February 20, 2009
Change Is In the Air…Is It Time for a New Mayor?
55% of registered voters think it’s time for someone new to lead New York City while 40% say Mayor Michael Bloomberg deserves to be re-elected. Voters reported similar sentiments four years ago when Bloomberg ran for and won re-election. When the Marist Poll asked the identical question in March 2005, a majority of voters — 56% — reported it was time for Bloomberg to go. Just 39% said Bloomberg deserved to be re-elected at that time.
But … Bloomberg Retains Commanding Lead Over Democratic Rivals
Just what are the odds Mayor Bloomberg will win a third term? The answer: Pretty good if New York City’s mayoral election were held today. When pitted against Congressman Anthony Weiner, City Comptroller Bill Thompson, or City Council Member Tony Avella, Bloomberg leads Weiner 53% to 37%, outpaces Thompson 53% to 36% and defeats Avella 57% to 30%. Bloomberg’s lead has changed little since Marist’s November survey. At that time, Bloomberg was in front of Weiner 51% to 37%, he led Thompson 52% to 32%, and the mayor fended off Avella 54% to 28%.
- Bloomberg/Weiner 2009 Matchup Table
- Bloomberg/Thompson 2009 Matchup Table
- Bloomberg/Avella 2009 Matchup Table
Is There a Better Man? Democratic Opponents Vie for Party’s Support
Although a notable proportion of registered Democrats in New York City — 23% — do not know who the party’s most formidable opponent is to square off against Mayor Bloomberg, Congressman Anthony Weiner emerges as the frontrunner. Weiner garners the backing of 38% of New York City Democrats. Comptroller Bill Thompson is behind Weiner with 30% of voters’ support while just 9% of Democrats report they would back City Council Member Tony Avella.
Voters Like Limits…On Terms, Anyway
A plurality of New York City voters — 46% — believe the term limit extension approved by Mayor Bloomberg is bad for the city. This compares with 25% of the electorate that thinks it’s a good thing. Attitudes toward the action have remained fairly consistent. Back in November, 30% of voters believed that allowing elected officials to seek a third term would benefit the five boroughs. 43%, on the other hand, reported the decision would prove a detriment to New York City.
Mayor Bloomberg fought hard last fall to extend term limits, but did it create a political liability? Although 44% of registered voters in New York City say Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to extend term limits will not influence their vote, the same proportion — 44% — reports they are less likely to support Bloomberg because of his decision. Just 12% believe Bloomberg’s push for a third term will make them more likely to cast their ballot for him.
Voters Indifferent to Bloomberg’s Billions
When it comes to the amount of money Mayor Bloomberg plans to spend on his re-election campaign, voters just don’t care. 65% say the private funds Bloomberg intends to spend makes no difference to them. 35% report it matters to them, including 12% who say it will make them more likely to vote for Bloomberg and 23% who believe it will make them less likely to vote for him.