Bloomberg Re-Elected In New York
Reuters reports what everyone expected: New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been re-elected after New Yorkers finally warmed up to him — and he spent a buck or two:
NEW YORK, Nov 8 (Reuters) – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was re-elected to a second term on Tuesday in a widely predicted victory after the most costly race in city history, media outlets reported.
Experts estimate that when all is accounted for, Bloomberg will have spent $80 million to $100 million of his personal fortune to defeat a challenge by Democrat Fernando Ferrer, a former Bronx borough president who trailed in public opinion polls by as much as 38 points.
A longtime Democrat, Bloomberg switched parties in 2001 to run for mayor in the less-crowded Republican field but his views have stayed along more liberal lines, an asset in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 5-to-1.
People will say it’s because of the money, but let’s face facts — a fact the Democrats need to keep in mind in 2008: you can’t beat somebody with nobody. And if you’re tempted to write an angry comment about that statement, we refer you to to the opinion poll margin above — not a pretty sight.
And the New York Times reports the New York Mayor will make full use of his new term to accelerate change:
With a huge re-election victory giving Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg what his supporters described last night as a sweeping mandate, the Democrats who oppose him are girding for a sequel at City Hall that might best be called “Bloomberg Unleashed.”
If the past is any guide, Mr. Bloomberg will oblige them. After winning narrowly in 2001, he imposed a smoking ban in New York City bars, raised property taxes by historic proportions and risked the anger of parents by holding back struggling grammar-school students. On top of all that, he wrested control of the public school system from the Board of Education.
Given his much larger victory yesterday, mayoral aides were already talking about spending the next four years taking a firmer hold of ground zero development, building up Governors Island and pursuing the city’s largest low- and middle-income housing program ever. They also spoke of taking away Albany’s control of crucial city budgetary matters, while changing a power dynamic they say has been unbalanced for too long against the city.
And Mr. Bloomberg’s close supporters are predicting that he will pursue a still grander agenda. It could include hot-button proposals like the one he dropped early on in his tenure because of political opposition….
So how did MB win? USA Today:
Bloomberg overcame low approval ratings early in his term. He benefited in polls from an improved city economy, rising school test scores and falling crime. Ferrer, who called Bloomberg’s campaign spending “obscene,” portrayed him as the candidate of the wealthy.
Bloomberg led Ferrer by more than 30 percentage points in pre-election polls. His vote margin appeared narrower, leaving open the question of whether he would top the record set by his predecessor, Rudy Giuliani, who in 1997 defeated Democrat Ruth Messinger by 17 percentage points.
“It’s a happy evening. It’s not a suspenseful evening,” said lawyer Steve Ludsin, a Bloomberg supporter who joined a throng crowding a Manhattan hotel ballroom. “But a victory is still sweet.”
And so…a clear mandate in New Yawk…