Who will win the NYC Mayoral Election? Full Predictions and Analysis

Tomorrow, New Yorker’s across the five boroughs will go to the polls and vote in the Democratic Primary. Many elected offices will be on the ballot: Comptroller, Borough President, District Attorney(Manhattan), as well as ⅔ of all city council seats. Most consequently, however, is the Mayoral Election to succeed Bill De Blasio. While the General Election is held in November, Democrats enjoy an 8–1 registration advantage over Republicans, which makes the Democratic Primary the de-facto election locally. There are currently four candidates with a chance of winning: Eric Adams, Maya Wiley, Kathryn Garcia, and Andrew Yang. No election since 1977 has been this close, with so many contenders who can win on election day, truly anything is possible. In this piece, I will look to evaluate all four of their respective chances, while predicting voting patterns and preference by neighborhood and borough. In doing so, I will outline prospective voter coalitions, and detail my predictions for who will win. I will include a vote share map and a ranked choice voting simulation as well. These predictions are based on personal organizing experience and knowledge, polling data, endorsements, racial and socioeconomic demographic data/trends, with a little gut feeling mixed in.

In doing so, I will look to answer these questions, and many more:

Will Eric Adams hold his narrow polling lead?

Did Maya Wiley peak too late or at the perfect time?

Is Kathryn Garcia best positioned to capitalize on Ranked Choice Voting?

Will Andrew Yang ride one of the most unique coalitions to victory, despite his polling fade over the last month?

Remember: these are my predictions, ~not~ my preferences

Let’s begin. Buckle up.

Manhattan

Financial District:

Garcia 1, Yang 2, McGuire 3

Garcia wins this area fairly comfortably. White, liberal, upper middle class, educated voters are the core of Garcia’s base, drawn to her technocrat managerial experience, a hallmark of the Bloomberg Era. Yang comes in second, largely due to the Asian population, which he polls extremely well with, buoyed by the endorsement of Council Member Margaret Chin. McGuire’s second most prominent donation base is Lower Manhattan, so he makes a stealth appearance in the top 3.

Greenwich Village/Soho:

Garcia 1, Wiley 2, Yang 3

Neighborhood demographics once more play to Garcia’s favor. In a more liberal neighborhood with active local democratic clubs, Wiley does well, especially with her messaging on police reform. Yang rounds out the top three with a combination of name recognition and consolidating the Asian vote.

Lower East Side/Chinatown:

Yang 1, Garcia 2, Stringer 3

A more economically and racially diverse segment of Manhattan than the aforementioned two neighborhoods(60% of households make under 60K). Yang does well in Chinatown(Asians make up 33% of the area), while he and Garcia split the Latino(25%) and White(30%) vote.

Chelsea/Hell’s Kitchen:

Garcia 1, Wiley 2, Yang 3

Garcia continues her dominance of white Manhattan voters, Wiley places favorably with the strong liberal constituency in the area, while Yang places third in his own neighborhood.

East Village/Stuyvesant Town/Turtle Ball/Midtown East:

Garcia 1, Wiley 2, Yang 3

See above.

Midtown: Garcia 1

This is Garcia’s neighborhood to lose, every demographic and economic trend points to her success. Eric Adams will appear on a few ballots here as well.

Upper West Side:

Stringer 1, Garcia 2, Wiley 3

Scott Stringer’s longstanding ties to the UWS political community will help deliver him this neighborhood. His most loyal base of voters reside here. Older, Jewish voters who are classic liberals, and who are less likely to be moved by the accusations against Stringer. However, disaffected Stringer voters will migrate to the NYT endorsed Kathryn Garcia and the AOC endorsed Maya Wiley.

Upper East Side:

Garcia 1, Wiley 2, Stringer 3

One of my most confident picks. Garcia will do very well given her competence pedigree, in addition to the favor of local elected officials, like State Senator Liz Kruegar. Wiley will be carried by the burgeoning progressive population East of Lexington Avenue(District 5, please go vote for Rebecca Lamorte like your life depends on it). Stringer will do well with status quo liberals and the large Jewish population.

East Harlem:

Adams 1, Garcia 2, Yang 3

Adams makes his first appearance in a top 3. Demographics and economic trends change drastically North of 96th street(65% of households make <65K, 36% Black, 43% Latino). Adams’ message of law and order resonates in a neighborhood where violent crime and poverty are BOTH double the citywide average. Adams is also endorsed by local CM Diana Ayala, and will do well with the working class blacks and latinos in the neighborhood. Garcia, Yang, and Wiley compete for the leftover votes.

