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Despite Commanding Lead In Polls, De Blasio Anticipates Runoff

Mayoral Hopeful Stresses Hard Work In Race's Final Weeks
Bill de Blasio campaigns in Brooklyn on Sept. 4, 2013. (credit: Rich Lamb/WCBS 880)

Bill de Blasio campaigns in Brooklyn on Sept. 4, 2013. (credit: Rich Lamb/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bill de Blasio’s poll numbers may be hovering above 40 percent, but the Democratic mayoral front-runner says he still expects to be locked in a runoff after Tuesday’s primary.

The poll numbers “are very gratifying, and we’re just going to have to work really hard,” the public advocate told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb during a campaign stop Wednesday in Brooklyn. “It’s great to get a good reception, but the way you win an election is to work really hard, and that’s why we’re out here today.”

The latest Quinnipiac University poll of likely Democratic voters shows de Blasio at 43 percent, which would be enough to avoid a runoff election.

His closest competitor, former city Comptroller Bill Thompson, had 20 percent of the vote, with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn close behind at 18 percent.

“I think it says that my message of progressive change is getting through,” de Blasio said. “It says people want a real break from the Bloomberg years, but we’ve always believed there’s going to be a runoff.”

De Blasio made stops in all five boroughs Wednesday. On the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Court Street in Cobble Hill, he shook hands with supporters and volunteers and waved at passing drivers.

Passerby Felicia James signed up as a volunteer for the de Blasio campaign Wednesday.

“Bill de Blasio all the way!” she said. “He’s talking about all the issues that mean the most to me.”

Some have credited de Blasio’s TV commercials featuring his son, Dante, famous for his towering afro, for the candidate’s rise in the polls. Wednesday was Dante’s 16th birthday.

“I can tell you, though, he gave me a four-page book list,” Dante’s mother, Chirlane, said when asked about what gifts Dante received. “He gave it to all of us so that we could select … the books we want to give him.”

Chirlane de Blasio said Dante has kept “his feet firmly on the ground” despite his newfound fame.

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