In the race to be the next mayor of New York, Adams leads but ranked-choice voting means the race is still wide open

New Ipsos poll just ahead of the Democratic primary election in New York shows crime and safety remains top issue for voters

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Sara Machi Research Analyst, Public Affairs
  • Johnny Sawyer Senior Research Manager, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, June 21, 2021 — In the race to be the next mayor of New York, a new Ipsos poll shows Eric Adams appears to be in the best position to win Tuesday's Democratic primary. He has the advantage due to a combination of solid name recognition and strong marks on dealing with the most important issue in the minds of voters, crime and safety.

However, with ranked-choice voting premiering this election, the contest is far from over. Adams currently is the first choice for only about a quarter of likely Democratic primary voters. This means there is significant opportunity for voters' second, third, fourth, and fifth options to swing the race. Our simulation suggests the ranking exercise will go all the to a head-to-head match up between two candidates before someone gets over the needed 50%+1 threshold.

In our new poll, Andrew Yang comes in second, with Kathryn Garcia and Maya Wiley tied in third. Adams looks to be in the lead because he appears (in some position) on the most voters' ballots, giving him the most routes to the 50%+1 majority. However, Yang and Garcia also are ranked on a majority of voters' ballots, giving them potential paths to victory. Ipsos NYC mayoral ranked-choice voting simulation

Crime and safety is increasingly seen as the number one issue by New Yorkers, currently with over half of likely voters selecting it as one of their top issues. Handling the COVID-19 pandemic, affordable housing, and reopening businesses are each top issues for about a quarter of New York voters. 

When asked who is best able to handle the major issues affecting New York City, Adams has a clear lead over the rest of the candidates on the issue of crime and public safety. However, on other significant issues, he is very much in line with Yang and the other major candidates. This suggests that if crime remains top-of-mind for voters, Adams will continue to enjoy an advantage. But if the issue fades over the next day or two, or voters change their focus to other topics, his position may fade.


About the Study

This Ipsos NYC mayoral primary poll was conducted June 10-17, 2021, by Ipsos using the KnowledgePanel® and the Ipsos opt-in iSay panel and panel partners. This poll is based on a representative sample of 2,924 residents of the 5 New York City boroughs age 18 or older. 457 completes came from Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel® and 2,467 from opt-in sample.

The study was conducted in both English and Spanish. The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race/ethnicity, education, NYC borough/county, and household income. The demographic benchmarks came from the 2014-2018 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year file from the US Census Bureau. Additional adjustments were included for the sample that supplemented KnowledgePanel® to reduce biases known to be associated with non-probability samples, including amount of television watching, time spent on the internet, frequency of expressing political opinions online, and likelihood of being an early adopter of new products and technology. Benchmarks for these additional weighting variables were from the weighted KnowledgePanel® sample in wave 1. The weighting categories were as follows:

  • Gender (Male, Female) by Age (18–29, 30–44, 45–59, and 60+)
  • Race/Hispanic Ethnicity (White Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Other or 2+ Races Non-Hispanic (includes Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, Middle Eastern, 2+ races, and other races), and Hispanic)
  • Education (High School graduate or less, Some College, Bachelor and beyond)
  • Household Income (Under $25,000, $25,000-$49,999, $50,000-$74,999, $75,000-$99,999, $100,000-$149,999, $150,000+)
  • FIPS Code/County (Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond)
  • Language dominance (English Dominant Hispanic, Bilingual or Spanish Dominant Hispanic, Non-Hispanic)
  • Amount of television watching (less than 3 hours per day or 3 or more hours per day)
  • Time spent online for personal use (Less than 10 hours per week or 10 or more hours per week)
  • Frequency of posting political opinions online (Never or less than once a month or more often)
  • Being first among friends to try new products (Not at all/Somewhat and A lot/Completely)

The credibility interval, a measure of precision used for Ipsos’ online polls, for the entire sample is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. Among likely voters, the credibility interval is plus or minus 5.7 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The credibility interval takes into account the design effect, which was 2.31 for all adults and 2.40 among likely voters. The credibility interval is higher and varies for results based on sub-samples. In our reporting of the findings, percentage points are rounded off to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given table column may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. In questions that permit multiple responses, columns may total substantially more than 100%, depending on the number of different responses offered by each respondent.

This poll is trended with two Spectrum News NY1/Ipsos NYC mayoral primary polls, conducted May 17-31, 2021, and April 1-15, 2021. The May poll contained n=3,249 residents of the 5 New York City boroughs and n=906 likely voters. The April poll contained n=3,459 residents of the 5 New York City boroughs and n=1,000 likely voters.  

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Senior Vice President, U.S., Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
[email protected]

Mallory Newall
Director, U.S., Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2014
[email protected]

Kate Silverstein
Media Relations Specialist, U.S., Public Affairs
+1 718 755-8829
[email protected]


About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest Insights and Analytics company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

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The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Sara Machi Research Analyst, Public Affairs
  • Johnny Sawyer Senior Research Manager, US, Public Affairs