Two years until New York City’s next mayoralty election, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s job approval rating has declined. To compound problems for de Blasio, support among his base has dropped, 9 points among African American voters and 12 points among Latino voters. Of note, the racial divide which has underscored views about, both, Mayor de Blasio and the city still exists, but that gap is less pronounced than in the past.
Mayor de Blasio’s approval rating among registered voters citywide stands at 38%, down from 44% in May. With the exception of Queens and Staten Island where de Blasio’s approval rating has inched up slightly, 33% to 37%, the mayor’s approval rating has fallen citywide. The most dramatic decline has occurred in Manhattan where 32% now rate de Blasio highly compared with 53% in the spring.
While de Blasio still scores higher among African American, 50%, and Latino voters, 37%, than white voters, 32%, Mayor de Blasio’s approval rating has fallen among both groups. Previously, the mayor received a 59% approval rating among African Americans and 49% among Latinos.
On the specifics of de Blasio’s job performance, the mayor has lost points on his handling of crime. Fewer than four in ten adults in the city, 39%, say they approve of his approach, and a majority, 51%, disapproves. In the previous Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll, residents divided, 47% to 46%. On the issue of police and community relations, the mayor also receives low marks with 37% saying they approve of how he is handling the issue and 53% reporting they do not. Mayor de Blasio fares better on the issue of race relations where 48% of residents approve of the mayor’s approach. On education, residents divide with 42% reporting they approve of his handling and 45% saying they disapprove. New York City public school parents, 49%, are more likely to give Mayor de Blasio higher marks than residents, overall, on his handling of the schools.
Although his favorable score among registered voters has dipped from 59% to 52%, Mayor de Blasio remains well-liked. Of note, de Blasio’s positive score has declined 13 points among Latinos and 16 points among voters in Manhattan.
On the bright side for de Blasio, voters citywide think he is working hard as mayor, 60%, and believe he understands the problems facing the city, 56%. Despite a decline from 59% earlier this year, a majority of voters, 53%, still maintains the mayor cares about the average person, and a plurality, 47%, disagree that de Blasio cares more about keeping low-level offenders out of jail than protecting the public from crime.
However, the electorate divides, 46% agree to 48% who disagree, about whether or not de Blasio is a good leader for New York City. Previously, a majority, 53%, thought de Blasio was a strong leader for the five boroughs. Voters, 54%, also report de Blasio spends too much time debating his policies on the national stage and is not focusing enough attention on New York City. In the last poll, voters divided. 44% agreed he spent too much time on the national stage, and 46% disagreed. Overall, 37% of registered voters now think de Blasio is changing the city for the better, and 28%, up from 20%, believe he is changing it for the worse.
Fewer than four in ten voters, citywide, 38%, think the Big Apple is moving in the right direction. This is down from 45% in the spring and matches the lowest proportion of voters since January of 2011 to say New York City is on track. In addition, more residents, when compared with May, say the overall quality of life in New York City has gotten worse, 41%, since Mayor de Blasio became mayor, up from 33%.
What does this all mean for de Blasio? Nearly half of voters, 49%, say de Blasio does not deserve to be re-elected, and 42% think he does. This has flipped from the previous poll when a plurality of voters, 47%, reported the mayor deserved a second term, and 42% thought he did not.
Despite waning support for de Blasio, especially among his base, potential opponents are not well-known citywide and attract little support from Democrats. When matched against possible challengers for the 2017 Democratic primary, at present, Mayor de Blasio is the odds-on favorite. Even a slim majority of Latinos, among whom de Blasio has lost the most traction, supports him. Mayor de Blasio’s strength in a potential primary contest is significant with one exception. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. edges de Blasio among Democratic voters in the Bronx.
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll
“Looking ahead to a re-election campaign, there is no single potential opponent on the horizon poised to defeat the mayor,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “However, there is growing discontent among voters who have previously supported the mayor about the job he is doing.”
- 38% of registered voters citywide think de Blasio is doing either an excellent, 6%, or good, 32%, job in office. This is a 6 point drop in the mayor’s approval rating since May when he received 44%.
- While the proportion of white voters who approve of de Blasio’s job performance, 32%, is unchanged from the spring, fewer Latino voters and African American voters now give the mayor high marks. 37% of Latinos, down from 49%, and 50% of African Americans, down from 59%, approve of de Blasio’s job performance.
