New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will leave office at the end of the year. So, who could be his successor? Looking at the Democratic contest, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn leads her closest opponent by almost three-to-one.
Among registered Democratic voters in New York City including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, if the Democratic primary were held today, here is how the contest would stand:
- 37% Christine Quinn
- 13% Bill Thompson
- 12% Bill de Blasio
- 9% John Liu
- 2% Sal Albanese
- 1% Other
- 26% Undecided
“An open seat is attracting a crowd,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Right now, Quinn is in the driver’s seat, but the race is still very fluid.”
Quinn has improved her standing among New York City Democrats. In fact, her support has rebounded to more than what it was last spring. When NY1-Marist reported this question in October, Quinn received the support of 23% of Democrats. 15% backed former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson. Nine percent gave their support to current City Comptroller John Liu while Public Advocate Bill de Blasio garnered 8%. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer had 6%, and the publisher of Manhattan Media, Tom Allon, received 2%. At that time, 37% were unsure. In NY1-Marist’s April survey, 32% of New York City Democrats supported Quinn.
How committed to their choice are Democrats with a candidate preference? 30% strongly support their pick. 34% are somewhat behind their candidate while 32% might vote differently. Three percent are unsure.
What are New York City Democrats’ impressions of these mayoral aspirants?
- 65% have a favorable opinion of Quinn while 17% have an unfavorable one. 18% have either never heard of her or are unsure how to rate her.
- Looking at Thompson, nearly half — 49% — have a favorable impression of him while 20% do not. 31% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
- 48% of New York City Democrats have a positive view of de Blasio while 20% have an unfavorable one. 32% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
- When it comes to Liu, 43% have a favorable impression of him while 27% have an unfavorable one. 30% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
- Only 26% of Democrats have a positive opinion of Albanese while 20% have an unfavorable view of him. A majority — 54% — has either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
On the Republican side, former MTA Chairman Joe Lhota has the advantage over opponents for his party’s nomination but by no means a lock. A majority of Republicans citywide — 55% — are undecided.
Among registered Republicans in New York City including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, if the Republican primary were held today, here is how the contest would stand:
- 20% Joe Lhota
- 8% George McDonald
- 5% John Catsimatidis
- 4% Tom Allon
- 3% Adolfo Carrion
- 2% A.R. Bernard
- 3% Other
- 55% Undecided
Hopefuls in the Republican field lack name recognition. Except for Lhota, a majority of New York City Republicans do not offer an impression of the potential Republican nominees for mayor.
- 42% of GOP voters think well of Lhota while 12% have an unfavorable opinion of him. 46% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
- 30% have a favorable view of Businessman John Catsimatidis while 14% have an unfavorable one. A majority — 56% — has either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
- When it comes to former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, 20% perceive him positively while 21% do not. 59% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
- Advocate George McDonald is viewed well by 18% of Republicans citywide. 17%, however, have an unfavorable impression of him. Nearly two-thirds — 65% — have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
- Just 16% say they have a positive opinion of Manhattan Media publisher Allon. This compares with 17% who have an unfavorable view of him. 67% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
- Only 12% think well of Reverend A.R. Bernard. 18% have an unfavorable opinion of the candidate, and seven in ten — 70% — have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
While former Congressman Anthony Weiner has not announced a candidacy for public office, there has been speculation about his political intentions. Weiner, though, has a perception problem. Only 30% of registered voters in New York City view him favorably. 46% have an unfavorable impression of him while 24% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
From the Primary to the General…Democrats Outdistance GOP Hopeful Lhota
When it comes to November’s general election, how do the candidates fare in head-to-head matchups? Among New York City registered voters:
- Quinn — 64% — outpaces Lhota — 18%. 18% are undecided.
- If Thompson were to face-off against Lhota, Thompson — 61% — surpasses Lhota — 19%. 20% are undecided.
- When de Blasio and Lhota square off, 60% back de Blasio compared with 18% for Lhota. 22% are undecided.
- 56% are for Liu while 20% are behind Lhota. 23% are undecided.
- In a race between Albanese and Lhota, 52% support Albanese compared with 21% for Lhota. 27% are undecided.
Third Party Candidate Makes Little Difference
If Adolfo Carrion decided to run on an independent line, how would the race shape up?
Among New York City registered voters:
- Quinn has the support of 59% to 17% for Lhota. Carrion receives 8%, and 17% are undecided.
