The ‘Big Apple ‘ seems to be on track to getting its first Asian American Mayor….
His star power coming off a national presidential campaign isn’t hurting him at all….
Everybody’s ganging up on Andrew Yang.
The New York City mayor’s race has grown more vicious in recent weeks — and the favorite target is Yang, who has come under attack for everything from his basic income and tax plans to his employment history and his second home upstate.
The aggressive hits on Yang reflect his status as front runner in recent polls, as the more established politicians who are now trailing him in the Democratic primary race scramble to take him down a notch and make an impression with the roughly half of voters who remain undecided.
New Yorkers will, for the first time, choose a new mayoral candidate in the June primary using ranked-choice voting — a system that allows voters to rank up to five candidates in order of preference, and which proponents predicted would cut down on negative campaigning.
But lately, the race has looked more like what Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams predicted over a year ago, when he declared, “Trust me, It’s going to be a dirty campaign.”…
So far, neither the hits from his rivals nor a series of early missteps by Yang himself show evidence of halting his momentum. But with scarce public polling in the race and a large share of voters not yet tuned in, the contest remains very much up for grabs. Around the same time in the 2013 mayoral election, current Mayor Bill de Blasio was polling in fourth place.
With that in mind, Yang’s rivals are trying to define him as an out of touch neophyte with little knowledge of the city’s inner workings, while the frontrunner goes for the image of cheerleader-in-chief, rooting for the city’s comeback from the Covid-19 crisis….
Yang’s pitch to New York City voters is not so dissimilar from his pitch to the broader American public in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary: big ideas, backed with data. He wants the city government to establish a basic income for the half a million New Yorkers living in deep poverty. He wants to create a public-banking network. He wants to transform New York into a hub for cryptocurrencies, and build casinos, and convert hotels into affordable housing. Put the white papers and campaign pronouncements together, and a picture emerges of a hypermodern municipal paradise devoted to social democracy and human flourishing.
The picture of how these big ideas would be funded and implemented is fuzzier. Yang has managed a tech nonprofit, a tutoring business, and a campaign and a half. But he has never held elected office, nor has he led a bureaucracy—let alone one with the scale and political fractiousness of New York’s. He has also committed, if softly, to cutting taxes.
Still, the call to move forward has caught on with New York City voters battered by a recession that has decimated restaurants, bars, theaters, museums, and hotels; traumatized by a virus that has killed 30,000 residents; and only just beginning to emerge from a year of shutdowns and social distancing. Given the horrors of the past year, many of these voters have lost what patience they had for incremental progress and technocratic small ball. Yang is going big. He has a deep campaign war chest and better name recognition than any other candidate in the crowded race. While it remains competitive—Eric Adams, Brooklyn’s borough president, and Maya Wiley, a former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, have significant support—as of mid-March, Yang led the field by a 13-point margin….