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3 Campaign-dominating issues

1 Money. In an effort to start his third term with a mandate, Bloomberg is on his way to spending $100 million — not including donations to some who backed him, like Newark’s Mayor Cory Booker. Granted, it’s his own money, but it buries Thompson’s paltry $6 million. Bloomberg criticized donations to Thompson’s campaign from investment managers who earned millions in fees by investing pension fund money — which Thompson oversees. Both candidates denied any financial quid pro quo.

2 Term-limits. Forty-two percent of voters said they were less likely to vote for the mayor because he overturned voter approved term-limits, according to a Marist poll. But experts don’t expect term-limit fury to do significant damage. “Those attacks may hurt Bloomberg’s margin, but will they be fatal?” asks Baruch College Dean Doug Muzzio. “No.”

3 Endorsements. Thompson didn’t get the usual support Democrats might expect. Instead, Bloomberg, an Independent running on the Republican ticket, garnered backers from the New York Times to Rev. Calvin Butts III.

“When [Thompson] got endorsements they were quiet and came without a lot of negative words against Bloomberg,” said Muzzio. “Even Obama was less than vigorous for Thompson.”

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