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.
Looking ahead to the 2013 Democratic primary for mayor, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has the support of 23% of Democrats citywide. Former City Comptroller Bill Thompson follows with 15%. Nine percent of registered Democrats citywide are for current Comptroller John Liu while 8% support Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. Six percent back Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer while the publisher of Manhattan Media, Tom Allon, receives 2%. Nearly four in ten registered Democrats in New York City — 37% — are unsure.
“There’s still a long way to go before Democrats go to the polls,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Nearly four in ten Democrats in the city are undecided.”
When compared with NY1-Marist’s April survey, more Democrats in the city are unsure about whom to support in the contest. At that time, more than three in ten New York City Democrats — 32% — favored Quinn. 12% supported Thompson, and 10% were for de Blasio. Liu received the backing of 9% while Stringer garnered 7%. Only 1% of Democrats were behind Allon, and 29% were unsure.
Plurality Says, “No Go” for Kelly Mayoralty
46% of registered voters in New York City do not want Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to run for mayor. 35% support a Kelly candidacy. 19% are unsure.
In NY1-Marist’s July 2011 survey, voters divided. 42% believed Kelly should stay out of the race while the same proportion — 42% — wanted him to throw his hat into the ring. 16%, at that time, were unsure.
Other well-known names have been bandied about as possible mayoralty candidates. How do they fare? 58% of registered voters citywide do not want Anthony Weiner to run for mayor while one in four — 25% — does. 17% are unsure.
There has been little change on this question since NY1-Marist last reported it in July of 2011. At that time, 64% of voters citywide did not want Weiner to seek the office while 26% did. One in ten, at that time, was unsure.
When it comes to Eliot Spitzer, 57% of registered voters want him to stay out of the contest while 30% would like to see him enter it. 13% are unsure. Here, too, there is little difference from the last time this question was asked in July of 2011. At that time, the same proportion — 57% — reported Spitzer should not run for mayor while 33% thought he should. Nine percent, then, were unsure.
What about actor Alec Baldwin? 66% of registered voters say they don’t want the actor to turn politician. 18%, though, would like to see Baldwin enter the contest. 16% are unsure.
Bloomberg Approval Rating Steady
45% of registered voters in New York City approve of the job Mayor Michael Bloomberg is doing in office. This includes 10% who say he is doing an excellent job and 35% who report he is doing a good one. 32% report his performance is fair while 20% call it poor. Only three percent are unsure.
When NY1-Marist last reported this question in April, 44% of registered voters gave Bloomberg high marks. Included here were 12% who said he was doing an excellent job and 32% who believed he was doing a good one. 33% gave the mayor average grades while 22% thought his performance was subpar. Only 1%, then, was unsure.
How will Mayor Bloomberg be remembered after he leaves office? 43% of registered voters believe he will leave a positive legacy. This includes 12% who think he will be remembered as one of the city’s best mayors and 31% who say he will be considered an above average mayor. 34% think Bloomberg will be thought of as an average mayor while 12% report he will be remembered as a below average one. Eight percent have low expectations and say Bloomberg will be considered one of the city’s worst mayors.
Little has changed on this question since April. At that time, 39% thought Bloomberg would leave a positive legacy behind. 39% said he would be considered an average mayor while 13% believed he would be looked upon as a subpar mayor. Nine percent, at that time, reported Bloomberg would be thought of as one of New York City’s worst mayors.
Majority Remains Optimistic about the Direction of the City
51% of registered voters citywide say the Big Apple is moving in the right direction. 38%, however, believe it is moving in the wrong one. 10% are unsure.
Here, too, the findings are similar to the NY1-Marist April survey when 52% thought New York City was on the right course. More than four in ten voters — 42% — said it was on the wrong one, and 6% were unsure.
A majority of New York City voters may want to put Mayor Michael Bloomberg on academic probation. While 34% approve of his handling of the city’s public schools, 56% disapprove. 10% are unsure. This is Bloomberg’s lowest approval rating on this issue since March of 2011 when 27% approved of how he was addressing the issue.
When NY1-Marist last reported this question in September, 41% approved of the mayor’s performance on education while 48% disapproved. 11%, at the time, were unsure.
