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Where's the spark?

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
October 21, 2013 1:56:49 PM PDT
So the opinion poll gap between Joe Lhota and Bill de Blasio remains at 44 percent, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll.

That means that the first debate between the two - seen here on WABC TV last week - did nothing for Mr. Lhota. With 2 weeks before the election, the question remains is Mr. de Blasio unstoppable in his question to become the first Democrat to be elected Mayor of New York since 1989?

Most political types thought Mr. Lhota would be more aggressive during our debate - like criticizing more forcefully Mr. de Blasio's tax plan, which calls for higher taxes on the wealthy but, Mr. Lhota likes to say, will likely include everyone eventually. He did not attack de Blasio directly for that, except to say it as almost an aside.

But it's not Lhota's style to attack. De Blasio, on the other hand, is less hesitant, as we saw when he went after Lhota for being tied to the Tea Party. It was a stretch to do that - although fair game because Lhota went to a Tea Party event - because Lhota is a typical Northeast Republican, meaning socially liberal, and supporting a woman's right to choose and same-sex marriages. I've no horse in this race - and couldn't under the rules of journalistic engagement - but as a New Yorker who believes the campaign makes a candidate stronger (or not), I'm mirroring what many are wondering: Where's the spark in this important race?

We'll have the latest on the race for Mayor - with de Blasio appearing with Hillary Clinton, and Lhota appearing at a meeting of the Log Cabin Republican Club - tonight at 11.

Also at 11, the first night of same-sex marriages in New Jersey, and what a wedding gift for gays and lesbians from Gov. Christie. Today, he said the state would not continue its appeal of the lower-court ruling requiring same-sex marriages. Politically, this takes Christie out of the debate, two weeks before his reelection race and three years from his expected entrance into the next set of Presidential primaries. And this from the head of Interpol, after that shopping center massacre in Kenya by Al Qaeda: Civilians should carry guns.

Oy.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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