Former Mayors Could Do More Harm than Good in General Election, But…
A candidate endorsement by Mayor Bloomberg may not bolster that candidate’s prospects. If Bloomberg were to endorse a candidate, 36% of the electorate would be more likely to vote for that candidate while 44% would be less likely to vote for him or her. 14% report Bloomberg’s endorsement would make no difference to their vote, and 7% are unsure.
When NY1-Marist last reported this question in April, 28% said they would be more inclined to cast their ballot for a Bloomberg-endorsed candidate while 42% believed such a backing would make them less likely to support that candidate. 18% thought it would make no difference to their vote, and 11% were unsure.
What if former Mayor Rudy Giuliani were to endorse a candidate? While Giuliani’s backing would do little to bolster such a candidate in the general election, it could pay dividends in the Republican primary.
Among New York City registered voters, 38% would be more likely to vote for a candidate backed by Giuliani while 46% would be less likely to vote for that person. Nine percent report it would make little difference to their vote, and 6% are unsure.
However, among Republicans citywide, 71% would be more inclined to support a candidate who receives Giuliani’s stamp of approval. 17% would be less likely to cast their ballot for that candidate, and 9% say it wouldn’t matter one way or the other. Two percent are unsure.
The toll of Hurricane Sandy surprised many in New York City, but residents are bracing for another hit. 64% of residents believe it is likely or very likely the city will face another weather emergency of Sandy’s strength in the next year. This includes 21% who say it is very likely and 43% who report it is likely. About one in five — 21% — don’t think the possibility is very likely while 8% say it is not likely at all. Seven percent are unsure.
But, will New York City be ready to battle another fierce storm? Nearly three in four residents express confidence that the Big Apple will be able to respond to future natural disasters. Included here are 12% who are very confident in the city’s ability and 61% who are confident in it. About one in five people in New York City — 19% — are not too confident that New York City will be able to deal with another severe weather event, and 5% are not confident at all. Three percent are unsure.
“New Yorkers think the city needs to brace itself for another storm,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Next time, many think the city will be ready.”
Residents who were most affected by Hurricane Sandy, that is, those who experienced three or more hardships, are less confident the city will be prepared. Still, 61% of these residents are, at least, confident that the city will be ready for another natural disaster. This compares with 73% of those who were directly affected, those who experienced at least one hardship related to Hurricane Sandy, and 72% who were not affected at all.
Many in New York City have learned a lesson from Hurricane Sandy. 67% report they will be better prepared the next time they face a severe weather forecast. 30% will be about as prepared as they were during Sandy while only 3% think they will not be as well prepared. Among those who were most affected, 80% report they will be better prepared in the future.
Mandatory Evacuations Okay, Says Majority
55% of residents in New York City believe the city should force people to leave their homes in the event of severe weather. But, more than four in ten residents — 42% — believe it should be an individual’s decision. Three percent are unsure.
While a majority of those who were most affected — 52% — support mandatory evacuations, 44% believe it should be an individual’s decision. Those most affected are slightly less likely to support mandatory evacuations than those who were not directly affected by Hurricane Sandy — 58%. 39% of these residents think people should make their own choice.
58% of New York City adults say, if they were ordered to leave their home or office due to a severe weather forecast, they would go immediately. 31% would wait until concerns about their loved ones were addressed while 9% would not leave. Only one percent is unsure.
47% of those who were most affected would leave immediately. 34% of these residents would make sure issues pertaining to their loved ones are in order, and 14% would not leave. Five percent are unsure.
While nearly seven in ten New York City adults — 69% — say they have someplace safe to go if they are ordered to leave their home, nearly three in ten — 29% — do not. Two percent are unsure.
In the Flood Zone: Six in Ten Support Rebuilding Homes…Not So for Nursing Homes
60% of New York City adults believe homeowners should be allowed to rebuild their homes in a flood zone. One-third — 33% — don’t think houses should be reconstructed in these areas. Eight percent are unsure.
65% of New York City residents most affected by Hurricane Sandy and 63% of those directly affected by the storm say homeowners should be permitted to rebuild their homes in flood zones. This compares with 56% of those not directly affected Sandy.
However, 64% of residents don’t believe nursing homes should be allowed to operate in flood zones. 31% disagree and think these facilities should be permitted. Five percent are unsure.
Most Felt Well-Informed about Hurricane Sandy…TV Leading News Source
88% of New York City adults say they were well-informed about Hurricane Sandy. 10% felt out of touch, and two percent were unsure. Even 74% of those who were most affected by the storm report they were well-informed.