- By borough, the mayor has lost the most support in Manhattan. His approval rating in the borough is at 32%, down from 53%. In Brooklyn, 42% of voters, a drop from 49%, give the mayor good marks. 42% of those in the Bronx, a decline from 47%, approve of de Blasio’s job performance. Mayor de Blasio’s approval rating in Queens and Staten Island has increased slightly from 33% to 37%.
Mayor de Blasio on the Issues
Nearly half of residents, 48%, approve of how Mayor de Blasio is handling race relations in New York City. 40% disapprove. Half of the city’s white residents, 50%, are dissatisfied with the mayor’s job performance in this area in contrast to 60% of African Americans and 49% of Latinos who have a positive view.
Majorities of residents are unhappy with Mayor de Blasio’s handling of police and community relations, 53%, and crime, 51%. There is little change in perceptions of the mayor’s role when it comes to the police and city residents. However, earlier this year, residents divided about how the mayor approached the problem of crime in the city with 47% approving of his handling of the issue and 46% disapproving.
Mayor de Blasio has also lost support on how he is handling the city’s public schools. 42% currently approve, down from 47%. Still, nearly half of parents with a child in public school, 49%, approve of how he is tackling the issue.
Majority with Favorable View of de Blasio, but…
52% of voters, down from 59%, have a favorable view of de Blasio. 38% have an unfavorable one. Opinions of de Blasio among whites and African Americans are little changed. However, while more than six in ten Latino voters, 61%, have a positive impression of de Blasio, the proportion has declined from 74% in May.
Mayor de Blasio’s favorable rating has gone down citywide, except in Brooklyn. The most precipitous decline has occurred in Manhattan where 48% have a favorable opinion of the mayor, a 16 point change from 64% in the spring.
New York City voters attribute positive characteristics such as being a hard worker, understanding the problems facing the city, and caring about the average person to Mayor de Blasio. Additionally, they disagree that de Blasio emphasizes keeping low-level offenders out of jail at the expense of protecting citizens from crime.
However, there has been a decline in those who view the mayor as caring, as a good leader for New York City, and as a mayor who deserves to be re-elected. A majority now perceives de Blasio as spending too much time in the national spotlight.
When it comes to Mayor de Blasio’s overall impact on New York City, a plurality, 37%, says he is changing the Big Apple for the better, and 28% believe he is changing it for the worse. The proportion of those who believed the mayor was having a positive effect on the city in May was 40%. At that time only 20% thought he was making New York City worse.
Pessimism in New York City Grows
The proportion of New York City voters who think the city is moving in the right direction, 38%, is at its lowest since January 2011. Additionally, more than four in ten residents believe the overall quality of life in the Big Apple has gotten worse in the past year up from 33% last spring.
- 38% of voters, down from 45%, think the city is moving in the right direction, and a majority, 55%, says it is moving in the wrong one.
- Voters in Manhattan are the least optimistic. 31% of these voters report the city is moving in the right direction. This is a 19 point drop from 50% who had this view earlier this year.
- 41% of New York City residents think the overall quality of life in New York City has gotten worse in the last year, and 16% say it has gotten better. 19% believe it has stayed the same which is a bad thing, and 18% think it has remained the same which is a good thing. Three percent report the quality of life is about the same which is neither good nor bad.
- Whites, 51%, are more likely than African Americans, 37%, and Latinos, 39%, to think the quality of life in New York City has gotten worse.
- The proportion of whites who say the city’s quality of life has deteriorated has increased from 35%. And, there has been an 11 point increase in the proportion of African Americans and a 4% increase among Latinos who share this view.
- 42% of residents think the number of homeless, panhandlers, and mentally ill on the city’s streets have increased since de Blasio has become mayor. The same proportion, 42%, says the number has remained the same, and only 8% believe it has declined. Similar proportions of adults had these views in May.
- 60% of adults think the cleanliness of the subways has not changed since de Blasio became mayor. 15% say they are cleaner, and 15% report they are dirtier.
- Nearly six in ten residents, 59%, support the proposal to restrict costumed panhandlers in Times Square to designated areas. 32% oppose the plan.
Stop and Frisk Still Polarizing Issue
While 38% of residents want Mayor de Blasio to continue to reduce stop and frisk, 36% think the policy should revert to what it was during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration. 16% think de Blasio should leave things the way they are now, and 10% are unsure.
About two-thirds of adults citywide have, at least, a fair amount of confidence in the New York City Police to keep them safe from violent crime.
