What's gone wrong on Christine Quinn's New York mayorial campaign?
(Photo: MSN)

Christine Quinn must be wondering what she needs to do to get some love from New York City voters in the mayoral election. The Irish American legislator was hot favorite and front-runner for much of the contest.

Despite the powerful endorsement of The New York Times and the support of the New York Daily News and New York Post she trails behind front-runner Bill De Blasio by a whopping 15 points and is barely ahead of Bill Thompson who is on 20.

Frankly, I thought once I saw the Times endorsement, which is usually as good as gold in New York politics on the Democratic side, that Quinn, after a rough patch, was the very likely favorite again.

Not so, far from it. This poll includes several days polling after the Times, News and Post endorsements.

The Quinnipiac poll brings into sight the unbelievable scenario of Bill De Blasio getting the 40 percent that would avoid a runoff.

The poll shows that even if Quinn gets into a runoff with Di Blasio she would be crushed.

A Friday New York Times poll confirmed the bad news for Quinn with roughly similar figures.

What has gone wrong for the flame-haired candidate who is a firm favorite in the Irish American community?

Many in that community are now deeply concerned that a Quinn loss could impact many high profile projects such as the Irish Arts Center expansion, a huge boost for the community which Quinn has been solidly behind.

It seems that Quinn has just not connected with two critical groups, women and minorities, and that Di Blasio is crushing her among African Americans in particular. She is also losing votes because of her closeness to Bloomberg.

Di Blasio, who I got to know a little when he was campaign manager for Hillary Clinton’s 2000 senate campaign, is a likeable guy but I am as puzzled as the next person as to why he has suddenly shot so far ahead.

Sure he is the most liberal candidate in a liberal city, sure his wife is African American which helps with that vote, and yes he has the best campaign ads but he has pretty much shot out of the pack with little or no fanfare catching everyone by surprise.

Can that momentum be stalled? The polls do show that one third of the electorate can change their mind but it is getting very late for Chris Quinn who has simply failed to carry a knockout punch.

The big winner in all of this in my opinion is Joe Lhota on the Republican side, a former Mayor Giuliani commissioner. Lhota’s folks will be rubbing their hands if Di Blasio wins given his liberal record.

Unlikely as it may sound don’t rule out yet another Republican mayor after Giuliani and Bloomberg in the Big Apple.