New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is well-positioned to win a second term by a wide margin. Among likely voters in New York City, including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, de Blasio receives 65% to 18% for his Republican challenger, Nicole Malliotakis. Independent candidate Bo Dietl garners 8%, and 2% support someone else. Seven percent are undecided. The mayor’s 47-point lead over Malliotakis is comparable to his 49-point margin of victory in 2013.
“A lot of words can be used to characterize this matchup currently — overwhelming, substantial, landslide, lopsided,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Unfortunately, for Malliotakis, they all describe de Blasio’s chances for re-election.”
A majority of likely voters in New York City, 55%, say they strongly support their choice of candidate for New York City mayor. 61% of Mayor de Blasio’s supporters, compared with 45% of Malliotakis’ backers, say they are firmly committed to their candidate of choice.
In contrast to Mayor de Blasio, Malliotakis suffers from low name recognition. While 55% of registered voters citywide, unchanged from earlier this year, have a favorable impression of the mayor, only 20% of voters have a favorable view of Malliotakis. 14% have an unfavorable one, and 66% have either never heard of her, 49%, or are unsure how to rate her, 17%.
Mayor de Blasio is not only well-liked among the city’s electorate, a plurality of registered voters think he is performing well in office. In fact, Mayor de Blasio enjoys his highest job approval rating since May 2015. 44% of registered voters citywide currently think the mayor is doing either an excellent, 11%, or good, 33%, job in office. When this question was last reported in March, de Blasio’s approval rating was 39% among registered voters. Currently, 51% of city voters think de Blasio is doing a fair, 31%, or poor, 20%, job as mayor.
In the 2016 presidential contest, Malliotakis supported then candidate Donald Trump. Is that support having an effect on her electoral chances? A plurality of registered voters citywide, 46%, say Malliotakis’ support of Trump makes them less likely to vote for her while only 8% say it makes them more likely to vote for her. 40% say it makes no difference to their vote, and 5% are unsure.
Of note, President Trump’s job approval rating stands at just 21% among registered voters in New York City. 72% of registered voters, including 22% of New York City Republicans, disapprove of the job President Trump is doing in office. The proportion of voters who strongly disapprove of President Trump’s job performance, 54%, is nearly seven times larger than that of those who strongly approve, 8%, of it.
Turning to the specifics of Mayor de Blasio’s image, more than six in ten registered voters, 61%, believe he is working hard as mayor, and a majority thinks he is a good leader for New York City, 55%. Nearly six in ten voters citywide, 57%, disagree with the notion that de Blasio is all talk and no action. 53% also disagree with the idea that Mayor de Blasio is spending too much time speaking out against President Trump and not enough time focusing on the problems facing New York City.
However, voters divide about whether the mayor is spending too much time on national policy and not enough time doing what he can in New York City. 45% say this is an accurate assessment while 46% do not agree.
Most residents citywide do not think Mayor de Blasio has made the city more affordable since he became mayor. Only 11% of New Yorkers think he has made the city more affordable. 37% say he has made it less so, and an additional 49% think the city’s standard of living has not changed during de Blasio’s first term.
The statue of Christopher Columbus in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle has garnered a great deal of attention of late, and two-thirds of New York City adults, 66%, think the statue should remain as an historical symbol. 23% say it is offensive to some people and should be removed. 11% are unsure.
Nearly six in ten New York City adults, 57%, think it is better to raise taxes on those earning more than $500,000 annually to raise revenue to improve transit and reduce traffic rather than implement congestion pricing. Only 29% favor the latter option. While 61% of Democrats and 61% of non-enrolled voters support taxing the wealthy, there is less consensus among Republicans. 42% of the GOP prefer such a tax to correct the city’s transit problems while 38% support congestion pricing. 20% are unsure.
Whose responsibility is it to fix the New York City subways? Nearly half of New York City’s residents, 49%, including 53% of registered voters, say the onus is on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. 35% think it is up to Mayor de Blasio, and 16% are unsure.
New York City voters give Cuomo a higher rating as governor than they do de Blasio as mayor. 55% of registered voters citywide think the governor is doing either an excellent, 14%, or good, 41%, job in office. 40% say he is doing either a fair, 30%, or poor, 10%, one. As noted, de Blasio’s job performance rating is 44%.
New Yorkers are also more receptive to a run by Cuomo for president in 2020 than they are to de Blasio although neither one gets much of a send-off. 71% of New York City voters say they do not want Mayor de Blasio to make a bid for the White House while 52% do not want Governor Cuomo to seek the office.
When it comes to the overall quality of life in New York City, 19% of adults think it has gotten better over the past year while 32% say it has gotten worse. A plurality say it has remained the same. Of those who see little change, 20% believe the status quo is a good thing while 20% say it is a bad one. Seven percent think the status quo is neither good nor bad. Similar proportions of registered voters share these views.
Interestingly, there has been a noticeable change over time on this question among city residents. While 32% of adults currently perceive the city’s quality of life to have gotten worse during the past year, 41% shared this view in October 2015.
In general, is New York City moving in the right or wrong direction? Registered voters continue to divide. 47% say it is on track while 43% believe it is off course. When this question was last reported in March, 49% said the city was moving in the right direction while 43% reported it was in the wrong one.