MTA Chairman Joe Lhota was applauded for getting the subway system up and running after Superstorm Sandy and has gotten generally good marks since taking over the embattled authority this year. But is that enough to get Lhota to City Hall on the GOP ticket?
Political analyst Erik Engquist said the MTA's planned fare hike in March could hurt Llota's standing with voters. He also said the MTA is still very unpopular among New Yorkers, that Democrats outnumber Republicans in New York 6 to 1, and that Lhota has no campaign money.
On the Democratic side, Engquist puts Comptroller John Liu and his predecessor, Bill Thompson, at the back of a crowded field. He said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio could have a fighting chance because he is smart, has good relations with labor unions, and has ties to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the Clintons.
Many believe City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is the Democratic frontrunner despite reports that Mayor Mike Bloomberg was secretly trying to get Hillary Clinton to run. At a Tuesday news conference with Quinn by his side, Bloomberg didn't deny the Clinton report but did get annoyed when he was asked about it and praised Quinn.
Engquist said the mayor may be stopping short of endorsing Quinn right now because of what he wants to accomplish in his last year as mayor.
He said Bloomberg still needs leverage over her to pass bills he wants passed and block ones he doesn't. Plus someone better in the business community could pop up and Bloomberg would be likely to support someone the business community wants.