New Marist poll out yesterday shows only 51% of those surveyed would vote for the little dictator, Mike Bloomberg, over 37% who would vote for Congressman Anthony Weiner in next year's mayoral race.
Bloomberg beats Comptroller Bill Thompson 52%-32%.
Ignore the numbers for Weiner and Thompson for a minute and just focus on Bloomberg's.
51% want to vote for him against Weiner? 52% want to vote for him over Thompson.
Those are very scary numbers for an incumbent - just ask any number of GOP incumbents who enjoyed such numbers last year what happened to them this year.:
The slim lead "can be troublesome for an incumbent," said Marist pollster Lee Miringoff who added that "51% is about as slim a majority as you can have at this point."
Now does this mean the little dictator won't cruise to victory?
Of course not.
He's set to drop upwards of $120 million on the race, most of which will be spent on negative ads to turn Weiner and Thompson into unacceptable alternatives.
If I had to bet the mortgage of the farmhouse on the election, I'd still say the little dictator will win next year.
But the poll does say one thing.
People noticed the backroom wheeling and dealing he pulled last month to overturn term limits for city officials without putting the change to a vote and don't like it - even former supporters.
As Wayne Barrett said in the Village Voice this week:
Last month's 29-to-22 council vote to do Bloomberg's bidding was the most tawdry moment in city politics I've ever seen. More camera crews and reporters attended the vote than any other session in City Council history—some said the passage of the bill was as close as we would get to a mayoral election in 2009.
The Bloomberg who came into office as the anti-politician, promising to transform city government, has been transformed himself. Some of us liked him precisely because his wealth insulated him from the kind of horsetrading that diminished his predecessors. But seven years later, Bloomberg has not only proved himself to be a master politician, as hungry for power as anyone we've ever seen, but he's also ended up putting nearly everyone who deals with the city deep into his political debt.