- Nearly half of white residents, 49%, think stop and frisk should return to what it was during the Bloomberg years while 50% of African Americans and 42% of Latinos believe de Blasio should continue to reduce the policy. Still, 31% of Latinos and 24% of African Americans assert Bloomberg’s policy regarding stop and frisk should be reinstated.
- 66% of residents have either a great deal of confidence, 27%, or a fair amount of confidence, 39%, in the police to protect them from violent crime. This is up from 60% who had this view in the spring. 33% have either some confidence, 15%, or little confidence, 18%, in the NYPD to keep them safe.
- Whites, 82%, are more likely than African Americans, 59%, and Latinos, 50%, to have faith in the police to protect them. However, the proportion of African Americans with this view has increased from 49%. Latinos are little changed on this question.
- A majority of residents, 52%, supports drug treatment, not jail, for addicts who are repeat offenders and are convicted of a felony for drug dealing. 40% say these individuals should receive jail time.
De Blasio vs. Bloomberg
35% of city residents believe Mayor de Blasio is doing a worse job in office than former Mayor Bloomberg. One in four, 25%, says de Blasio is a better mayor than Bloomberg, and 35% believe there is little difference between the job performances of both mayors.
- A majority of whites, 56%, report de Blasio is a worse mayor than Bloomberg.
- Pluralities of African Americans, 45%, and Latinos, 40%, say de Blasio is doing about the same job as the former mayor in city hall.
Mayor de Blasio Bests Competition for 2017 Democratic Nomination
Mayor de Blasio currently does not face a formidable threat if he is challenged for his party’s nomination in 2017.
- If the 2017 Democratic primary for mayor were held today, de Blasio would receive 43% of the vote. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James each receive 10%. Nine percent are for Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., 5% support Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and 4% are behind U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries. 20% of New York City Democrats are undecided.
- Among Bronx Democrats, Diaz leads de Blasio, 34% to 29%.
5/6: Optimism Wanes amid Racial Divide in New York City… Mayor de Blasio’s Approval Rating Inches Up, but Voters Not Enthralled with His Performance
New York City voters are increasingly pessimistic about life in the Big Apple. When asked about the overall direction of the city, the electorate divides. 49% report things are going in the wrong direction, and 45% say they are moving in the right one. This is the first time since November of 2013, just before Mayor Bill de Blasio was elected, that the proportion of voters who think the city is on the right track has dipped below 50%. Although a stark racial divide exists on this question, there has been a decrease in the proportions of both white and African American voters who think the city is moving in the right direction.
To compound New Yorkers’ downbeat attitude about the city, fewer than one in five residents, 17%, believes the overall quality of life in the city has improved over the last year. A majority, 56%, reports it has either gotten worse, 33%, or has remained the same which, in their view, is a bad thing, 23%.
On the specifics of life in New York City, only 9% of adults citywide believe the number of homeless, panhandlers, or mentally ill has decreased in the past year while more than four in ten, 42%, think this situation in New York City has gotten worse. 43% say the number of homeless, panhandlers, or mentally ill on city streets has remained the same. One bright spot does exist. Six in ten residents, 60%, have either a great deal of confidence, 25%, or a fair amount of confidence, 35%, in the police officers in their community to protect them from violent crime.
Opinions differ based on race on these questions. This polarization is also prominent in attitudes toward New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Views also differ based on the socioeconomic status of city dwellers.
Opinions about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are incongruous. The mayor’s overall job approval rating has inched up to 44% from 39% in March 2014, and nearly six in ten voters, 59%, have a favorable impression of him. However, only 40% of voters consider de Blasio to be changing New York City for the better, and a majority of voters, 53%, do not think his policies are historic and transforming the city.
On the specifics of Mayor de Blasio’s job performance, attitudes are lukewarm. While pluralities of residents citywide approve of how he is handling the city’s schools, 47%, and economic development, 47%, they divide about de Blasio’s performance on crime. Regarding the New York City budget, 42% disapprove and 40% approve, but a notable 18% are unsure how to rate Mr. de Blasio on this issue. Mayor de Blasio’s score on his handling of the relationship between police and the community is in negative territory. Not surprisingly, there is a substantial difference in opinion along racial lines.
Mayor de Blasio, as mentioned above, is well-liked by a majority of New York City voters. The mayor is viewed by, at least, a majority of voters as someone who cares about the average person, a good leader, and a unifier who can get things done. However, on each of these questions, there has been a dip in the proportions of voters who perceive de Blasio positively. The mayor is also viewed as a man of action.
