Candidates competing in the June 22 primary are banking on support in New York’s traditional battleground areas. But the advent of a ballot system allowing voters to rank up to five people in an eight-way field — with six first-time candidates who have no proven bases of support — has scrambled political conventions. Contenders are hitting low-turnout neighborhoods they would ordinarily bypass, while also trying to secure support on their opponents’ turf, with the hope of being ranked second or third.
Garcia and Wiley are trying to cut into Stringer’s base on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, while all three also compete in Brownstone Brooklyn. Adams expects to outperform his rivals in Central Brooklyn, though Wiley is refusing to cede that ground. Adams and Ray McGuire, a former finance executive, are dueling for support in the predominantly Black neighborhoods of Southeast Queens. And Yang, the former presidential candidate, is banking on piecing together a coalition of white moderates, Asians and Orthodox Jews — eating into voting blocs Adams had been counting on to expand his base.
And all are making a play for Latino voters, who are politically diverse, growing in numbers and have never had representation in the city’s highest elected office.
“The need to compete everywhere is magnified by ranked-choice voting,” Alex Navarro-McKay, who prepared the voter analysis for BerlinRosen, said. “In that respect, this election will look different than past multi-candidate primaries, where candidates focused on consolidating and mobilizing their bases.”