By New York Times
Michael R. Bloomberg won a third term as New York City’s 108th mayor on Tuesday.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Bloomberg was narrowly leading Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr., his Democratic rival, 50.6 percent to 46.0 percent. The mayor was projected to win by a much thinner margin than in 2005 – when he thoroughly trounced Fernando Ferrer – and than many had anticipated.
Mr. Bloomberg persuaded the City Council to amend a law that would have restricted him to two terms and then spent some $90 million of his personal fortune on his campaign. It was the fifth straight defeat for the Democrats, who, despite a huge registration advantage, have not captured the mayoralty since 1989.
At the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers, the mayor and his top advisers remained holed up in a room on Tuesday evening, while downstairs, Mr. Bloomberg’s supporters, without a television screen before them, seemed unaware of how tight the race had become. “Really?” one mayoral adviser said when told about the mayor’s narrow lead.
Howard Wolfson, the mayor’s top campaign strategist, told NY1 News that the results in Virginia and New Jersey, where Republicans captured the governors’ mansions, showed it was “an extremely difficult environment for incumbents all over the country,” an environment exacerbated by the “worst recession since the Great Depression.”
As the surprisingly close margin became apparent, the mayor’s supporters said a victory was a victory. “I don’t really think that anyone believed that there was going to be a wide margin here,” Patrick J. Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, told NY1 News.
Representative Anthony D. Weiner, a Queens Democrat who has been a persistent critic of the mayor, said in a phone interview: “We learned tonight that people do not forget easily. And a lot of people, whether they said it to pollsters or not, were offended by the term limits fight.”
Turnout was low. Just over 1 million ballots were cast, one of the lowest turnouts on record. Mr. Bloomberg, 67, an independent running on the Republican line, overwhelmed Mr. Thompson in spending, and deflected the comptroller’s repeated efforts to criticize the mayor’s record on housing, education and the economy. Mr. Thompson, 56, devoted his day to campaigning, and did not let up even as the voting wound down.
COLlive Election Coverage:
+ Mike Blares Jewish Music
+ Thompson Ignores Radio Slur
+ C.H. Group Backs Bloomberg
+ Mike Bloomberg and Co.
+ Bloomberg, Thompson Pay Visit
+ Thompson at NCFJE Breakfast
+ Thompson Visits Crown Heights
+ Mayor Goes for Kosher Pizza
+ Bloomberg Seeks Yiddish Jews
+ Poll: Bloomberg Go Home
+ Mayor Hosts Heritage Cocktail
+ Bloomberg: I’m Sharpton’s Fan
+ Bloomberg Launches Campaign
+ Thompson Running for Mayor
+ What’s Arabic for ‘Mayor’?