Is NYC a “Populist” Indicator?

Among the things I didn’t watch that closely last night because it was so predictable was Bill DeBlasio’s big mayoral win in New York. It was the first Democratic mayoral victory since 1989 in a city with a 6-1 Democratic registration advantage. I suppose it’s significant that Republican candidate Joe Lhota wasn’t able to red-bait DeBlasio. But Lhota was no Michael Bloomberg or Rudy Giuliani, either, and you don’t have to go too deeply into ideological interpretations to account for a Democratic win over a weak opponent in a city that’s ambivalent at best about the Bloomberg legacy.

Still, Ryan Cooper’s right: de Blasio’s primary and election wins will contribute to a broader debate in the Democratic Party over its message on economic policy, and how the new Mayor performs in the most-watched city in America will have an impact as well. At a minimum, Democratic fears about being accused of “class warfare” when discussing inequality can and should subside significantly. And Wall Street doesn’t have to look far to see a politician willing to aggressively promote the interests of those of us who live in a less rarefied atmosphere.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.