9/10: More Care Needed for First Responders

The 9/11 health bill will go back to Congress this month.  But, on the eve of the ninth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, do New York City residents think the government has done enough up until now to help first responders and those who worked in the days following the attacks?  63% say the government has done too little to care for them while 27% believe the right amount of care has been given.  Just 3% say they have received too much assistance.  7% are unsure.



Click Here for Complete September 10, 2010 NYC Poll Release and Tables

“For many New Yorkers, the tragedy of 9/11 continues today with the lack of health care and government support for first responders and the families of the victims,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “The realities of that fateful day are still being experienced.”

There is consensus in the city that not enough has been done.  At least a majority among all demographic groups and in each borough throughout the city share this view.

Table: Government Care to First Responders

More Assistance for Families of Victims, Say Nearly Half of Residents

A plurality of New York City residents — 47% — believe the government has also not done enough for the families of the September 11th victims.  40%, however, think the right amount has been done for these families while 3% report those who lost a loved one have received too much from the government.  One-tenth are unsure.

Table: Government Care to Victims’ Families

Majority of New York City Residents Concerned About New Terrorist Attack

As New Yorkers prepare to remember the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, a majority of New York City residents are still worried about another attack in the city.

In fact, 56% of residents express some degree of concern.  This includes 19% who are very worried and 37% who are worried.  30%, however, are not too worried, and 14% are not worried at all.

Similar proportions of New York City residents expressed concern about another attack when Marist last asked this question in September 2007.  At that time, 57% were either very worried or worried.

Table: Concern About Another Terrorist Attack
Table: Concern About Another Terrorist Attack Over Time

Trend graph: concern about another terrorist attack over time

Little Progress Made in Redeveloping the World Trade Center Site

Seven in ten New York City residents — 70% — believe little or no progress has been made in rebuilding the World Trade Center site.  This includes a majority — 57% — who report not very much progress has been made and 13% who say no progress has been made in redeveloping Ground Zero.

On the other hand, 21% think redevelopment has moved at a good pace while 9% report a great deal of progress has been made.

Table: Progress in Rebuilding World Trade Center Site

Majority Oppose Islamic Community Center Near Trade Center Site

On the eve of the ninth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, the debate over the construction of an Islamic community center and prayer space near Ground Zero continues.  What do voters think about the planned development?  51% of registered voters in New York City oppose building the center two blocks from where the attacks occurred.  41%, on the other hand, are in favor of it.  8% are unsure.

Although the proportion of voters who are against the center has changed little since Marist last asked this question in August, more voters favor the construction of the prayer space.  In Marist’s previous survey, 53% opposed erecting the center while 34% supported it.  13% were unsure.

More Democrats currently support building the Islamic community center than in Marist’s last survey.  47% of Democrats in New York City now support the plan while 45% oppose it.  In August, 38% favored it and half opposed it.  Little has changed among Republicans and voters not enrolled in any party.  73% of Republicans and 56% of non-enrolled voters oppose building the community center two blocks from Ground Zero while 20% and 39%, respectively, favor it.  In Marist’s August survey, 74% of Republicans and 52% of voters not enrolled in a party were against the development while 16% and 35%, respectively, supported the construction.

Table: Construction of Mosque Near World Trade Center Site

Planned Community Center “Offensive,” Says Majority

A majority of New York City voters — 54% — believe the proposed Islamic community center and prayer space offends the memory of the victims of the September 11th attacks and their families while 35% say it helps people better understand the teachings of Islam and the Muslim religion.  11% are unsure.

These proportions mirror those found in Marist’s August survey.  In that poll, half of voters thought the construction was disrespectful while 34% said it would promote tolerance.  16% were unsure.

Along party lines, there has been an increase in the proportion of Republicans who call the prayer space, “offensive.”  76% currently hold this view while 68% did so last month.  Just 14% of New York City’s GOP think the building allows for greater understanding of Islam.  20% thought the same in August.

Among Democrats, half say the prayer space insults the victims of the attacks while 39% think it is a move toward tolerance.  In Marist’s previous survey, 47% and 37%, respectively, held these views.  As for non-enrolled voters in the city, a majority — 51% — report the center insults the memories of those who were lost while 42% believe it will educate residents about the Muslim faith.  47% in this voting block thought the Islamic center to be disrespectful in August while 37% said it promoted tolerance.

Table: Views Toward Construction of Mosque Near World Trade Center Site

Nearly Half Disapprove of Bloomberg’s Handling of Issue

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been outspoken in favor of the community center and prayer space near the World Trade Center site.  What do voters think about his handling of the issue?  Nearly half — 48% — disapprove of how he is approaching the proposal.  42%, however, approve.  10% are unsure.

Republicans express the most displeasure with the mayor.  71% disapprove of how he is handling the issue while 24% approve.  Democrats and voters not enrolled in any party divide.  47% of Democrats approve of Bloomberg’s approach while 44% disapprove.  Of non-enrolled voters, 44% approve while 48% disapprove.

Table: Bloomberg’s Handling of Proposed Islamic Community Center

Bloomberg’s Approval Rating at 49%… Is the Islamic Center a Factor?

Mayor Bloomberg’s approval rating remains at 49%.  This includes 11% of registered voters in New York City who say he is doing an excellent job in office and 38% who believe he is doing a good one.  31% report his performance is fair while 18% say he is performing poorly.  2% are unsure.

What kind of an impact is the controversy surrounding the proposed Islamic center having on the mayor’s job approval rating?  Voters who favor the plan give the mayor better grades than those who are against it.  Of those who favor the development, 57% approve of Bloomberg’s job performance.  43% of those who oppose it say the same.

There has been a bump in the mayor’s approval rating among Democrats.  Currently, 55% give the mayor a thumbs-up while 47% did the same in Marist’s August survey.  However, Bloomberg has lost support among Republicans.  Currently, 36% of the city’s GOP approve of Mayor Bloomberg’s job performance.  Last month, a majority of Republicans — 55% — affirmed the job the mayor was doing.  There has been little change among voters not enrolled in any party.

In the boroughs, Bloomberg has gained support among voters in Manhattan and the Bronx.  Nearly two-thirds of voters in Manhattan — 66% — give the mayor kudos compared with 56% in August.  In the Bronx, a slim majority of voters — 51% — approve of the mayor’s job performance compared with 39% in Marist’s previous survey.  However, perceptions of the job the mayor is doing have slipped in Queens and Staten Island.  Here, 41% agree with the mayor’s management of the Big Apple while 48% thought that way last month.  Little has changed in Brooklyn.  46% of registered voters in Brooklyn approve of Mayor Bloomberg’s job performance.  48% said the same in August.

Table: Bloomberg Approval Rating
Table: Bloomberg Approval Rating Over Time

Trend graph: Michael Bloomberg's approval rating over time

Click on the graph to enlarge the image.

Public Opinion Changes Course When It Comes to City’s Direction

A plurality of voters — 46% — think the city is moving in the right direction while 44% say it is traveling along the wrong course.  10% are unsure.

There has been a slight shift on this question.  When Marist last asked it in August, 47% believed the city was on the wrong path while 44% thought is was on the right one.  9% were unsure.

Table: NYC Direction
Table: NYC Direction Over Time

Trend graph: Voters' opinions on direction of New York City over time

Click on the graph to enlarge the image.

Marist Poll Methodology