Central Harlem:

Adams 1, Wiley 2

Adams dramatically flips the narrative and starts picking up many votes in Manhattan, north of 96th street. Wiley has a donor base in the area and will pick up some votes as well.

Morningside Heights/Hamilton Heights:

Adams 1, Stringer 2, Garcia 3

Stringer’s power along the West Side is not enough to stop a surging Adams.

Washington Heights/Inwood:

Adams 1, Garcia 2, Stringer 3

Congressman Adriano Espaillat’s endorsement surges Adams to the front of the pack(he unendorsed Scott Stringer). In a predominantly hispanic neighborhood(75%), Garcia and Stringer(who grew up here) remain competitive, but Adams’ stronger polling with Latinos and the consolidation of local politicians is too much for them to overcome.

Brooklyn

Greenpoint/Bushwick/Williamsburg:

Wiley 1, Yang 2, Morales 3

Wiley does well here. In a gentrifying neighborhood, she wins young politically engaged leftists. Yang wins big in the Orthodox Jewish communities in Williamsburg, who vote in blocs to increase their power. Morales, despite her campaign’s implosion over a union busting fiasco, ekes out a few votes.

Fort Greene/Brooklyn Heights:

Wiley 1, Adams 2, Garcia 3

Wiley threads a coalition between younger black voters, and older white liberals, having secured endorsements from many local electeds. Adams wins homeowners, while doing well with older blacks and latinos. Garcia succeeds, but to a lesser degree than Wiley because of her weakness with black voters.

Park Slope/Prospect Heights/Carroll Gardens/Red Hook:

Garcia 1, Wiley 2, Stringer 3

Garcia, who lives in Park Slope, is viewed favorably by college educated white voters who are in higher income brackets, as she has now become their candidate of choice after her New York Times endorsement. Wiley picks off the more left leaning voters, who are weary of Garcia’s stances on police and housing. This seems especially likely in Red Hook, which appears on the verge of electing Alexa Avilés, a Democratic Socialist, to the City Council.

Bedford-Stuyvesant/Crown Heights:

Adams 1, Wiley 2, Yang 3

One of the most vote rich neighborhoods in the entire city. 75% of this area’s population is black. Central Brooklyn is a battleground between Eric Adams and Maya Wiley. Despite Wiley’s endorsements from both Hakeem Jeffries and Yvette Clarke, Adams will eke out a victory. He will run up margins in Bed-Stuy, winning older black voters, especially homeowners, who are weary of “defunding the police” and the looming threat of gentrification. Adams enjoys the full support of outgoing city council member Laurie Cumbo. Yang finishes a distant third thanks to the Hasidic population in Crown Heights, as well as a few white, politically moderate newcomers to the area.

(Also, keep your eye on the City Council race around here, DSA backed Michael Hollingsworth vs labor/non-profit left backed Crystal Hudson)

Sunset Park:

Yang 1, Wiley 2, Garcia 3

A neighborhood with uniform income distribution and a nearly even mix of Asians, Hispanics and Whites will yield close results. Yang, with the endorsement of outgoing CM Carlos Menchaca, will do well with Asians and some liberal and hispanic voters who supported Menchaca. Wiley and Garcia will also do well given their pedigree’s with wealthy, college educated voters.

Borough Park:

Yang 1, Adams 2

This is easy. Yang locked up the Hasidic vote in Borough Park over the last few months. Yang will also do well with the 11% of the neighborhood that is Asian. His campaign has made a concerted effort to rally within this neighborhood. Adams will finish a distant second, picking up the working class whites and hispanics that are not supporting Yang.

Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights:

Garcia 1, Wiley 2, Adams 3

Adams, despite the favor of City Council speaker contender Justin Brannon and many homeowners, will fall short to Wiley and Garcia, who both poll better with wealthy, white voters.

Bensonhurst:

Yang 1, Garcia 2, Adams 3

A rapidly growing Asian population and a reputation for conservative politics will lead to great support for both Yang and Garcia. Yang has a Campaign HQ in the neighborhood and his team is aggressively targeting the voters here for support. Adams has also traditionally enjoyed support from local electeds in the area, despite the neighborhood’s tortured history of racial strife. John Liu also did well here in 2013, which is a positive sign for Yang.

Coney Island:

Adams 1, Yang 2, Garcia 3

23.5% of Coney Island’s rental units are part of New York’s public housing. Over 50% of Coney Island’s households make less than 40K, including 32.5% that make less than 20K. Adams and Yang have many small dollar donors in the area. Adams’ strength with voters who make less than 50K a year, as well as older homeowners and working class blacks and latinos will outlast Yang’s strength with moderate whites and Asians.

