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Ferrer Gaining in N.Y. Mayor Poll

June 20, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ Controversy over Navy bombing exercises in Puerto Rico may be helping the mayoral campaign of Fernando Ferrer, who is of Puerto Rican descent, according to a poll released Wednesday.

Ferrer’s support among Democratic voters has increased from 12 percent to 17 percent during the past three months, the Marist Institute for Public Opinion found.

Pollster Lee Miringoff said the increase may be because of recent publicity over the bombing exercises on Vieques, a Puerto Rican island with 9,400 inhabitants. Critics say the bombing is dangerous, a claim the Navy denies.

A third of registered Democrats remain undecided, according to the poll of 630 registered voters, including 462 Democrats. The margin of error was 4 percentage points for the whole sample and 5 percentage points for the Democratic subgroup.

Among other Democrats, the poll showed Public Advocate Mark Green’s support has dropped from 31 to 25 percent, while city Comptroller Alan Hevesi and City Council Speaker Peter Vallone were the top picks of 14 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Ferrer is the Bronx Borough president.

The survey showed that any of the Democrats would handily beat either Republican candidate, Herman Badillo or media mogul Michael Bloomberg.

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