“Dissatisfaction with New York City’s public schools remains high,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “New Yorkers want the next mayor to move in a different direction.”
- Bloomberg’s approval rating on education has dropped in the Bronx – 29% — and in Manhattan — 37%. In September, those proportions were 40% and 48%, respectively.
- In Queens and Staten Island – 36% — and in Brooklyn — 34%, there has been little change from September when 40% and 38%, respectively, gave Bloomberg high marks on his handling of education.
Many New York City residents are not thrilled with the public schools in their neighborhoods. Only 38% of adults citywide give their local schools good grades. Included here are 9% who rate their public schools as excellent and 29% who say they are good. 35% believe they are doing a fair job while 18% rate them poorly. Nine percent are unsure. Identical proportions of registered voters in the city share these views as well.
In NY1-Marist’s September survey, 43% of those living in New York City thought well of their neighborhood schools. 30% gave them a fair rating while 18% reported they fell short. Nine percent, at the time, were unsure.
Looking at households who have a child in the New York City public schools, 45% believe the public schools are doing either an excellent — 11% — or good — 34% — job educating their children. 37% think the schools are doing an average job while 15% believe they are falling short. Two percent are unsure.
More Than Six in Ten NYC Residents Want Next Mayor to Make Changes in Education
62% of adults in New York City want the city’s next mayor to take the public schools in a different direction. 27%, however, want Bloomberg’s successor to continue with Mayor Bloomberg’s education policy, and 11% are unsure.
- Nearly two-thirds of households with a child in the New York City public schools — 65% — want the next mayor to change the direction of education policy in the city.
- 69% of adults in the Bronx, 65% of those in Brooklyn, 60% of residents in Queens and Staten Island, and 55% in Manhattan desire changes in public schools.
Dennis Walcott’s Approval Rating at 34%
34% of adults citywide think the city’s top educator, Dennis Walcott, is doing either an excellent — 6% — or good — 28% — job as New York City Schools Chancellor. 35% rate Walcott as fair while 14% give him a poor rating. 17% are unsure or have never heard of him. In NY1-Marist’s September survey, Walcott’s approval rating was 31%. 38% thought he was doing an average job while 9% thought he missed the mark. 22%, at that time, were unsure.
Majority Approves of Kelly’s Job Performance
As speculation continues about a mayoralty run by New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, the commissioner enjoys a 55% job approval rating. This includes 21% of adults who believe Kelly is excelling in his position and 34% who report he is doing a good job. 28% rate the Police Commissioner’s performance as fair while 13% believe he is performing poorly. Four percent are unsure.
Kelly’s approval rating is 70% among white residents, 48% among Latinos, and 42% among African American residents in the city.
The views of registered voters reflect those of the overall population in the city. 56% of voters give Kelly high marks. 28% think his performance is average while 13% say he has missed the mark. Three percent are unsure.
Three years is a lifetime in politics, but if the 2013 Democratic primary for mayor were held today, 18% of registered Democrats would support Congressman Anthony Weiner. Former Comptroller Bill Thompson follows closely behind with 15% of the vote. And, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn receives the support of 12%. 10% of the city’s Democrats report they would back Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Comptroller John Liu each garners 9% of the vote. More than a quarter of New York City Democrats — 27% — are undecided.
“There are plenty of potential candidates for 2013, but no clear front-runner,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “With a long way to go, it’s not surprising that ‘undecided’ best reflects the outlook of Democratic voters at this time.”
The Kelly Question
What if New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly decided to run as the Republican candidate for mayor? How would he fare against the Democrats’ top contenders?
When pitted against Congressman Anthony Weiner, Weiner receives a majority of registered voters in New York City — 52% — to Kelly’s 33%. 15% are unsure.
New York’s top cop does better when matched up against City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former Comptroller Bill Thompson. In the hypothetical contest against Quinn, she receives 45% of the vote to Kelly’s 37%. 18% are undecided.
And, Kelly receives a similar proportion of the vote when he and Thompson face off. Here, 45% of voters citywide say they would support Thompson while 36% would back Kelly. 19% are unsure.