Nate Silver predicts Christine Quinn’s future in NYC race for mayor

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New York Times columnist Nate Silver is predicting that New York’s City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn, has a high chance as the party frontrunner for the mayor of New York City.

Silver gained notoriety for perfectly predicting the outcomes of the 2012 presidential election.

“The early Democratic front-runner in recent New York City mayoral races has a near perfect record in going on to win the party’s nomination, according to an analysis of public opinion surveys conducted since 1989,” Silver said. “If that pattern holds true in this year’s race, [Quinn] will very likely win the Democratic nomination in September. She has led in every primary poll conducted in 2013.”

Despite Quinn’s support falling from 39 percent in January, Quinn maintains an advantage with 17 percentage points in an average of at least seven primary polls, with 24 percent in the recent Marist poll.

“Ms. Quinn is likely to win the Democratic nomination, even if she has to face a runoff election first,” Silver predicted, based on poll analysis and historical precedent.

“In five of the past six Democratic primaries for mayor, the candidate who led in an average of polls conducted in the first six months of the election year advanced to the general election,” Silver wrote.

While Silver is confident in his predictions, there’s of course always a chance that things could go differently.

He acknowledged, “While the early front-runner virtually always secures the nomination, underdogs have leapfrogged over other candidates to finish in the top tier (although never to win). In 2005, Mr. Weiner was barely in double digits in the first 15 polls of the year, but secured 29 percent of the primary vote, finishing in second place. In 1997, early surveys showed the Rev. Al Sharpton with just 9 percent of the vote, but he, too, went on to finish second in the primary, winning 32 percent of the vote.”

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