NEW YORK — There was a shakeup in the race for New York City mayor on Tuesday as a new PIX11, NewsNation, Emerson College poll showed candidate Kathryn Garcia surging from fourth place to lead the crowded field of contenders.
The poll found Garcia, a former NYC Sanitation Department commissioner, leading the Democratic primary with 21% of votes. She was followed closely by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams — a steady frontrunner in all three PIX11 polls — who garnered 20% of votes from those surveyed.
The only other candidate to poll above 5% was nonprofit executive Dianne Morales, who got 7%.
Additionally, more voters appear to be making up their minds on who their top choice is as the June 22 primary nears. The percent of undecided voters shrank from 23% in the PIX11 poll released on May 17 to 9% on Tuesday.
Garcia has shown the most momentum throughout the three polls on the mayoral race, moving from 5% of votes in March to 8% on May 17 and then surging to 21% on Tuesday.
Yang’s poll results dropped significantly between the three surveys. The entrepreneur and former 2020 presidential candidate led the March poll at 32% but then dropped down to 15% on May 17 and appears to have settled in that range with 16% of votes in the latest poll.
Adams, meanwhile, has consistently polled at the top of each survey with 19% in March, 18% on May 17 and 20% on Tuesday.
When factoring in the city’s new ranked choice voting system, Garcia maintained a narrow lead in all rounds of the latest poll except for round 6, when Adams won by 0.3%.
Ranked choice voting asks voters to pick up to five choices for mayor and rank them in order of preference. In each round, the candidate with the lowest number of first place votes is eliminated and people who voted for that candidate will then have their second-place vote counted.
When asked which issue should be the mayor’s top priority — regardless of who wins the election — 20% of voters said crime; 17% said housing; 12% said homelessness; 11% said COVID-19; and 10% said police reform.
That’s a significant change from the May 17 poll, when homelessness was ranked as the top issue at 19.6%; housing placed second at 15.3%; and jobs ranked third at 12.2%.
The seven leading Democratic candidates for New York City mayor will participate in an exclusive two-hour forum on PIX11 News on Thursday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Candidates were required to register voter support of 5% or more in PIX11’s May 17 poll in order to participate.
Editor’s note: Mayoral candidate Dianne Morales initially agreed to take part in Thursday’s forum but later canceled her interview.