Sheepshead Bay:

Garcia 1, Adams 2, Yang 3

An area that is 75% white where 54% of household incomes exceed 60K favors Garcia.

East Flatbush:

Adams 1, Wiley 2

Adams wins this neighborhood comfortably, but Wiley still picks up votes, given the proximity to her own home and her campaign’s presence here.

Flatbush/Midwood:

Adams 1, Wiley 2, Garcia 3

See above. Despite Maya Wiley living here, Adams should win this neighborhood narrowly, largely due to the working class communities south of Ditmas Park.

Flatlands/Canarsie:

Adams 1

Eric Adams will dominate these areas in Southeast Brooklyn, with many of his donors concentrated in these neighborhoods. His pro-cop, pro-real estate messaging resonates in a community that is 61% black with 58% homeownership, that is primarily composed of older voters. In whiter enclaves like Marine Park, Yang and Garcia might make it somewhat competitive, but this territory is Adams to lose.

East New York/Starrett City:

Adams 1

In a neighborhood where violent crime is twice the citywide average, with a predominantly working class(60% of households earn less than 60K), black and latino coalition(55% black, 35% latino), once more, this neighborhood is Eric Adams to lose.

Brownsville:

Adams 1, Wiley 2

Adams continues his dominance, but Wiley, with the support of local activists and Hakeem Jeffries, will not be blown out. Adams continues to do well with lower income communities of color, as Brownsville(27% NYCHA tenants, 70% households making under 60K, 69% black) is the backbone of his coalition.

Queens

Astoria/Ditmars Steinway:

Wiley 1, Garcia 2, Yang 3

Western Queens has been Ground Zero for the rise of Socialist lawmakers, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Tiffany Caban, and Zohran Mamdani. It is one of the most liberal neighborhoods in the City. Wiley, as the only quasi leftist candidate unscathed by scandal, should win, while Garcia and Yang pick off the more moderate constituencies(Yang is making a concerted volunteer push in this neighborhood).

Long Island City/Woodside/Sunnyside:

Wiley 1, Garcia 2, Yang 3

This will be a fairly even vote share between the aforementioned three candidates. While income factors(gentrifying, most households 60K+) and local political endorsements and electoral climate favor Wiley and Garcia, demographics favor Yang, who has greater strength with Asians(37% of the neighborhood) and Hispanics(29%).

Jackson Heights/East Elmhurst:

Yang 1, Adams 2, Garcia 3

This is a toss up. I think Yang will do well with immigrant communities, especially the Asian population, while Adams will do well in East Elmhurst(the average resident lives there for 36 years), a more conservative area that strongly supported both Joe Crowley and Hiram Monserrate in the past decade.

Elmhurst/Corona:

Yang 1, Adams 2

Also a toss up. If Yang can win Asian voters while staying close with Adams’ Hispanic support, he should be able to eke out a win in these neighborhoods.

Ridgewood/Maspeth:

Adams 1, Yang 2, Garcia 3

One of the most conservative areas in the city. Adams’ law and order message will resonate with a community that elected Bob Holden, who is essentially a Republican backed by the PBA, to the City Council. Yang, unable to outflank Adams to his right, will still gain support here.

Rego Park/Forest Hills:

Yang 1, Garcia 2, Adams 3

A toss up. Yang will do well with Asians(31% of the population) and more conservative white voters. Garcia will do well with the wealthier, slightly more liberal population(60% of households make 60K+) while Adams will do well with conservative homeowners(51%).

Kew Gardens/Woodhaven:

Yang 1, Garcia 2, Adams 3

Very similar reasoning as above.

South Ozone Park/Howard Beach:

Adams 1, Yang 2

A community with a homeownership rate of 71% and a base of Eric Adams donors will see him win the neighborhood comfortably. Yang finishes a distant second.

Flushing/Whitestone:

Yang 1, Adams 2, Garcia 3

Yang dominates in Flushing and should win resoundingly. In order for Yang to win the whole thing, he needs record turnout in neighborhoods like this. Yang’s endorsements from Congresswoman Grace Meng, State Senator John Liu, and Assemblymember Ron Kim are integral to his coalition and turnout. Adams, who once aggressively courted this voting block, comes in a distant second but still picks up some votes. Garcia benefits from Yang’s favoritism and his plea to his supporters to rank her #2.