A majority of voters, though, considers de Blasio to be irresponsible when he arrives late for public events, and they divide about whether or not the mayor is spending too much time discussing policy on the national level and not focusing enough on what he can be doing for New York City.
What does all of this mean for de Blasio in 2017? A plurality, 47%, reports he deserves to be re-elected.
On policy questions, more than three in four residents, 77%, support increasing the minimum wage. But, more than six in ten, 63%, oppose charging for plastic grocery bags and hiring more police if it means cutting other city programs, 62%.
“Depending upon one’s perspective of Mayor de Blasio, the glass is either half full or half empty,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, “Many New Yorkers are troubled by the direction and conditions of the city although they generally like the mayor.”
- Voters in New York City divide about the way things are going in the city. 49% believe the city is moving in the wrong direction while 45% say it is moving in the right one. There has been a shift on this question since it was last reported in March 2014. At that time, a majority, 53% considered New York City to be on track while 42% thought it was off course. This is the first time since November 2013 that fewer than half of voters think the city is moving in the right direction (Trend).
- Racial differences exist. African American voters, 53%, are more likely than whites, 35%, to say the city is moving in the right direction. Still, there has been a decline in the proportions of both African American and white voters who say the city is on course since the spring of 2014. At that time, 60% of African Americans and 45% of whites thought the city was on track.
- Voters in Manhattan, 50%, are more likely than those in the other boroughs to say the city is on the right course. A majority in Queens and Staten Island, 52%, and nearly half, 48%, of those in the Bronx, say the Big Apple is on the wrong path. Brooklyn voters divide with 48% reporting it is moving in the wrong direction. 44% say it is going in the right direction.
- 17% of residents say the quality of life in New York City has gotten better over the past year while one in three, 33%, says it has gotten worse. 47% report it has remained the same. Of those, 23% describe the status quo as a bad thing, and 20% say the lack of change is a good thing. Four percent who say the quality of life has remained the same do not specify whether the lack of change is good or bad.
- Only 9% of New York City residents say the number of homeless, panhandlers, and mentally ill on the city’s streets has declined in the past year. 42% report it has increased, and 43% think it has stayed the same.
- 60% of adults citywide have a great deal, 25%, or fair amount, 35%, of confidence in police in their community to protect them from violent crime. 18% have some faith in the New York City Police Department, and 20% have very little confidence.
- White residents, 76%, are more likely than Latinos, 54%, and African Americans, 49%, to trust their local police, at least a fair amount, to keep them safe from violent crime.
- Looking at the City Council’s move to decriminalize certain offenses, 66% support decriminalizing being in a park after dark, and 63% support downgrading bicycling on sidewalks to a civil violation. A majority, 55%, thinks public consumption of alcohol should be decriminalized, and nearly half, 49%, say the same about jumping a turnstile. Residents divide about whether public urination should be reclassified to a civil violation. 50% believe it should while 47% say it should not.
Ratings for de Blasio a Mixed Bag
- 44% of New York City voters think Bill de Blasio is doing either an excellent, 8%, or a good job, 36%, as mayor. This is up slightly from 39% in March 2014. A majority, 52%, currently rates his performance as fair, 34%, or poor, 18%.
- White voters, 32%, are less likely than African Americans, 59%, and Latinos, 49%, to approve of how Mayor de Blasio is doing in office. The biggest increase in the mayor’s standing has been among African Americans. In March 2014, 50% of African American voters approved of de Blasio’s performance. 45% of Latino and 30% of white voters, at that time, said the same.
- By borough, a majority of Manhattan voters, 53%, rates de Blasio highly. 49% of those in Brooklyn and 47% in the Bronx do the same. Voters in Queens and Staten Island, 33%, are the least likely to approve of how Mayor de Blasio is performing in office.
- 59% of voters citywide have a favorable impression Mayor de Blasio, unchanged from March 2014. 34% have an unfavorable view of him. Again, racial differences are present. 74% of Latino and 73% of African American voters, compared with just 40% of whites, have a positive opinion of the mayor.
- Four in ten voters, 40%, think Mayor de Blasio is changing New York City for the better while 20% say he is having a negative impact on the city. About one in three, 34%, believes he is not affecting the city at all. Six percent, down from 12%, are unsure. While the proportion of voters who say de Blasio is improving the city has changed little from 43% last year, there has been an increase in those who say he is not having any impact. Last year, 25% had this view.