How did city dwellers receive their information about the hurricane? 62% mostly watched television. 13% turned to the Internet while 9% listened to the radio. Five percent spoke with family and friends. Three percent got their information from calls or texts they received on their cell phones while the same proportion — 3% — read the newspaper. One percent picked up calls on their home phone while 1% followed the latest news on Twitter. Two percent received their information from another source or are unsure.
Among those who were the most affected, 29% got their news from TV, 23% tuned into the radio, and 21% went online. 11% kept up-to-date thanks to friends and family. Seven percent received information either by call or text to their cell phones, and 3% were updated via Twitter. Six percent used another source or are unsure.
The Personal Toll of the Storm, By the Numbers
What types of losses did New York City residents experience due to Hurricane Sandy?
- 28% of adults in the city lost vacation time or wages because of the storm. 72% did not.
- One in four households citywide — 25% — lost electricity for more than a day. 75% did not. In Staten Island, 71% experienced a power outage for longer than a day.
- More than one in five households — 22% — lost heat for longer than a day. 78% did not. 61% of Staten Island households were without heat for more than 24 hours.
- 19% of adults citywide have a member of their household who suffered property damage. 81% did not. Almost four in ten Staten Island residents — 37% — have a member of their household who had property damage.
Coming Together: New York Residents Offer Help Post-Sandy
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many New York City residents reached out to others in need.
- Nearly six in ten residents — 58% — donated food or clothes to families affected by the storm. Even 68% of those most affected and 61% of those directly affected by the storm did so.
- 52% of city residents gave money to people or neighborhoods in areas harmed by Hurricane Sandy.
- Three in ten adults citywide — 30% — volunteered their time to participate in storm-related events. 49% of residents most affected, 36% of those directly affected, and 23% of those not affected by the storm gave their time to these activities.
- More than one in four city dwellers — 26% — took part in cleanup efforts in their neighborhood or another area impacted by Sandy. 50% of those most affected by the storm, 31% of those directly affected, and 20% of those not affected helped in the cleanup effort.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s approval rating may have waned a bit back in February, but by the looks of The Marist Poll’s new citywide survey, the mayor is on solid ground. 58% of registered New York City voters report Bloomberg is doing either an excellent or good job in office while 40% say he is performing fairly well or poorly. The mayor received similar ratings when Marist last asked this question in May. At that time, the mayor rebounded from Marist’s February survey when he received a lower, albeit still strong, approval rating — 52%.
Although Bloomberg’s approval rating crosses party lines, race comes into play. 68% of white voters and 64% of Latino voters give the mayor above average marks. This compares with just 37% of African American voters who share this view.
What does the electorate think about the city’s trajectory? A majority is positive about the city’s path. 52% report the city is moving in the right direction. This is compared with 38% who believe the opposite is true. Similar proportions of voters said the same in Marist’s May survey.
As in The Marist Poll’s May survey, voters in the Big Apple say they like Mike! 78% of the electorate thinks Bloomberg is working hard as mayor, 68% report he is a good leader for New York City, and 70% think Mayor Bloomberg has a firm grasp on the problems facing the city.
Voters have a different perception of Bloomberg, however, when it comes to being a mayor who cares about the average New Yorker. Here, the mayor fails to receive a majority of voters who believe he cares about people like them. In fact, the electorate divides with 48% saying Bloomberg is an empathetic mayor and 46% who disagree. In May, half of voters said the mayor cares about people like them.
The New York State Senate’s legislative inaction has taken control of the New York City public schools out of Mayor Bloomberg’s hands. But, according to a majority — 53% — of New York City voters, Mayor Bloomberg was doing a good job handling the schools. 38% disagree. When it comes to money matters, 51% report they like the way Mayor Bloomberg is dealing with the city’s economic crisis. This is compared with 40% who disagree. And, looking at the way the mayor is dealing with the city’s budget, 49% approve of Bloomberg’s plan while 41% disapprove.
On the issue of taxes, however, the tides turn against Mayor Bloomberg. A plurality of the city’s electorate — 49% — disapproves of how Mr. Bloomberg is addressing the situation. 44% approve. The mayor also needs to score some points on the question of public transportation. Here, a majority — 56% — say they do not like how the mayor is handling the issue while 39% think Bloomberg is dealing with the matter well. In all of these areas, the mayor received similar ratings in May.
Since that May survey, there has been a slight dip in the proportion of voters who approve of how Bloomberg is handling crime in New York City. Although nearly three-quarters of the electorate — 74% — currently support the mayor’s methods, 78% said the same two months ago.
Lee Miringoff discusses Mayor Bloomberg’s latest poll numbers: