Nearly one in four registered voters in New York City — 23% — say the top concern of the next mayor should be jobs. One in five — 20% — believes education should top his or her list of priorities, and 12% say economic development is the key.
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: The Wall Street Journal/NBC New York/Marist Poll*
“The economy is top of mind for New York City voters and is sure to play a pivotal role in this fall’s general election,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “But, the city’s next mayor will also have to face voters’ persistent questions about the state of New York City’s public schools.”
What are the other issues on voters’ minds? Eight percent think housing should be the next mayor’s focus while security from terrorism is the priority for 7%. Six percent believe taxes are the most important while the same proportion — 6% — wants the next mayor to focus on crime.
Other concerns include poverty — 5% — transportation — 2% — and race relations — 2%. Eight percent of registered voters in New York City want the next mayor to focus on something entirely different.
When Marist last reported this question in February, education — 26% — and jobs — 26% — were voters’ leading concerns. Economic development followed with 17%. Housing topped the list for 7% of voters while 6% put crime at the top of the next mayor’s agenda. Five percent were concerned about taxes while the same proportion — 5% — thought poverty should be the key issue facing City Hall. Four percent believed security from terrorism should be the focus. Transportation — 2% — and race relations — 1% — were also reported to be important. One percent thought another issue should be the next mayor’s priority.
Majority Wants Kelly to Remain City’s Top Cop…Nearly Half Support Stop and Frisk
54% of registered voters in the Big Apple want the next mayor to keep Ray Kelly on as Police Commissioner. 34% think someone else should be appointed, and 13% are unsure.
Regardless of party, at least a majority wants to see Kelly stay on the job. However, Republicans — 72% — are more likely than non-enrolled voters — 52% — and Democrats — 51% — to express this opinion.
By race, nearly two-thirds of white voters — 64% — would like Kelly to keep his position. However, nearly half of African American voters — 49% — want someone else to be appointed. Latino voters divide. 45% say Kelly should be reappointed while 41% believe he should not be.
When it comes to the controversial “stop and frisk” policy, nearly half of registered voters — 49% — want the next mayor to continue the procedure. 41% do not want the policy to continue, and 10% are unsure.
Here, too, there is a racial divide. While 59% of white voters believe the policy should be continued, 58% of African American voters think it should be discontinued. Latino voters divide. 46% report “stop and frisk” should be stopped while 42% say the next mayor should continue the policy.
City’s Affordability Not in Mayor’s Control, Says Nearly Six in Ten
Nearly six in ten registered voters in New York City — 58% — believe making the city more affordable is beyond the mayor’s control. About one-third — 33% — think the next mayor will be able to make the Big Apple more affordable. Nine percent are unsure.
Do New York City residents think the city is affordable? Just 17% believe the cost of living for the average family is affordable. This includes 1% who says New York City is very affordable and 16% who report it is affordable. 82% think the city is not very affordable — 53% — or not affordable at all — 29%.
Will residents retain their New York City address? More than seven in ten residents — 72% — intend to stay within the city’s limits. 20%, however, say they plan to move someplace else in the next five years. Eight percent are unsure.
Bloomberg’s Approval Rating Steady State
As Mayor Bloomberg nears the end of his term, how do voters think he is doing in office? 49% of registered voters in the city give him a thumbs-up. This includes 11% who think the mayor is doing an excellent job and 38% who believe he is doing a good one. 31% bestow fair marks on Bloomberg while 17% say his performance is poor. Three percent are unsure.
In Marist’s May survey, similar proportions of voters shared these views. 48% gave Bloomberg high marks while 30% reported he was doing an average job. 19% thought he fell short, and 3%, at the time, were unsure.
A City on Track, Says Majority
52% of registered voters in New York City think things in New York City are going in the right direction. 37%, though, believe the city is moving in the wrong direction. 11% are unsure.
There has been no change on this question since May when the same proportions of voters held these views. 52% reported the Big Apple was on the right path while 37% believed it needed a course correction. 11%, then, were unsure.