- African Americans, 58%, and Latinos, 53%, are more than twice as likely as whites, 21%, to say Mayor de Blasio is changing the city for the better.
- A majority of voters, 53%, does not think the mayor’s policies are historic and transformative as he describes. 39% believe they are.
- 47% of New York City residents approve of how Mayor de Blasio is handling the city’s public schools while 40% disapprove. A notable 12% are unsure.
- 47% approve of the mayor’s approach to economic development. 42% disapprove. 11% are unsure.
- Adults in New York City divide about how Mayor de Blasio is handling crime in the city. 47% approve while 46% disapprove.
- Residents also divide about the mayor’s handling of the city’s budget, but a notable proportion are unsure. 40% approve of de Blasio’s approach while 42% disapprove. 18% are unsure.
- 57% of residents disapprove of how Mayor de Blasio approaches relations between the police and the community. 37% approve.
The Specifics of Mayor de Blasio’s Image
- 59% of voters, compared with 65% last year, view Mr. de Blasio as someone who cares about the average person.
- 53% of the city’s electorate report the mayor is a good leader for New York City. This is also down from 58% in March 2014.
- 51% of voters, down from 59% last year, say Mayor de Blasio can unify New York City and get it working again. 43% disagree.
- Nearly six in ten, 59%, do not think that the mayor is all talk and no action. 34%, though, say he is all talk.
- 55% of voters consider Mayor de Blasio to be irresponsible when he arrives late for public events. 37% disagree. 63% of whites and 53% of Latinos think de Blasio’s tardiness is not a favorable trait. African American voters divide. 46% think the mayor is being irresponsible when he does not show up on time while the same proportion, 46%, disagrees.
- Voters divide about whether or not Mayor de Blasio is spending too much time discussing his policy positions nationally and not enough time doing what he can for New York City. 44% believe this to be the case while 46% do not think he is focusing on the national stage.
- 47% of voters think Mayor de Blasio deserves to be re-elected. 42% do not think he should receive another term in office. 11% are unsure.
- Many voters, 69%, report de Blasio’s decision to not immediately endorse Hillary Clinton makes sense. 24% say he is being disloyal to the Democratic Party.
City Dwellers Favor Raising the Minimum Wage; Oppose Plastic Bag Surcharge and Hiring of Additional Police
- Nearly eight in ten adults, 77%, support raising the minimum wage to at least $13 even if some businesses say it will reduce hiring. One in five residents, 20%, opposes the proposal. Regardless of race, borough of residence, or class status, there is overwhelming support to increase the minimum wage.
- More than six in ten New York City residents, 63%, oppose a bill which would require grocery stores to charge 10 cents for each plastic bag. 36% support this proposal. Regardless of race or class status, at least a majority opposes charging for plastic bags in grocery stores.
- 62% of adults citywide are against hiring an additional 1,000 police officers if it means cutting back other city programs. 32% support this initiative. Here, too, opposition crosses racial lines. Latinos, 73%, and African Americans, 64%, are more likely to oppose hiring new police officers than whites, 52%.
In the race for New York State governor, Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo leads his Republican challenger, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, by 25 percentage points among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate. Cuomo is bolstered by his Democratic base. However, even 27% of Republicans favor the incumbent. The governor’s support is also buoyed by likely voters in New York City where seven in ten say they will support Mr. Cuomo. Governor Cuomo bests Astorino by more than two to one in the suburbs which surround New York City. The race is more competitive Upstate.
Governor Cuomo continues to be viewed favorably by a majority of New York voters despite a job approval rating which matches the governor’s lowest since taking office. Currently, 55% of registered voters have a positive impression of the governor, but only 42% approve of how Cuomo is doing his job.
“The race for governor is all about Cuomo. Cuomo’s supporters are voting for him, and Astorino’s backers are voting against the governor,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “The bottom line is Cuomo has a strong lead, and Astorino is still struggling to get traction.”
- In the contest for New York governor, a majority of New York likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, 54%, supports Democrat Andrew Cuomo. 29% are for Republican Rob Astorino while Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins has 9%.
- Three in four Democrats, 75%, support Cuomo. And, while 63% of Republicans back Astorino, a notable 27% are for Cuomo. Among independents likely to vote, a plurality, 43%, backs Cuomo. 31% are for Astorino, and 13% support Hawkins.
- Cuomo has overwhelming support among likely voters in New York City, 70%. He also has a majority of support in the city’s suburbs, 56%. However, Cuomo, 42%, and Astorino, 39%, are competitive Upstate.
