with 24 percent for Quinn and 22 percent for Thompson. Weiner had 10 percent in that poll, and Liu 6.

Click here for complete poll results (.pdf) | Complete Election 2013 coverage

According to the poll, in possible Democratic primary runoffs:

  • De Blasio tops Quinn 59-30 percent
  • De Blasio leads Thompson 52-36 percent
  • Thompson bests Quinn 57-33 percent

"Talk about breaking out of the pack!" said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "And if there is a runoff, he clobbers Council Speaker Christine Quinn or former Comptroller and 2009 Democratic challenger William Thompson."

"Voters are responding to Bill de Blasio because he is the only Democrat who will boldly break from the Bloomberg years by raising taxes on the wealthy to invest in universal pre-K and after-school programs, ending racial profiling, and fighting to save community hospitals," the de Blasio campaign said in a statement.

As CBS 2's Marcia Kramer reported, experts also have speculated that de Blasio's stance against the city's controversial stop-and-frisk program may be the reason for his jump in the polls. De Blasio received the endorsement of City Councilman Brad Lander (D-39th), one of the key sponsors of the bill to ban racial profiling.

"Bill de Blasio has been with us in the past, and he'll be with us in the future," Lander said in a campaign appearance with de Blasio.

De Blasio also made headlines for a campaign ad featuring his son, Dante.

"Bil de Blasio will be a mayor for everyday New Yorkers, no matter where they live, or what they look like," Dante de Blasio says in the ad. "And I'd say that even if he weren't my dad."

Kramer said part of de Blasio's success may also be the support he currently enjoys in the African-American community. According to the poll, de Blasio now has 34 percent of the black vote, compared with 25 percent for Thompson, who is African-American.

Iona College Professor Jeanne Zaino said the Dante de Blasio ad has been the biggest ad in the campaign so far, and has helped to attract African-American votes to his father.

"Bill de Blasio has done a really good job in his campaign, or really trying to get what we think will be 30 percent off the primary vote," Zaino said.

With the primary less than two weeks away, all the campaigns were expected to pull out all the stops in the race to the finish line.

Separately, Republican candidates for mayor squared off in a debate Wednesday night. For complete coverage, click here.

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