From Room Eight:
The following is a quote from David Seifman's New York Post column of this morning:
- "Mayor Bloomberg's campaign crew's excuses for his shockingly close 4.6 percentage-point win over Bill Thompson go something like this:
* No matter that we consistently told everyone publicly he was leading by double digits, we knew that it was going to be very close. We did this to hurt Thompson's fund-raising and to convince as many Democrats as we could to not go anywhere near him."
So it really comes down to the fact that Bloomberg's extravagantly paid campaign staff knew how close the race was but spent money beyond all of our wildest imaginations and put out a lie.
Just as the team set out to distort Thompson's record, so did the team even distort the polls. One has to wonder why the pollsters went along with Wolfson and Sheeky and remained silent during the distortions. I will forever be convinced that the polls made a tremendous difference in this race. It allowed Democrats to be either mildly in support of Thompson or outright endorse Bloomberg.
From You're a Disgrace:
The New York Times flat out blew their coverage of the mayor's race. Check out these screen shots from election night as the Times scrambles to recover from a combination of bad polling data and over zealously biased reporting:
At 9:54, the NY Times reports that Bloomberg has "decisively defeated" Thompson:
At 9:58 pm, they remove "decisively" and downgrade to simply, "defeated".
At 10:54 pm, the mayor now "appears to prevail," and the headline and story are bumped down a section.
The New York Times has been in Bloomberg's pocket since he first looked at extending term limits in August 2008, so it isn't surprising that they were a little over anxious to call the election for him so quickly in '09.
From the NY Observer:
Michael Bloomberg's embarrassingly narrow victory margin last week may embolden Democrats to do in his third term something they largely refused to do this year: attack him.
With all the world assuming that the mayor was coasting toward a re-election landslide - and with polls showing him running even with (or even slightly ahead of) Bill Thompson among registered Democrats - most big-name Democrats, in New York and nationally, calculated that there was more to be lost than gained in going after Mr. Bloomberg.
But when Election Day rolled around, Mr. Bloomberg barely cleared the 50 percent mark, beating the woefully underfunded Democratic nominee by just 4.6 points - a far cry from the 19-point landslide he enjoyed in 2005. Had Mr. Bloomberg replicated, or even improved upon, that '05 performance this year, the Democratic love-fest would have continued well into his third term - even among his would-be Democratic successors.
Instead, though, last week's results have awakened Democrats (and the press) to the more complicated reality of Mr. Bloomberg's public standing in New York: In short, voters still generally approve of his performance - 70 percent of them, according to the exit poll conducted last week. (That number, it should be noted, is slightly inflated, given that the exit poll missed the closeness of the vote.) But they also resent his heavy-handedness, his obscene campaign spending and his transactional nature.
What's more, New Yorkers' growing personal distaste for their mayor will probably start dragging down his job approval rating soon. Lingering economic anxiety (barring a miraculous turnaround) and the seemingly inevitable voter fatigue that accompanies every third term practically ensures this.