Bill de Blasio bounded into a campaign rally in the shadow of a Brooklyn courthouse trying hard to act like it was any other day on the mayoral campaign trail.
But it wasn’t. Earlier this week, the well regarded Quinnipiac University poll found de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, had opened a surprise lead in the city’s Democratic mayoral primary—besting City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who until recently had been widely considered the heir apparent to outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“There is absolutely positively nothing different,” de Blasio insisted, when asked about the poll suggesting he’s the new frontrunner in the race. “It doesn’t matter if the polls are good or bad. My vision for the future is the same in every way.”
But it was definitely different for the 52-year old Brooklyn resident, whose campaign hadn’t received much attention until recently. While his audience of voters at the courthouse was sparse, he spoke to a crowd of reporters that was noticeably larger than previous events. And suddenly, staffers were fielding requests from a host of national news organizations—including MSNBC, where he appeared twice on Thursday.