Hoo boy: Bill de Blasio's favorable rating lower than Trump's -- in New York State

The DNC should have used this as a benchmark for qualifying for debates. You need to score one percent in a certain number of polls and have a certain number of donors and somehow not be less popular in your indigo home state than a president who’s less well-liked within the Democratic Party than cancer.

At a minimum, this should be the first thing de Blasio’s asked about at the first debate.

It’s almost an achievement.

Trump notches a 34/63 favorable rating in NYS, a lower net score than the mayor’s but only by a few points. Among voters in the city de Blasio governs and where the president used to live, Trump’s favorable rating is a mere 10 points lower. His ratings statewide are higher than de Blasio’s among Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, with the last of those three splitting 44/48 for POTUS versus 31/64 for Blas. De Blasio does lead Trump head-to-head in a hypothetical presidential match-up — this is, as I say, an indigo state — but he falls short of 50 percent at 48/36. Not many Dems running this year could put New York in play in 2020 but damned if this guy hasn’t done it.

Most ignominiously, when New Yorkers are offered a binary choice between the mayor and other most lackluster Democrat in the presidential race, it’s no contest: Kirsten Gillibrand 56, de Blasio 25.

Imagine getting run off the field by Kirsten Gillibrand.

Speaking of which, this same poll has Chuck Schumer at a healthy 68/26 favorable rating among Democrats but Gillibrand at just 55/22. Why does that matter? Well, ambitious young New York progressives are watching and waiting for an opening

Top Democrats tell “Axios on HBO” they expect Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may eventually primary one of the two New York senators — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in 2022, or Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in 2024…

Corbin Trent, Ocasio-Cortez’s communications director, said that when she thinks down the road, she thinks in terms of transitioning Democrats to a party that’s unified around progressive policies.

As to eventually challenging one of the New York senators, Trent said: “Having worked on her campaign, I don’t think we’re going to be moving to a different role any time soon.”

Siena didn’t include her in this poll but when they looked at her support statewide in March she pulled a tepid 47/30 among Democrats. Lots of caveats to that number, though: She’s still early in her first term in Congress and will become better known over time; in a few years the electorate there may be more progressive than it is now; and party primaries don’t necessarily reflect the entire party’s preferences. An AOC primary challenge to Schumer or Gillibrand would attempt to mobilize hard-lefties to turn out en masse and overwhelm the more numerous but less activist moderate mainstream of the party on primary day, not unlike what happened in Ocasio-Cortez’s upset of Joe Crowley. The fact that Schumer and Gillibrand are more popular with Democrats generally (and only marginally so in Gillibrand’s case) says zippo about what primary turnout is apt to look like in a race with AOC.

For Ocasio-Cortez, it’s more a question of how many enemies she wants to risk making as a young pol by challenging an entrenched incumbent with lots of money behind him/her. She’d do better than Cynthia Nixon did in her progressive primary challenge to Andrew Cuomo, but doing better isn’t enough. Trying to unseat Schumer or Gillibrand and failing would cost her some friends and some influence even within her own caucus in the House, partly stripping her of her mystique as a herald of the party’s more leftist future. We may about to get a taste of that in the presidential primary if Bernie’s socialist revolution falls flat after the promise of 2016. AOC losing to Schumer or (shudder) Gillibrand would suggest that there’s still not a market for socialism even in one of the country’s bluest states.

Here’s America’s mayor insisting that scoring a flat zero in the latest poll of Iowa has no bearing on anything. What do 600 scientifically-polled Iowans know about elections, anyway?