New York City’s democratic socialist Mayor Bill de Blasio is a rather unpopular figure among Republican voters, naturally, but it appears that he isn’t all that popular with his own Democrat voters or candidates running for state offices in New York, either.
According to Politico, de Blasio has formed a political action committee to help raise funds toward assisting a Democrat takeover of the New York State Senate in the midterm elections.
Of his Fairness PAC that was officially launched in July, de Blasio stated, “The focus here is take back the House, take back the Senate, take back the state Senate — all general election issues.”
However, virtually none of the candidates asked about de Blasio’s PAC by the media outlet seemed to be the least bit interested in receiving his help or even being associated with the unpopular mayor.
Of the 15 Democrat state Senate candidates running in competitive districts who were interviewed by Politico, an overwhelming majority of them stated that they didn’t want de Blasio’s assistance or funding and would likely reject any aid that might be offered in the future.
The incredibly unpopular mayor of New York has seemingly angered and annoyed all sides of the political aisle, as Republicans and moderate upstate Democrats say he is too much of a socialistic tax-and-spend liberal, while far-left progressives complain that the mayor isn’t progressive enough for their liking and is too friendly with businesses and developers.
Several Democrat candidates admitted that thus far, they have received no offers of assistance, but added that they’d say “no thanks” if and when that offer ever came. While they refrained from directly criticizing de Blasio, they stated that they’d prefer to focus on their own fundraising efforts in their own districts and acknowledged that being associated with the big city mayor may prove detrimental to their candidacies.
One Democrat running in Schuyler County, in western New York more than four hours from the city, Michael Lausell, suggested that he hadn’t decided yet if he’d accept help from de Blasio’s PAC or not, as “The Fairness PAC proposes an unclear mission at present, though whether for lack of direction or simply for too broad of a mission I am unable to tell.”
There were a handful of candidates who were at least open to the idea of accepting aid from the mayor’s PAC, and one who reportedly had specifically requested help, but even he admitted that nothing had come of that request yet.
“We have met people from the mayor’s office and talked about this issue and gotten at the best lukewarm encouragement,” stated Democrat candidate Blake Morris. “We have not really pursued it or looked into it.”
Unsurprisingly, the mayor’s office dismissed the complaints that his unpopularity outside of New York City made him “toxic” to other Democrat candidates, and insisted that de Blasio is anxious to be a part of the effort to regain Democrat control of the state Senate.
“There isn’t a mayor in America that is popular in every electoral district in their state. Bill de Blasio has won four citywide elections by huge margins,” stated Eric Phillips, spokesman for the mayor. “He looks forward to being one of many people helping to get the state Senate back in Democratic hands and on the side of working people.”
Aside from de Blasio’s great unpopularity outside of New York City — it isn’t even that good inside the city — the mayor also has a relatively poor track record when it comes to endorsing and supporting candidates. His last effort to do so in 2014 resulted in critical losses and investigations of his fundraising efforts by federal and state officials.
Politico reported on a Quinnipiac poll from May that showed that de Blasio only had around a 28 percent approval rating in upstate New York, compared to a 42 percent disapproval, and the numbers didn’t improve much in the suburban counties around New York City, where he had a 35 percent approval rate and 54 percent disapproval. In the city itself, de Blasio had a 53 percent approval rating compared to 43 percent disapproval.
“There’s no actual value in being associated with him,” one Democrat candidate told Politico.
One candidate who was unafraid to go on record — former City Comptroller John Liu who is now running in a Democrat primary for state Senate in Queens — merely laughed at the prospect of receiving the mayor’s help in light of de Blasio’s unpopularity. Liu actually said he hoped the mayor would endorse and publicly support his primary opponent, as that would probably help his own chances.
De Blasio may want to help his comrades on the left reclaim political power, but his endorsement and funds are viewed as so toxic that most want nothing to do with it and some are even hoping an association with the mayor on the part of their opponents will backfire on them.
That says a lot about the depths to which the Democrat Party and its prominent leaders have sunk these days.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.