And Mr. McGuire and Mr. Donovan, regardless of being aided by exterior spending, have demonstrated little traction in polls. The controversy is one final probability to face out.

The Marist poll discovered Mr. Adams at 24 p.c amongst doubtless Democratic voters, when together with voters who leaned towards him. Ms. Garcia adopted at 17 p.c; Ms. Wiley was at 15 p.c and Mr. Yang, who had persistently led sparse polling for a lot of the race, landed 13 p.c.

Voters might rank as much as 5 candidates so as of desire, and when a number of rounds of ranked-choice voting performed out within the ballot, Mr. Adams got here out forward of Ms. Garcia. However different surveys discovered completely different outcomes, and polling is rarely predictive, a lot much less in a comparatively untested ranked-choice situation.

Gale Brewer, the Manhattan borough president, stated voters are nonetheless navigating tips on how to order their ballots. She described New Yorkers sitting in Central Park for lengthy conversations with neighbors, attempting to achieve conclusions.

“They know who their first is, after which they don’t have any clue after that,” she stated. “A debate will help with that.”

In concept, ranked-choice voting was purported to mitigate assaults, as a result of candidates are hoping to have broad attraction and wouldn’t need to alienate voters by trashing their first-choice candidates.

But the race has seen its share of damaging campaigning. Lee M. Miringoff, the director of the Marist Faculty Institute for Public Opinion, reached for an outdated saying — “the enemy of my enemy is my buddy” — to elucidate how candidates make determinations about which candidates to assault and the place to make overtures.

“They must form of exhibit, ‘When you’re with me, stick with me,’” he stated. “‘When you’re not with me, right here’s why you must be a part of my marketing campaign. When you’re not going to try this, a minimum of put me into the working so I can get right into a later spherical.’”

Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Michael Gold contributed reporting.