New Poll Results: Voters Undecided for Comptroller, Confused by Ranked Choice Voting, Concerned about Infrastructure

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ACEC New York released a poll among NYC Democrats, which found that nearly half of likely voters are undecided about their choice for City Comptroller, confused about how ranked choice voting will work, and concerned that the city isn’t doing more about infrastructure.

The American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York) – the voice of the consulting engineering industry – released a poll among NYC Democrats, which found that nearly half of likely voters are undecided about their choice for City Comptroller, confused about how ranked choice voting will work, and concerned that the city isn’t doing more about infrastructure.

Conducted for the ACEC New York City PAC, the survey by the Honan Strategy Group, found that City Council Speaker Corey Johnson leads the race for Comptroller with 19% of the voters, about double Council Member Brad Lander (10%), media commentator Michele Caruso-Cabrera (9%) and State Senator Brian Benjamin (8%), who are all statistically tied, but 47% haven’t settled on a choice yet.

Sixty seven percent had no second choice for Comptroller, but of those that did, 16% mentioned Johnson, 10% mentioned Lander, with the others in low single digits or 0%.

Nearly two thirds of voters said they knew about the city’s new ranked choice voting system (25% said a great deal, 38% said some), but only one third correctly answered that voters can cast ballots for up to 5 candidates for each office (33%). Twenty seven percent cited incorrectly the old voting method where votes are either cast for only one candidate (10%) or where there was a runoff of the top two vote getters (17%).

Asked to grade NYC’s infrastructure, 31% gave it a D or F, and another 34% gave it a C. Only 29% of those polled gave it an A or B grade.

Sixty eight percent of voters responded that it was very important that NYC elect a Mayor, Comptroller, Borough President and City Council who will make investing in infrastructure a top priority, but only 36% think the candidates are talking about the issue enough.

Eighty five percent of respondents are worried about NYC’s future (49% said very concerned, and 36% said somewhat concerned), with 49% believing NYC is very vulnerable to a significant weather event such as Superstorm Sandy, compared to 18% who are very concerned about a possible blackout or brownout this summer.

Strengthening critical infrastructure to withstand climate change and a rising sea level is very important to 69% of voters, with 77% saying it is very important that New York City needs to be more energy efficient and reduce its carbon footprint, and 71% saying that the city’s transportation infrastructure should be reimagined so people are less dependent on cars and have better mass transit options and places to walk.

By a margin of two to one, New Yorkers think we should invest more in maintaining existing infrastructure and building new, even if it means raising taxes (57% said yes, while 27% said no).

“With just six weeks until New Yorkers go to the primary polls, candidates should appreciate that voters are concerned about the city’s future and looking for leadership on climate change, transportation and a commitment to maintaining our infrastructure,” said Jay Simson, President & CEO of ACEC New York.

ACEC New York City PAC chair and professional engineer Tom Schoettle added, “Infrastructure spending needs to be a priority for the city’s recovery and long-term future, and the candidates who commit to that priority can ride a broad consensus to victory.”

The survey, taken between April 16, 2021 and April 21, 2021 consisted of 520 self-identified likely Democratic primary voters, and has an overall margin of sampling error of +-4.29 %. A more in-depth analysis can be found at

Founded in 1921, ACEC New York is an association representing nearly 300 firms representing every discipline of engineering related to the built environment—civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, environmental, geotechnical—and affiliated companies. Our shared goals are to further the business interests of our membership, enhance the quality and safety of the environment we live and work in, and help ensure the vitality of our communities. The ACEC New York City Political Action Committee is funded by voluntary donations from engineers throughout the metropolitan area. For more information, visit

Honan Strategy Group is a Democratic polling, market research, and data analytics company headquartered in New York City. The executives of Honan Strategy Group have conducted hundreds of public opinion research studies over the last 20 years and have worked for the like of; Hillary Clinton, Mike Bloomberg, Tom DiNapoli, Eliot Engel, Ruben Diaz Junior, Nathalia Fernandez, Stacy Lynch, Ahmadou Diallo, Elizabeth Crowley, Betsy Gotbaum, Bill Thompson, Ed Towns, City & State magazine, among many others, as well as major Fortune 500 companies and not for profit organizations. For more information, visit

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Natasha Burns
ACEC New York
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