Former Sen. Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonWhite House official Gorka walks out of 'fake news' event Q&A Trump faults DNC in Russian email hacks Week ahead: US raises pressure on WikiLeaks MORE (D-N.Y.) would handily defeat incumbent New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) if she ran as an independent in 2017, according to a new poll.
A survey from Quinnipiac University released Wednesday found that Clinton, running as an independent, would top de Blasio, running as a Democrat, by 49 percent to 30.
There are rumors that Clinton may be interested in running for mayor of New York City, although her top aides have sought to tamp down that speculation in public interviews.
De Blasio, a progressive, declined to endorse Clinton’s bid to be the Democratic presidential nominee for months. He finally endorsed her in October of 2015, but the chill between the two camps persisted and de Blasio never had a prominent role as a Clinton surrogate.
The Quinnipiac University survey found New Yorkers are split on de Blasio’s job performance, with 45 percent saying they approve against 46 percent who disapprove.
However, 49 percent said de Blasio does not deserve to be reelected, against 42 percent who said he does.
The survey found that de Blasio has a lead of nearly 25 points over the next closest Democratic primary challenger — a field that includes five other potential candidates, but not Clinton.
However, at 35 percent support de Blasio fails to reach the 40 percent mark needed to avoid a primary run-off.
“New Yorkers aren’t in love with Mayor Bill de Blasio, but they seem to like him better than other possible choices — except Hillary Clinton, who probably is an impossible choice,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “None of the possible contenders has made any real noise or spent any money, so this race still could get interesting."
The Quinnipiac poll of 1,138 voters in New York City was conducted between Jan. 11-17 and has a 2.9 percentage point margin of error.