Prospects are still bright for Andrew Yang, as the New York City mayoral candidate is solidly leading the field in another poll.
Yang, a former entrepreneur and presidential candidate, is the first choice of 32% of likely Democratic voters, according to a poll by WPIX-TV/NewsNation/Emerson College released Monday. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams comes in second at 19%, followed by Maya Wiley, a former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, at 9%, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer at 6%, and former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia at 5%. Nonprofit executive Dianne Morales and former HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan each have 4%, and former Citigroup executive Ray McGuire has 3%. Seventeen percent of respondents are undecided, for the primary election that will be held June 22.
In the first mayoral race that will use the ranked-choice voting system, Adams is the No. 2 choice of 11% of candidates, followed by Yang at 9% and Stringer at 8%. Twenty-nine percent of respondents said they would not rank any candidate as their second choice.
Voters are still not very familiar with the ranked-choice system: 33% said they have not heard anything about it, 40% said they’ve heard a little about it, and only 26% said they’ve heard a lot about it.
Under the ranked-choice system, voters rank their top five candidates in order. If one candidate receives more than 50% of first place votes, he or she is the winner. If no candidates receive more than 50% of first place votes, counting continues in rounds: in each round, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. If a voter’s top-ranked candidate is eliminated, that voter’s vote then goes to the next-highest-ranked candidate on the voter’s ballot. The process continues until there are only two candidates left, and the candidate with the most votes wins.
In a poll released last month by Fontas Advisors and Core Decision Analytics, Yang received 28% of the vote, followed by 17% for Adams and 13% for Stringer. In that poll, Wiley and Donovan each got 8%, and Garcia, McGuire and Morales had 2% each.
Yang is most famous for his “universal basic income” plan of cash payments to New Yorkers. The program, according to the candidate’s website, “will start with providing those who are living in extreme poverty with an average of $2,000 per year,” and it can then can “be grown over time as it receives more funding from public and philanthropic organizations, with the vision of eventually ending poverty in New York City altogether.” Yang is also popular in the Orthodox Jewish community for saying he supports yeshivas’ independence in creating their own curriculum.
In Monday’s poll. Yang, son of Taiwanese immigrants, had the support of 50% of whites and 60% of Asians; Adams led among black/African respondents (31%) as well as Hispanics (26%).
The poll was conducted March 4-6.