Source: LA Times
Andrew Yang gained 22 % of votes on the “First Choice for Mayor” poll conducted by Spectrum News NY1/IPSOS. Yang has been positioned as the candidate to beat in the 2022 mayoral race, both according to the media and his fellow candidates. The recent poll supports the claims and shows that New Yorkers genuinely do want Yang in the position.
The poll, with Yang in the lead, also shows where the other candidates stand. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams gained 13% of the votes, placing him nine points behind Yang. NYC’s comptroller Scott Stringer follows at third with 11%, and former counsel to Mayor de Blasio Maya Wiley at fourth with 7%. Both Ray McGuire and Shaun Donovan received 6%, Dianne Morales obtained 5%, leaving Kathryn Garcia with 4%.
Still, 26% of voters remain undecided on their choice for mayor. This urges candidates, who still have millions of unspent campaign funds, to reach more New Yorkers and create an impact with their vision of NYC’s future. Airtime, marketing, and advertising also proved to pay their toll. Spectrum News NY1/IPSOS poll also revealed the candidates’ rank according to familiarity. Yang earns an astounding 77%, Stinger with 61%, Adams with 53%, and Wiley with 36%. Experts attribute the results to the popularity of the top four’s surnames.
Despite the numbers backing the Democratic candidate, various groups, organizations, and communities remain apprehensive if Yang can indeed lead New York. The LGBTQ community, for instance, expressed their opinions saying Yang is “out of touch and insensitive.” When Yang’s party appeared at the Stonewall Democrats of NYC (SDNYC), Big Apple’s largest Democratic LGBTQ+ political club, the group was not impressed by Yang’s statements.
As Rose Christ, president of SDNYC, shared, “He came across like he was a tourist in New York and said he wanted to visit a gay bar.” The criticisms of Yang’s treatment toward the LGBTQ community began circulating days back because of a video showing content that may be sensitive toward the gay community.
Furthermore, despite his heritage, Yang was faced with turmoil when 400 Asian New Yorkers signed a petition going against his campaigns. The community questioned his universal basic income proposal and his “larger vision” for addressing inequality and the growing culture of Asian hate.
Paulin Park, a Korean American transgender progressive activist, told the media in a recent interview that Yang “does not really have the best interest of the community at heart.” She added that his policy positions are not directly beneficial for the Asian American community in New York. “Simply electing an Asian American is not going to change material conditions in which Asians in this city live, just like electing Barack Obama did not change conditions for African Americans, electing Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago didn’t change the material conditions in which Black Chicagoans live,” said Park.
With the spectrum of issues plaguing New York, from racial discrimination, economic drawbacks to cultural conflicts, NYC’s mayor is indeed a tough shoe to fill, dubbed as the “second toughest job in America.”