NEW YORK — Democrat Eric Adams has a commanding lead over Republican Curtis Sliwa in the race to be New York City’s next mayor, an exclusive PIX11, NewsNation, Emerson College Poll shows.
The poll, released Monday, also found New Yorkers are divided on several key recent issues, including crime, homelessness and jobs.
Adams, the current Brooklyn Borough president who emerged victorious from a crowded Democratic primary field, received support from 61% of likely voters in the poll. Sliwa, the leader of the patrol group the Guardian Angels, received 25% of likely votes. Additionally, 14% of voters remained undecided and the margin of error in the poll was +/- 3.9%.
The picture does not get much better for Sliwa when undecided voters were asked to make a choice. Adams led 70%-30% when allocating undecided New Yorkers.
Camille Mumford, with the Emerson College Polling team, said the poll shows Adams will likely be the next mayor.
“As this point, this late in the election, there’s a very slim chance Curtis could pull this off,” said Mumford. “We can say with about 95% confidence, with the poll outside the margin of error, Eric Adams will be the next mayor of New York.”
Whoever the next mayor is will have to tackle a broad array of issues.
Most of the likely voters who were surveyed — 34% — identified crime as their lead issue. After that, 19% said homelessness, 11% said jobs, 8% said COVID-19 and 8% said health care.
Specifically with subway crime, a plurality of likely voters said they felt safe on the subways. Of those polled, 43% said they felt very or somewhat safe compared to 34% who said they did not feel safe or did not feel safe at all.
About one-quarter of the New Yorkers surveyed said they currently do not ride the subway.
Although education was not a top issue in the poll, one of the toughest first decisions the new mayor will have to make will involve the largest school system in the nation.
The next mayor will have to decide whether to mandate COVID vaccines for school children, once they are fully approved by regulators.
Of those surveyed by PIX11, 54% supported a mandate and 31% did not support it. The remaining were undecided.
Adams has said he supports a mandate; Sliwa does not.
Another issue is whether to continue the plan to shut down Rikers Island and build community-based jails. There have been 14 Department of Correction-related deaths so far in 2021.
Of those polled, 38% of likely voters supported a closure of Rikers and opening of smaller community jail facilities and 42% opposed the plan. The remainder were unsure.
Adams supports the community jail plan, although he said he would seek modifications. Sliwa opposes it and would attempt to fix Rikers.
Voters were also split on whether the city should bail out taxi medallion owners with additional debt relief. Mayor Bill de Blasio has put a bailout and loan program in place that many drivers said is insufficient.
Of those polled, 32% favored a bigger bailout, 33% said no and 35% were unsure or had no opinion.
Whoever prevails in the race for mayor will need to make changes quickly, as 57% of New Yorkers surveyed view the city as heading in the wrong direction under the current de Blasio administration.
PIX11 News is hosting a forum between Adams and Sliwa Monday evening in which they will answer questions on different topics, including COVID-19, vaccine mandates, schools, crime and youth violence.
Catch the forum live from 7 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 25, with a preview special at 6:30 p.m. You can watch both live on PIX11.com or PIX11 TV.