Bill de Blasio shared a laugh with the Brooklyn borough president, Marty Markowitz, right, at a campaign stop on Tuesday. | Damon Winter/The New York Times
Bill de Blasio, who transformed himself from a little-known occupant of an obscure office into the fiery voice of New York’s disillusionment with a new gilded age, was elected the city’s 109th mayor on Tuesday, according to exit polls.
His overwhelming victory, stretching from the working-class precincts of central Brooklyn to the suburban streets of northwest Queens, amounted to a forceful rejection of the hard-nosed, business-minded style of governance that reigned at City Hall for the past two decades and a sharp leftward turn for the nation’s largest metropolis.
Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat who is the city’s public advocate, defeated his Republican opponent, Joseph J. Lhota, a former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, by a wide margin.
Exit polls conducted by Edison Research suggested that the sweep of his victory cut across all of New York’s traditional divides. He won support from voters regardless of race, gender, age, education, religion or income, according to the exit poll.
The lopsided outcome represented the triumph of a populist message over a formidable résumé in a campaign that became a referendum on an entire era, starting with Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and ending with the incumbent mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.
Throughout the race, Mr. de Blasio overshadowed his opponent by giving voice to New Yorkers’ rising frustrations with income inequality, aggressive policing tactics and lack of affordable housing, and by declaring that the ever-improving city need not leave so many behind.