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New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani Wins Re-Election Bid in Landslide; Refuses To Rule Out

November 5, 1997 GMT

New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani Wins Re-Election Bid in Landslide; Refuses To Rule Out Running for Higher OfficeBy MICHAEL BLOOD

NEW YORK (AP) _ Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani steamrolled to a second term by stressing how he’s improved the quality of life in New York _ then refused today to rule out running for higher office.

``I don’t cut off options,″ Giuliani said when asked on NBC’s ``Today″ to pledge to serve out his new four-year term as mayor.

Although there has been speculation about his ambitions for higher office _ possibly even a presidential bid _ Giuliani jokingly admitted only to a dream of someday managing his beloved New York Yankees.

Giuliani easily defeated Ruth Messinger, a Democrat and Manhattan borough president, 57 percent to 41 percent on Tuesday.

In his victory speech, Giuliani pledged to dedicate the next four years to helping residents who hadn’t shared in the city’s turnaround. ``No New Yorkers should be left behind,″ he declared.

Giuliani received strong support from New Yorkers who felt the city’s economy was robust, its quality of life agreeable and its neighborhoods safer, an exit poll conducted by The Associated Press and five television networks found.

Fifty-eight percent of voters felt New York had become safer, the exit poll found, and Giuliani won three of four votes within that group. He pulled in eight of 10 votes from those who said the quality of life in the city had improved.

Voters in the lowest income group, however, flocked to Messinger, as did those who felt the city’s economic condition had worsened or the quality of life remained the same or tumbled in the last four years, the poll found.

While voters may have been ambivalent about Giuliani’s combative personality, Messinger’s warnings of looming troubles failed to catch on at a time when the city has enjoyed modest job growth, reduced crime and a brighter national image.

``When I came here in the ’80s, the subways were frightening,″ said Patrick Fitzpatrick, an Irish immigrant who voted for the mayor in his first American election. ``Now there is less street crime, there’s a feeling of overall safety.″

Giuliani became the first Republican since Fiorello La Guardia in 1937 to be re-elected in the heavily Democratic city.

After narrowly losing in 1989 to Democrat David Dinkins, the city’s first black mayor, Giuliani beat Dinkins four years later on the strength of a strong vote from conservative whites and Jews from the city’s outer boroughs, but with a paltry 5 percent of the black vote.

He maintained his support within his base constituencies Tuesday, but exit polling revealed he quadrupled his support among blacks, to 19 percent. Among blacks who said they voted for Dinkins in 1993, one in seven supported Giuliani on Tuesday.

He also appeared to have picked up slightly among Hispanics, among whom he won four of 10 votes in 1993.

The exit poll was conducted among 1,905 voters citywide by Voter News Service, a collaboration of the AP and ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and Fox television networks. The margin of error was 3 percentage points.

The mayor’s wife, Donna Hanover, did not appear at his victory rally. She said prior to the event that she intended to stay home with their children and watch it on television.

Ms. Hanover took a break in August from her job as a morning show anchorwoman on the Fox affiliate WNYW to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest while her husband campaigned.

Once an avid campaigner for her husband, Ms. Hanover said she didn’t campaign for him this fall because she didn’t want people to think that as first lady she could intercede on their behalf.

In August, Giuliani angrily denounced a Vanity Fair article that said he’d had an affair with an aide. His wife later told reporters, ``We are a family and we will remain a family.″