After having been counted out subsequent to the Diallo fiasco, it now appears that Freddy Ferrer is back in the driver’s seat in the Democratic primary. The new Marist Poll has him at 38%, a healthy 14 point margin over Virginia Fields, whose initial boost - thanks to Freddy – appears to have lost its steam.
Even more interesting, Marist has Freddy and the mayor running neck and neck (46-45) which is the clearest indication that it hasn’t been the best week for Bloomberg. The big question now, however, is will Freddy be able to capitalize on the mayor’s misfortune? Our view, something we have shared with the candidate and the campaign (we’ll admit we’ve been somewhat promiscuous with our advice) is that Freddy needs to find a couple of issues that place him to the right of Bloomberg. We are self-serving enough to think that Wal-Mart (if approached from our neighborhood conservative perspective), can be such an issue. After all, Tom Ognibene and Dennis Gallagher have shown how this can be done and our own analysis provides a useful blueprint.
The issue of firehouse closings is another such issue, as our previous posts highlight. To us, it’s all about the neighborhood. We must admit that our advice, available to all the Democrats (well almost all), is advanced because we believe that there are three Democrats who would be preferable to the incumbent. As we have said before the only way the mayor can become palatable (from the perspective of the Alliance’s retail stakeholders) is if he publicly announces that Deputy Mayor Doctoroff will return to investment banking (Be resolute Mike, let Dan do the hedging!).