Hillcrest/Fresh Meadow:

Adams 1, Yang 2, Garcia 3

A true toss up. A very conservative area that has remarkable diversity(31% Asian, 16% Black, 21% Hispanic, 27% White). Might be a coin flip, but I think it will come down to Yang and Adams.

Bayside/Little Neck:

Yang 1, Adams 2

Yang received his largest share donations from this area, as Asian voters make up 41% of the local electorate. Adams will finish a strong second as well, polling well with older homeowners who make up 71% of this community.

Jamaica/Hollis:

Adams 1, McGuire 2, Wiley 3

Adams will win these neighborhoods convincingly. Southeast Queens is a crucial part of his voting bloc and his endorsements from countless local politicians(and members of the Queens Machine) will carry significant weight here. Adams’ base of Blacks(60% of the population) and homeowners(50%) is well represented here. Ray McGuire has hired some of the premier consultants in the area and secured the endorsement of Queens County Democratic Chair Greg Meeks, so he will poll solidly in the area. Wiley will round out the top 3, as she receives a solid amount of donations from folks in this area.

Queens Village:

Adams 1, McGuire 2, Wiley 3

See above. Adams might win an even larger share here, as this community is 70% homeowners.

Rockaway/Broad Channel:

Adams 1, Wiley 2, Garcia 3

Adams should win this area relatively comfortably, given the many working class black and latino communities throughout the neighborhood. Wiley and Adams, despite taking opposite views on many public safety issues, have both resonated with different voices in the Rockaway community after the tragic killing of 10-year old Justin Wallace.

The Bronx

South Bronx(Mott Haven/Melrose/Hunts Point/Longwood):

Adams 1, Yang 2, Wiley 3

With some of the highest rates of poverty and violence in the five boroughs(violent crime is 3x the citywide rate, 42% of households make below 20K) — Adams’ law and order messaging coupled with his strong support amongst working class black and latino voters will deliver him these neighborhoods. Yang, with the help of new Congressmember Ritchie Torres, will pick up votes here as well, as his notoriety for UBI and cash transfer plan have gained him support in the area. Wiley, endorsed by former assemblymember Michael Blake, should have healthy support here as well.

West Bronx(Highbridge/Concourse/Fordham/University Heights):

Yang 1, Adams 2, Wiley 3

Vanessa Gibson, whose city council district encompasses the area, is supporting Yang. She is very popular, and the favorite to win boroughwide in the Bronx BP election. Yang will be competitive here, and likely in most corners of the borough. Adams and Yang will battle for low income black and latino voters, and despite Adams’ endorsements, Gibson might be enough to help deliver a narrow victory on the West Side for Yang.

Central Bronx(Morrisania, Crotona, Belmont, East Tremont):

Adams 1, Yang 2, Wiley 3

In the Central Bronx, Adams has greater institutional support and Black voters make up a greater share of the electorate than on the West Side. That might make all the difference between him and Yang, who will surprise pundits with his performance in the BX. Maya Wiley has small dollar donor support throughout the borough, so she could surprise here as well.

Kingsbridge Heights/Bedford:

Adams 1, Yang 2, Wiley 3

Adams, Yang and Wiley will all do well with lower income communities in the Bronx. Adams has longstanding ties to these voters, Yang has his association with cash payments, and Wiley has staked herself as a candidate committed to strengthening the social safety net. In this area, where 54% of households make under 40K and 73% make under 60K, all three will receive electoral support. This community is 73% hispanic, and all four of Adams, Yang, Wiley, and Garcia retain comparable levels of support with hispanic voters.

Riverdale/Fieldston:

Garcia 1, Stringer 2, Wiley 3

While this area has seen a decrease in it’s white population over the last decade, it is still home to a reliable upper-middle class liberal voting cohort. Scott Stringer, shut out of many neighborhoods, makes a return, as many of his donors live in this area. Yet, much of his support has defected to Garcia and Wiley, who also poll better with the Latino community in the area.

Williamsbridge/Baychester:

Adams 1, Wiley 2, Garcia 3

A predominantly black community(60%) with a diverse household income bracket with 39% home ownership leads me to believe this neighborhood will be an Adams victory(but not overwhelmingly). 2–4 will be a toss up.

Throgs Neck/Co-op City:

Wiley 1, Adams 2, Garcia 3

Wiley’s endorsements from AOC and Jamaal Bowman are crucial here, as both represent these neighborhoods in Congress, allowing her to outmaneuver Adams with undecided voters who have liberal tendencies. These neighborhoods are also wealthier and whiter than other parts of the Bronx, and Wiley boasts a significant number of donations from the area, all of which are a boon to her campaign.