- A majority of likely voters with a candidate preference, 53%, reports they strongly support their choice of candidate for governor. 32% somewhat support their pick, and 14% might vote differently. 56% of Astorino backers and 53% of Cuomo supporters are strongly committed to their choice.
- While 59% of likely voters with a candidate preference say they plan to vote for their choice of candidate because they are for him, 35% support their selection because they are against the other candidates. Astorino is viewed by a majority of his backers, 57%, as the anti-Cuomo candidate. In contrast, 74% of Cuomo’s support is an affirmative vote for him.
- Governor Cuomo, 47%, has a double-digit lead over Astorino, 35%, among likely voters who know about the Moreland Commission controversy. Voters who have heard of the Moreland Commission controversy comprise 41% of the state’s electorate compared with 45% who said they knew about it last month.
- Among registered voters, including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, Cuomo leads Astorino, 54% to 26%. Eight percent back Hawkins. In August, Cuomo outdistanced Astorino, 54% to 23%. Seven percent supported Hawkins.
- Governor Cuomo achieves this sizeable lead despite a 42% job approval rating among registered voters in the state. This matches Cuomo’s lowest score since he took office (Trend).
- 55% of likely voters have a favorable view of Governor Cuomo, and 39% have an unfavorable one. Among registered voters, Cuomo’s favorable rating is identical, 55%. This is little changed from 53% in August (Trend).
- 33% of likely voters have a positive view of Astorino, and 37% have a negative one. A notable 31% do not offer an opinion of him.
- Astorino is better known by state voters. 31% now have a positive impression of the candidate compared with 22% last month. But, negative impressions of him have also grown. 37% have a negative view of Astorino now while 25% shared this opinion in August.
- 43% of New York likely voters consider Cuomo to be a moderate. 39% describe him as liberal, and 11% view Cuomo as a conservative. Similar proportions of registered voters describe Cuomo in these terms. Voters’ impressions of Cuomo’s ideology are little changed from July (Trend).
- 45% of likely voters view Astorino as a conservative. 23% call him a moderate, and only 7% describe him as a liberal. 25% are unsure. The proportion of registered voters who view Astorino as a conservative has grown. 40% now share this view, up from 27% in July. At that time, a plurality, 46%, was unsure.
Most Voters Want Debates… Include all Candidates, Say Nearly Eight in Ten
- 86% of registered voters in New York want the gubernatorial candidates to participate in, at least, one debate. This includes 19% who want one debate, 42% who would like to see two debates, and 25% who want more than two debates.
- 78% of registered voters think all of the candidates on the ballot should be included in the debates, if any occur. 19% say only Cuomo and Astorino should participate.
- While 50% of registered voters have already decided on a candidate for governor, 45% think a debate would help them make up their minds. This includes a majority of independent voters, 58%, who reports a debate would help inform their decision.
On the Specifics of Cuomo’s Image
- 56% of registered voters, compared with 60% in August, think Cuomo is a good leader for the state (Trend).
- 55% of voters say Governor Cuomo cares about the average person, little changed from August.
- Cuomo is also viewed by a majority, 52%, as someone who represents all regions of the state. A similar 53% thought Cuomo identified with all parts of the state when this question was last reported in March 2013 (Trend). 53% of voters Upstate disagree.
- Registered voters in New York divide about whether Cuomo is changing the way things work in Albany for the better. 47% believe he is improving Albany while 47% say he is not. In August, 49% thought he was making positive inroads in Albany, and 41% said he was not having a positive impact on state government (Trend).
Major Change Needed in State Government
- 52% of registered voters in New York think state government in Albany needs major changes. 38% say minor changes are required, and 7% report state government is broken and cannot be fixed. Only 3% believe no changes are needed. Almost identical proportions of voters held these views in August (Trend).
- The New York State Senate and Assembly continue to receive poor marks. Only 26% of registered voters approve of how the State Senate is doing its job (Trend). A similar 25% approve of how the New York State Assembly is performing (Trend).
- 50% of voters say, when it comes to the direction of New York, the state is moving in the wrong direction. 43%, though, report it is moving in the right one. In August, voters divided with 48% saying New York was on the right track and 45% reporting it was on the wrong one (Trend).
Jobs Top Priority for Nearly One in Four Voters
- 23% of voters consider jobs to be the top priority for New York. Education follows with 17%. 16% think economic development is the most important issue facing the state while 15% cite taxes. Close to three in ten, 29%, choose another issue. There has been little change on this question since it was last reported in July.
