To: Finance Committee Members Date: March 25, 2013 McDonald2013 -‐ A Pathway to Victory George has a clear path to victory and can achieve it with your help. Let us tell you how. First, we have reached a decision to pursue matching funds from the city. While we have preserved our standing before the court, we are committed to collecting 1400 donations of at least $175 to reach the matching funds threshold. This will allow the campaign to opt in to the matching funds program, obtain a 6 to 1 match from the city, and provide an additional way to raise the funds necessary to run a successful petition and primary campaign. We need your help now to meet that goal. Second and more importantly George McDonald is the only Republican candidate in the race that has a realistic chance to win in both September primary and the November general election. George McDonald has a pathway forward in the campaign for Mayor as he ultimately has a philosophy and positions that are more accepted with Republican primary voters. Further, his record of building The Doe Fund and his relationships within communities normally out of reach for Republicans make him the only candidate with an ability to broaden his appeal and realize the support of minority voters. In addition, his chief opponent has staked out a series of positions that will disqualify them with large segments of prime Republican voters. Primary The primary will be decided by upward of only 35-‐45 thousand prime Republican voters. These voters skew more conservative ideologically than the average general election Republican and are far more conservative than the average New York City Page 2 of 6 voter. The frontrunner in the primary, Joe Lhota has taken positions and has a background with issues that will disqualify him with primary Republican voters. We have contracted with the research firm Harper Polling to conduct surveys of large numbers of likely primary Republican voters and have found some interesting data which we believe shapes the opportunity that this race presents. McDonald – “The power of a job” As a supporter you understand the importance of George’s message and his incredible work over the past 25 years helping to make our city a better place through the power of a job. Not surprisingly our polling tells us what we know intrinsically; George’s life story is a powerful message that resonates with voters. For example we asked voters the following: Q: Would you be more or less likely to support a candidate who has helped to create tens of thousands of jobs for homeless persons and displaced veterans? More likely 58.08% Less Likely 11.68% Not sure 30.24% Total 100.00% The message of a mayoral candidate with a proven background in job creation polls very well with likely Republican primary voters in Queens 65%, Brooklyn 61% and Bronx 56%. On the central promise of McDonald’s platform, full employment, there has been an overwhelming response among Republican primary voters. Q: Would you be more or less likely to vote for a candidate for mayor whose main platform is full employment, where every New Yorker who wants a job has a job? More Likely 67.28% Less Likely 13.58% Does not matter 19.14% Total 100% Moreover the regional breakout by borough includes Bronx 74% Staten Island 70%, Brooklyn 70% and Queens 68% more likely. Page 3 of 6 Joe Lhota – the “primary” disadvantage of being an insider Joe Lhota is an insider, with all its advantages and disadvantages. A former Deputy Mayor under Rudy Giuliani, Joe, the current front-‐runner in the race, is buoyed by his tenure at the MTA during Super Storm Sandy and the endorsement of the ex-‐ mayor. While he has some obvious advantages, he also has some clear challenges with Republican primary voters. Lhota’s chairmanship of the MTA is a huge net negative with Republican voters many of whom are in the outer boroughs. Q: Would you be more or less likely to support a candidate who was Chairman of the MTA and raised toll and fares? More likely 15.09% Less likely 58.25% Not sure 26.67% Total 100.00% In the Republican stronghold of Staten Island an overwhelming 70% are less likely to support Lhota. Lhota, a self-‐described libertarian is also on the record favoring legalizing marijuana. This is another issue that doesn’t poll well with Republican primary voters. Q: Do you support or oppose decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana? Support 36.40% Oppose 53.07% Not sure 10.53% Total 100.00% More importantly when you look under the numbers, in Staten Island, 68% of Republican primary voters oppose this position and in Brooklyn 65%. On tax issues, Lhota’s support of the commuter tax also gets tepid reviews with voters, Page 4 of 6 Q: Would you be more or less likely to support a candidate who supports the reinstatement of the commuter tax? More likely 26.24% Less likely 49.05% Not sure 24.71% Total 100.00% But again, in Staten Island 66% and Brooklyn 55% of likely republican primary voters are less likely to support a candidate who supports a reinstatement of the commuter tax. These are just a few of the positions polled – however, we also know that Lhota would keep in place the Bloomberg sugary drink ban which is also extremely unpopular with GOP primary voters as a February 2013 poll by Quinnipiac University. 23. As you may know, Mayor Bloomberg has a plan to ban large servings of soda and sugary drinks in an effort to help fight obesity in New York City. Bloomberg's proposal would prohibit the sale of soda and other sweetened drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces that are sold in places regulated by the city's health department like restaurants, movie theaters, and food carts. Do you support or oppose Bloomberg's plan? Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Wht Blk Hsp Support 46% 33% 52% 42% 44% 48% 48% 38% 50% Oppose 51 65 46 53 54 49 49 60 47 DK/NA 2 2 2 5 3 2 2 2 3 Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Support 38% 49% 57% 42% 31% Oppose 60 49 39 56 67 DK/NA 2 2 3 3 2 Page 5 of 6 General Election – “the question of electability” Finally elections are about winning, it’s not enough just to win the Republican primary, you have to be able to win a general election. The same advantages which make Lhota the “insiders” favorite in this early stage of the primary are utter disadvantages in a city that has grown more diverse and ethnic since his days as deputy mayor. However strong Lhota’s leadership of the MTA was perceived in the response to Super Storm Sandy, the polling clearly shows that the position as Chairman of the MTA is a huge disadvantage with voters. That trend line will only worsen as we get further and further from the actual disaster and voters focus on evaluating their day to day experience with the MTA. Further, there is an unsuccessful precedent for Lhota’s run. In 1982, the man widely credited by the media and leading city institutions with saving the MTA, Dick Ravitch, finished dead last in a Democratic primary for mayor. Most importantly, Lhota’s close almost indistinguishable identification with Mayor Giuliani will be a significant impediment with a general election population. Mayor Giuliani’s metamorphosis from a tough, practical bipartisan problem solver, who once endorsed Mario Cuomo, into a conservative national Republican leader and one time presidential candidate, will have the effect of making Lhota simply unelectable in the City of New York. This perception is borne out in February 2013 poll by Quinnipiac University. Mayor Giuliani scored his lowest rankings with Democrats and African American voters. 21. Who do you think did the best job as Mayor; Rudy Giuliani, David Dinkins, Ed Koch, Abe Beame, John Lindsay, or Michael Bloomberg? Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Wht Blk Hsp Giuliani 31% 73% 19% 36% 29% 32% 35% 21% 37% The paradoxical challenge of Lhota’s campaign strategy is that to win the primary he must closely identify with Mayor Giuliani but in doing so he creates a political environment that is simply insurmountable in the general election. Page 6 of 6 Why George McDonald? As the Republican Party continues its soul searching for an identity that allows itself to reposition its brand with a broader cross-‐section of Americans, George McDonald, is a candidate that speaks directly to that need. McDonald is unabashedly conservative on the core issues of personal responsibility, lower taxes, workfare, jobs and public safety. Twenty-‐five years ago he saw a faltering homeless system that robbed individuals of motivation and responsibility and built a program that proved to be the inspiration for welfare reform. He believes in an active but limited government that must take a role in empowering the individual and he has put that principle into practice time and time again. Central to the campaign and what animates McDonald is his unwavering belief in the power of a job. This is a belief, when articulated with sound public policy, that transcends Republican-‐Democratic politics and will translate into victory on Election Day.