Parkchester/Soundview:

Adams 1, Wiley 2, Yang 3

Despite an endorsement for Wiley from Parkchester’s most famous resident, Adams wins this area with a swath of local support, most notably from Bronx Borough President Rueben Diaz Jr, who has been vigorously working on Adams behalf.

Morris Park/Bronxdale:

Adams 1, Garcia 2, Wiley 3

The relatively even income and racial distribution between hispanics, blacks and latinos, leads me to believe that Garcia and Wiley will keep this close, but Adams will ultimately prevail, as he receives a more donations from these neighborhoods than the other two.

Staten Island:

Garcia 1, Adams 2, Yang 3

Yes, I am compiling an entire borough into just one section, but given Staten Island’s small vote share in the Democratic Primary, I think I can get away with it. Ultimately, Garcia’s strength with moderate whites and deep local knowledge of the borough’s issues(many residents feel neglected by big candidates) will lead her to a first place finish boroughwide. Adams, off the endorsement of Charles Fall and Diane Savino, does well with pro-police voters, challenging Garcia for the borough lead. Yang’s full throated embrace of moderate messaging coupled with Sal Albanese’s endorsement will help him round out the top 3.

The Map

Electoral Vote Share Map of New York City

Ranked Choice Voting Table

My personal Ranked Choice Voting simulation prediction
The Final Four — clockwise from the top left(Andrew Yang, Maya Wiley, Kathryn Garcia, Eric Adams)

Conclusion

I predict that Eric Adams wins the mayoralty. His coalition of outer borough working class Black and Latino voters, coupled with homeowners, older voters and political moderates will prove too difficult for the other candidates to overcome. Adams’ strong support from organized labor, while not the Democratic Party backbone it used to be, is still an incredibly effective means of executing an electoral strategy. Adams’ tough on crime message will resonate with voters, and reliable voting blocs in Southeast Queens and Central Brooklyn will put him ahead on the initial ballot count, a lead he will not relinquish. Maya Wiley, the product of a late surge, will do well, but will ultimately be shut out in moderate white neighborhoods in the outer boroughs, places where Adams may not win, but will pick up votes to increase his lead. Looking back, one can surmise how a New York Times endorsement of Wiley, and not Garcia, coupled with a leftist consolidation, could have turned the tide on Adams and swept Wiley to a historic victory. Her attempt at recreating the De Blasio coalition falls just short, but she submits a strong showing. Kathryn Garcia proves to be adept at Ranked Choice voting, managing to appeal to both moderates and liberals, who embrace her technocrat approach to management. Garcia is carried to the Final Round despite having the fourth most first place votes in the initial round, as her RCV rankings push her ahead of Yang and Wiley narrowly in the final rounds, until she loses to Adams. Garcia failed to make inroads with Black voters, and will see her mayoral hopes dashed as a result. When competing head to head with Adams, his strength in the outer boroughs, especially amongst working class Blacks and Latinos, will be the engine of her defeat. One cannot win a Democratic Primary in New York City without Black Voters. Lastly, we must discuss Andrew Yang, the surprise entry and frontrunner for months. Yang, during the presidential primary, was respected by many liberals and leftists for his promotion of UBI. Yet, since his entry into the Mayor’s Race, Yang has completely alienated much of the left coalition, at the behest of his right wing consultant, Bradley Tusk. Yang embraced most of Eric Adams’ rhetoric on crime, cops, and mental illness, attempting to carve out a lane that was already occupied. His campaign began with unbridled optimism, then descended into fear mongering. Without institutional political support, Yang failed to make inroads with black voters while also alienating highly educated white liberals, a devastating combination of failure. Thus, he narrowed his coalition, which ultimately narrowed his path to victory. To win, Yang would have needed a record coalition of Asians, Orthodox Jews, moderate outer borough whites, and a plurality of hispanic support. Not impossible, but no easy feat either. Many voters trusted Eric Adams pedigree as a former cop and elected official who spent decades in city politics, and as the primary wore on, that contrast was more evident. Yang leaned into his worse tendencies, and he will have a fourth place finish to show for it.

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Michael Lange

@mjlange4nyc

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Email: Michael.James.Lange@gmail.com

Check out my profile and read my deep dive on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning 2018 Primary victory over Joe Crowley

NYC born & raised || Political Organizer || Boston College Class of 2021 — Economics(B.S.) Political Science(B.A.)