8/10: Bloomberg Approval Rating Below 50% for First Time in Five Years
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s approval rating has taken a turn for the worse. 49% of registered New York City voters think Bloomberg is doing either an excellent or good job in office. This is the mayor’s lowest approval rating since Marist’s June 2005 survey when the same proportion of the city’s electorate — 49% — gave him high marks.
“Chief executives often find third terms difficult, and the current economic climate is not making it any easier for Bloomberg,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Right now, New York City voters are divided about the job the mayor is doing.”
The 49% who currently affirm Bloomberg’s governing include 13% who say he is doing an excellent job, and 36% who think he is doing a good one. 33% rate the mayor as fair, 16% report he is doing poorly, and 2% are unsure.
When Marist last asked this question in April, 56% gave the mayor above average marks, 29% thought he was doing an average job, and 13% reported he was falling short. 2%, at the time, were unsure.
Bloomberg’s support has declined among Democrats and voters not enrolled in any party. 47% of Democrats report Bloomberg is doing either an excellent or good job as mayor compared with 56% who said the same in April. A similar drop has occurred among non-enrolled voters. While 48% of these voters applaud Bloomberg’s job now, 56% thought that way four months ago. However, support for the mayor among members of the city’s GOP is consistent. 55% approve of the job he is currently doing. The same proportion held this view in Marist’s April survey.
There has been a drop in the mayor’s approval rating across the five boroughs. 48% of registered voters in Brooklyn now say the mayor is doing an excellent or good job, down from 55% in April. 56% of voters in Manhattan currently approve of Bloomberg’s job performance, a drop of 6 percentage points from four months ago when 62% shared this belief. In the Bronx, Bloomberg’s approval rating has fallen 5 percentage points. 39% think the mayor is doing an above average job compared with 44% in April. And, in Queens and Staten Island, 48% say Bloomberg is doing either an excellent or good job as mayor. In Marist’s April survey, 54% held that view.
Majority of NYC Voters Oppose Mosque Near WTC Site… Half Call It “Offensive”
Mayor Bloomberg’s staunch defense of building an Islamic community center and prayer space near the World Trade Center site has come under scrutiny. A majority of voters in New York City disagree with the mayor’s position on the issue. 53% oppose constructing the mosque two blocks from Ground Zero while 34% favor its development. 13% are unsure.
Republicans are expressing the most dissatisfaction with the new structure. 74% oppose building a cultural center which includes a place of worship while just 16% of the city’s GOP support the move. Half of Democrats and 52% of non-enrolled voters think the mosque should not be erected while 38% and 35%, respectively, believe it should.
Voters were also asked whether building the Islamic community and prayer space helps people better understand Islam and the Muslim religion or if it offends the memory of the victims of the September 11th attacks and their families. Half say it is disrespectful of those who were killed. About one-third — 34% — believe it will facilitate cultural understanding.
68% of Republicans believe the mosque is offensive to those who died in the terrorist attacks while 20% believe it will foster understanding about Islam. 47% of Democrats think the center insults the victims and their families compared with 37% of those who see the mosque as a move toward tolerance. The same proportions of non-enrolled voters — 47% and 37%, respectively — share these opinions.
Voters More Divided About Direction of the City
When thinking about New York City in general, 47% think the city is moving in the wrong direction while 44% say it is on the right path. 9% are unsure. When Marist last asked this question in its April 27th survey, more voters thought the city was traveling along the wrong road than the right one. At that time, 48% reported the city was charting the wrong course while 41% thought it was on track. 11% were unsure.
Plurality of Voters View Bloomberg Legacy as Positive
Not quite halfway through his third term, what could all of this mean for the mayor’s legacy? Despite his slipping approval rating and recent controversy, a plurality of registered voters — 46% — expect Bloomberg to leave behind a positive legacy when he vacates City Hall in 2013. This includes 12% who think he will be remembered as one of New York City’s best mayors and 34% who believe he will be viewed as an above average mayor. 38% say Bloomberg’s legacy will be average while 11% report he will be remembered as a below average mayor. Just 5% of registered New York City voters think Bloomberg will be categorized as one of the worst mayors in the city’s history.
Bloomberg Headed to the White House? Not According to NYC Voters
What should Bloomberg’s next political step be? City voters know what it should not be. Nearly seven in ten registered voters — 69% — don’t think the mayor should seek the presidency in 2012. 21%, however, think he should make a run for the Oval Office, and 10% are unsure.
Little has changed since Marist’s April survey. At that time, 71% of voters said Bloomberg should abandon any presidential aspirations he may have, 20% thought a Bloomberg run was a good idea, and 9% were unsure.
Voters Kibosh Spitzer Mayoralty
Mayor Bloomberg’s political future isn’t the only one voters in New York City are weighing in on. 64% say former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer should not run for mayor of New York City in 2013. 27% disagree and think he should. 9% are unsure.
In Marist’s April 14th survey, similar proportions held these views. 66% reported Spitzer should forget about being mayor while 24% wanted to see him campaign. 10% were unsure.
With a favorability rating of 34%, it shouldn’t be a surprise that voters don’t want candidate Spitzer. In fact, nearly half of voters — 48% — have an unfavorable impression of Spitzer. 18% are unsure.
Lee Miringoff discusses who may follow in Bloomberg’s footsteps:
Majority Oppose Taylor Bid…Nearly a Quarter Unsure
Recent media reports have raised an interesting question in New York City’s political circles. Will Diana Taylor, former New York State Superintendent of Banks and long-time companion to Mayor Bloomberg, run for mayor in her own right? If Taylor is considering a bid, there’s something she should know. A majority of New York City voters don’t want her to throw her hat into the ring. When asked if she should run in 2013, 56% say they do not want her to try to succeed Mayor Bloomberg while 20% want her to become a candidate. A notable 24%, however, say they are unsure.
Taylor still needs to be introduced to New York City voters. Looking at Taylor’s favorability rating among the city’s electorate, 76% have either never heard of her or are unsure how to rate her. Only 13% view Taylor favorably while 11% have a negative impression of her.
Lee Miringoff discusses Bloomberg’s latest poll numbers on “Good Day New York”: