MTA chairman Joe Lhota may be the current favorite of the Republican New York establishment, but his chances of moving into Gracie Mansion still don’t look great. First, there’s the GOP primary, where he’ll have to beat out Gristedes owner and “common billionaire” John Catsimatidis, who’s expected to spend millions of his own money on the mayoral race. And if he does make it to the general election, he’ll likely have to face Democratic front-runner and City Council speaker Christine Quinn, the contest’s undisputed fund-raising powerhouse. “Republicans in New York only win under special circumstances,” a former City Hall insider tells the New York Times — like when the city’s broke or rioting. “Joe has an uphill battle,” admits real-estate investor and former New York Post owner Peter Kalikow, but that’s not stopping Kalikow and fellow sugar daddies James Tisch (CEO of Loews Corporation) and Home Depot co-founder, billionaire, and onetime major Mitt Romney supporter Kenneth Langone from pledging a share of their bottomless wallets to Lhota’s bid. As Langone told the Times, “All I know is that Joe is not going to want for money.” If only he could ensure a little harmless rioting, the election would be Lhota’s for the taking.