Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Joe Lhota May Not Even Win Staten Island

Staten Island is considered a GOP stronghold in NYC. 

The borough voted for Giuliani twice and Bloomberg three times (77% the first two times, 66% the last time.)

A Republican who wants to be elected mayor of NYC cannot lose Staten Island and expect to win the election.

Joe Lhota lost Staten Island in the GOP primary.

According to Capital Tonight, Staten Islanders are pissed at Lhota for the Verrazano Bridge toll hike and seem to be holding that against him in this election.

The Lhota campaign has countered with all the wonderful things Lhota did for Staten Island during the Giuliani administration (including closing the Fresh Kills landfill and making the Staten Island Ferry free.)

Still, this isn't helping him with voters there.

Capital Tonight concludes:

The latest poll showed Bill de Blasio with an early lead in the Mayor’s race. Lhota supporters knew this would be an uphill battle. But he also can’t be explaining transportation policy to angry Staten Islanders a few weeks before the election and expect to win the borough.

Just another reason why Joe Lhota is not going to be mayor of NYC. 

When a GOP candidate in a NYC mayoral race cannot count on Staten Island, he's in serious trouble.

I long have thought that Lhota's tenure at the MTA was not so helpful to him.

Yes, he got the subways running after Sandy - but he also raised the fares on the bridges and the subways.

People hold that stuff against bureaucrats and politicians - like they should.

And right now the reliably Republican borough of Staten Island is holding the toll hike against Republican candidate Joe Lhota.

Good luck getting over 35% without winning big in Staten Island, Joe.


  1. Let's see how it looks after the Koch Brothers spend bazillions on propaganda. It worked for Scott Walker. I take nothing for granted and hope UFT actively campaigns. If they do, I'll help.

    1. I take nothing for granted either. But the more you look closely at Lhota's poll numbers and flaws as a candidate, the more you see that he needs a major "game changer" to win this.

      Of course that can happen(happened for Bloomberg.)

      The difference is, Bloomberg had very positive approval numbers in September of 2001 - Lhota has dismal numbers after being beaten up by Catismatidis and his negative ads all throughout the primary.

      On top of that, Bloomberg has his own money to spend - Lhota has to fund raise and hope for outside groups to spend money on him.

      He has already agreed to stay within the public financing system, so he cannot spend more than de Blasio can officially.

      He needs outside front groups to do it for him.

      As of now, the Koch Brothers, the real estate interests and the like are not running to spend money promoting Joe Lhota.

      They have instead preferred to buy City Council candidates (notice all the money Jobs4NY or whatever the real estate industry front group was called spent on the primaries.)

      Not saying they won't dive in soon with millions in outside ads, but so far, they haven't.

      Until they do, Lhota has got to do two different things - undo his own negatives (which are substantial after the Cats ads - see link below) and drive BdB's high approval ratings down.

      That's not impossible to do if he were, say, a good candidate. But he's got some real flaws, including his temperament, that can be used against him (challenging a 77 year old man to a fight is a problem - but he did it at the MTA board meeting he was chairing.)

      Also, he pissed Port Authority cops and their families off by calling them "mall cops."

      Cops - all cops - should be his natural constituency.

      But Lhota's got problems with the PA cops and their families still.

      Couple that with the Staten Island support issue and you have a GOP candidate who has got to shore up his own natural constituencies - the cops and Staten Islanders.

      That's a problem for a guy who's already down 43% in the polls.

      Not saying Koch money can't make a lot of that go away.

      But so far, they haven't shown a willingness to spend all that much for him.

      Sometimes bad poll numbers become a self-fulfilling prophecy - donors don't want to donate to losing campaigns.

      Lhota has to worry about that too.

      De Blasio is no shoe-in, but he is facing a GOP opponent with serious flaws and issues.

      That certainly makes the campaign an uphill battle for Lhota.

    2. Oops - forgot the link:

      Watch the ad Catismatidis ran against Lhota and marvel at it. PA cops are pissed at this guy!

  2. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

    1. Seriously. Any guy who challenges a 77 year old to a fight at an MTA board meeting he is chairing deserves everything bad that happens to him.

  3. While we're at making the Board of Ed a popular institution (aren't we supposed to be a republic --not some private corporation run by gov't execs?) we should have the MTA board be popularly elected.
    Then, watch those MTA books show a more honest picture.
    Yeah, that "former MTA chair" tag is like the kiss of death for Lhota. Just might help beat the UFT's losing streak of mayoral endorsements.