Majority Believes New York is in Recession… Half Think State Has Turned the Corner
- A majority of registered voters, 57%, reports New York is currently in a recession while 40% say it is not. In July, similar proportions of registered voters had these views. 60% thought the state was under the recession’s cloud while 36% believed the fog had lifted (Trend).
- 50% of voters think the worst of the state’s economic problems are over. 44%, though, say the worst is still to come. New York voters are slightly more pessimistic about the state of the economy. In July, a majority, 56%, thought better economic days were ahead (Trend).
Obama Approval Rating in NYS Lowest Since Taking Office
- Just 39% of registered voters in New York think President Barack Obama is doing either an excellent, 12%, or good job, 27%, in office. This is the lowest job approval rating President Obama has received in New York State since he first took the Oath of Office in 2009. The president’s approval rating has slipped 6 points since July when 45% approved of his job performance (Trend).
- A solid 54% of voters approve of Senator Charles Schumer’s job performance, the same score he received in July (Trend). When it comes to how Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is doing in office, 48% rate her job performance highly. This is little changed from the 49% who held this view two months ago (Trend).
State Voters’ Impressions of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio
- 35% of registered voters in New York State have a positive view of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. 36% have a negative impression, and 28% don’t know him well enough to say. Not surprisingly, opinions of the New York City mayor vary greatly by region. He is well-known and well-liked in New York City. He is largely well-known but not as well-liked in the suburbs surrounding the city. Nearly half of Upstate voters, 46%, do not have an opinion of him.
Two months after taking office, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is well-liked among registered voters. Many think de Blasio cares about the average person, is fulfilling campaign promises, can unify the city, and is a good leader. However, there is a significant racial divide, and fewer than four in ten registered voters in the city approve of de Blasio’s overall job performance as mayor. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s job approval rating at this time in his first term was 50%.
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll
“Many voters like the qualities that de Blasio has as mayor, and they are comfortable with him,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “But, race matters, and he still has some convincing to do when it comes to carrying out his responsibilities at City Hall.”
39% of registered voters in New York City approve of the job Mayor de Blasio is doing in office. This includes 10% who think he is doing an excellent job and 29% who say he is doing a good one. 37% rate de Blasio’s performance as fair while one in five voters — 20% — thinks he is performing poorly. Five percent have either never heard of de Blasio or are unsure how to rate him.
- Among African American voters, 50% approve of the job de Blasio is doing. 40% give him fair marks, and 7% rate his performance as poor.
- 45% of Latino voters give de Blasio high marks. This compares with 32% who think he is doing an average job, and 19% who call his job performance poor.
- 30% of white voters think well of how Mayor de Blasio is doing his job. 34% rate his performance as fair, and 30% say he is doing poorly.
- 44% of Bronx voters approve of how de Blasio is doing in office. About one-third — 33% — rate his performance as fair, and 19% say he is doing a poor job.
- In Brooklyn, 43% give de Blasio a thumbs-up. 37% believe he is doing a fair job, and 14% think he is performing poorly.
- 36% of voters in Queens and Staten Island think de Blasio is doing either an excellent or good job as mayor. 40% describe his performance as fair, and 22% say it is poor.
- Three in ten Manhattan voters — 30% — approve of how de Blasio is doing in office. 36% say he is doing a fair job, and 26% think his performance falls short.
Despite de Blasio’s approval rating, nearly six in ten voters — 59% — have a favorable opinion of him. About one in three — 33% — has an unfavorable one, and 8% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
In The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist Poll reported in December before de Blasio took office, 56% said they liked de Blasio, 20% had a lesser opinion of him, and 23% had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him. Just before Election Day, 64% thought well of de Blasio. 26% had a negative impression of him, and 10% had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.
There is a racial divide. While 78% of African American voters say they like de Blasio, 55% of Latino voters and 49% of white voters say the same.
The Nitty-Gritty of de Blasio’s Image
Close to two-thirds of voters think de Blasio cares about people like them, and more than six in ten say he is fulfilling his campaign promises. Majorities of voters also say he can unify the city and is a good leader for the Big Apple. When it comes to whether de Blasio is changing New York City for the better, a plurality of voters think he is, and nearly half think he is meeting their expectations.
