Despite press accounts detailing legions of disappointed and angry voters, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is hardly in any danger of losing today’s (Sept. 12) Democratic primary for a second term. In fact, he’s likely to defeat a field of challengers, led by Sal Albanese (2013 primary effort: 0.9% of the vote), in a landslide.
Until 2013, Democrats had lost five mayoral elections in a row , two to Rudy Giuliani and three to Michael Bloomberg. De Blasio’s election four years ago returned the party to its once comfortable position, in a city where Ds outnumber Rs by six-to-one.
Historically, there has been more volatility in primaries. Starting in 1953, four NYC mayors have been defeated in the primary, whereas only one incumbent was defeated in the general election; that was David Dinkins (D), who lost to Giuliani (R) in 1989.
Here are the four defeats of incumbents in the primary in the past 65 years:
1953: Mayor Vincent Impellitteri lost the Democratic primary to Manhattan Borough President Robert Wagner Jr.
1969: Mayor John Lindsay lost the Republican primary to state Sen. John Marchi; Lindsay nonetheless was re-elected in November running as an independent.
1977: Mayor Abraham Beame finished third in the Democratic primary, behind Rep. Edward Koch and Secretary of State Mario Cuomo; Koch went on to win the election.
1989: Mayor Koch lost the Democratic primary to Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins.