- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 4, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) He was considered a long shot just a few days ago, but two new polls show Republican Michael Bloomberg has pulled about even with Democrat Mark Green in the mayor's race.
A poll released Friday by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion showed 46 percent of likely voters favored Mr. Green, the city's public advocate, but 42 percent supported Mr. Bloomberg, founder of the Bloomberg financial news service. Twelve percent were undecided.
The margin of error was plus or minus five percentage points, meaning the gap between the two candidates was not statistically significant and the race is about even.
A New York Times poll, released yesterday, found much the same results. The poll showed 42 percent of likely voters backed Mr. Green, and 37 percent supported Mr. Bloomberg. An unusually high 20 percent was undecided, the newspaper reported in its editions yesterday.
Mr. Bloomberg, a political outsider, had been given little chance of victory in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 5-to-1. A poll released Oct. 24 by Quinnipiac University showed Mr. Green with a 51 percent to 35 percent lead among likely voters.
Analysts attribute Mr. Bloomberg's rise in the polls to two factors: He has spent more than $41 million on the race, much of it on television ads, and last week he won the endorsement of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has been lauded for his leadership since the World Trade Center attack.
"What this shows is that if you spend enough money, you can have an impact on the polls," said Steven Cohen, a Columbia University political science professor.
Mr. Bloomberg's boost came after an airwave ad blitz featuring Mr. Giuliani enthusiastically endorsing him as the man to rebuild the city torn by disaster. Mr. Cohen said the commercial "makes very good television, and no one counted on Bloomberg putting it on the air a gazillion times."
In the ad, Mr. Giuliani says Mr. Bloomberg "has the financial and economic expertise New York needs. He understands business. He understands jobs. He has the right plans to rebuild."
"Green has been hemorrhaging white votes, especially white Catholics lately, and that's because of Rudy," said Doug Muzzio, a Baruch College political science professor.
Mr. Green also is getting his name out, however. Yesterday, he was given a rare opportunity by national Democratic leaders to give the Democrats' public radio response to President Bush's weekly radio address. Normally, the response is given by a member of Congress or a governor in the party.
Former President Bill Clinton endorsed Mr. Green, but two other prominent New York Democrats, former Mayor Edward I. Koch and former Gov. Hugh L. Carey, have endorsed Mr. Bloomberg.
Fred Dennison, 43, a warehouse worker from Brooklyn, said Mr. Giuliani's endorsement has swayed him toward Mr. Bloomberg. "I want Giuliani to stay in there, but now he says go for Bloomberg, and that's good enough for me," Mr. Dennison said. Mr. Giuliani is prevented by the city's term-limits law from seeking a third term in office.
But Michael Dominguez, who works in the city's Environmental Protection Department, said he is leaning toward Mr. Green because of the city's need for strong leadership.


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