- 65% of voters citywide say de Blasio cares about people like them. 31% disagree, and 4% are unsure. Race matters on this question. While 86% of African American voters think de Blasio is concerned about them, 66% of Latinos and 51% of white voters say the same.
- More than six in ten New York City voters — 63% — think de Blasio is fulfilling campaign promises. One in four — 25% — does not think he is, and 11% are unsure. By race, more than seven in ten African American voters — 72% — believe de Blasio is keeping his word. This compares with 61% of Latino voters and 57% of whites.
- 59% of registered voters think de Blasio can unify the city. 34% do not have confidence in him to do so, and 7% are unsure. There are racial differences. 79% of African American voters and 64% of Latinos think de Blasio is a unifying force. This compares with only 42% of white voters who share this opinion.
- When it comes to de Blasio’s leadership, 58% believe he is a good leader for the city. About one in three — 33% — says he is not, and 9% are unsure. Again, race comes into play. Nearly eight in ten African American voters — 79% — have confidence in de Blasio’s leadership ability while 57% of Latinos and 46% of whites agree.
- Nearly half of registered voters — 48% — think de Blasio is meeting their expectations as New York City mayor. Six percent say he is exceeding them while 35% believe he is falling below what they had anticipated. 11% are unsure. By race, more than six in ten African American voters — 63% — say he is meeting their expectations. This compares with 48% of Latino voters and 39% of white voters who have this opinion.
- 43% of voters say de Blasio is changing New York City for the better. 20% think he is having a negative impact, and 25% believe he is having no effect at all. 12% are unsure. While about two-thirds of African American voters — 66% — think de Blasio is having a positive impact on the city, 44% of Latino voters and 30% of white voters say the same.
- 59% of voters say de Blasio’s political ideology is about right. 28% think he is too liberal, and 7% say he is too conservative. Six percent are unsure. In December’s survey, 61% said his ideology was about right, 21% reported he was too liberal, and 4% thought he was too conservative. 14%, then, were unsure.
Majority of Adults Approves of de Blasio’s Handling of Winter Storms… Schools Tell a Different Tale
56% of New York City residents are satisfied with how de Blasio and his administration managed this winter’s snowstorms. 41% disapprove, and 3% are unsure. Racial differences exist. More than seven in ten African Americans — 72% — think well of how de Blasio handled the snowfalls. This compares with 50% of Latinos and 49% of whites.
But, do adults citywide agree with how de Blasio handled school closings during those storms? 50% do not think he dealt with the situation correctly. 46% believe he did, and 4% are unsure. While majorities of African Americans — 55% — and Latinos — 53% — say de Blasio’s assessment was spot on, just 40% of whites agree. Parents of public school children divide. 50% think de Blasio correctly addressed the situation while 50% think he fumbled it.
Six in Ten Agree with de Blasio’s Focus on Public Schools
In contrast with former Mayor Bloomberg’s strong support for charter schools, Mayor de Blasio wants a better balance with public schools. And, six in ten residents in the city — 60% — approve of that emphasis. 34% disapprove, and 6% are unsure.
Among parents with school children in the city’s public school system, 65% think de Blasio has the correct stance on charter schools. 31% disagree, and 4% are unsure.
Race is a factor. 67% of Latinos and 64% of African Americans agree that de Blasio should emphasize public schools over charter schools. This compares with 49% of whites in the city who say the same. By borough, 64% in Queens and Staten Island, 61% of those in Brooklyn, and 60% of residents in the Bronx agree with de Blasio’s focus on public schools. 51% of Manhattan adults share this opinion.
52% Have Positive View of Chirlane McCray
A majority of registered voters — 52% — like Mayor de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray. 19% have an unfavorable impression of her, and 29% have either never heard of her or are unsure how to rate her. When The Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist last reported this question in December, 46% thought well of McCray, 8% had a lesser view of her, and 45% had either never heard of her or were unsure how to rate her.
City’s Compass Pointing in the Right Direction, Says Majority
53% of voters think New York City is moving in the right direction. 42% think it is moving in the wrong one, and 5% are unsure. In December, 51% thought the city was on course. 36% believed it was off track, and 13% were unsure.
However, there has been a shift in the specific groups who think the city is on the right path. There has been an increase in the proportion of African American voters who say the city is on course. 60% have this view now compared with 49% in December. There has been a slight decline among white voters. 45% say the Big Apple is on track while a slim majority — 52% — did so in that previous survey. Among Latinos, there is little change. Half — 50% — currently say New York City is on track while 47% had this opinion three months ago.