“What I think” said Quinnipiac pollster Mickey Carroll. “It’s the third term.”
That’s how Carroll explained today’s Q poll results showing Bloomberg hitting an 8-year low with voters, with a 51-39 percent job approval rating. ”Manhattan is the one place where he’s a plus, He’s a minus everywhere else,” said Carroll.
While Bloomberg’s push for a third term was resoundingly unpopular with voters at the time, it’s not uncommon to be drawing his kind of poll numbers at this stage of the game. Voters were similarly displeased with other three-term executives, said Carroll. Those included NYC Mayor Ed Koch, Governor Mario Cuomo and Governor George Pataki.
Adding to Bloommberg’s unpopularity, Carroll noted, were things like the city’s botched snow storm response, and Cathie Black’s bumpy debut.
I’d add to that list the CityTime scandal and, simply, being in office during a tough economy. Republican consultant, Bill O’Reilly, agreed, saying, Bloomberg is doing “unpopular things” during “tough-call times.” Democratic consultant Scott Levenson said the poll confirms what Democrats argued since 2001: “Mike Bloomberg is just out of touch with average New Yorkers.”
One supporter of the mayor told me the numbers – while certainly not ideal – basically confirm what the mayor said when he was campaigning. And that is that he has wants to spend his final term making the hard, but necessary choices, not simply coasting on a cosmetic, and insignificant agenda. (Pension reform, bugdget cuts, teacher layoffs, gun control, immigration – there are less thorny issues he could be preoccupied with.)
As much as voters may be souring on Bloomberg at the moment, they are supportive of him when he says he doesn’t need to disclose his whereabouts when he’s not working. Reporters have made much hay over the issue – one even flew to Bermuda for a story about it.
I asked Carroll why there’s this disconnect between voters’s apathy and reporter’s interest in this subject.
“You’re in the press. you’re not a normal citizen,” he said.