With less than five weeks to go before the Nov. 5 election, New York’s mayoral candidates are both out with their first post-primary television ads today.
The 30-second spot from Republican Joseph Lhota, who faces long odds against Democrat Bill de Blasio, is entitled “Only,” yet may as well be called “Only in New York.”
In it, the former chief of the city’s subway system first highlights his likeness to his opponent: their shared support for abortion rights, same-sex marriage and the decriminalization of marijuana.
“The difference?” the ad says. “De Blasio wants to raise taxes and supports reckless government spending, Lhota wants to cut wasteful government spending, putting more money back in your pocket. Democrats agree. Joe Lhota is New York.”
It’s a stark contrast to the budget battle playing out in Washington, where party leaders seem farther apart than ever as they remain at ideological odds over how to resolve the government shutdown they caused.
New York Republicans can’t use the same playbook: Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by six to one here, meaning Lhota needs more cross-over votes than those from his own party to actually win. He’s got to cozy up to Democrats, even if it means trying to sound like them.
De Blasio has staked his candidacy on convincing voters that his vision for“bold, progressive change” and pledge to reduce the growing gap between rich and poor represents a cleaner break than Lhota from the era of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“We are bigger, we are stronger, we are better as a city when we make sure that everyone has a shot,” de Blasio says in his ad, cut from a dramatic speech he delivered at his primary night victory party last month in Brooklyn.