A majority of New Yorkers are optimistic about new Mayor Bill de Blasio’s next four years, but only 2 percent said income inequality should be a top issue for the city to tackle, according to a new poll released this afternoon.
The high numbers nonetheless show Mr. Blasio is enjoying a honeymoon period with the city’s residents, according to Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnpiac University Polling Institute, which conducted the poll.
“New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is having a honeymoon. Two thirds of New Yorkers are optimistic about the new City Hall team,” he said in a statement released with the poll.
Respondents were asked in an open-ended question which issues should be the top priority for Mr. de Blasio and the new City Council. Though Mr. de Blasio campaigned on a theme of reducing the city’s inequality and won overwhelmingly with that message, only two percent named “income inequality” or “class inequality” in their answer.
And just one person mentioned early childhood education–the centerpiece of Mr. de Blasio’s legislative agenda–as Issue No. 1. Still, when asked if they supported his plan, which calls for raising the city’s income tax on the rich to fund universal pre-K, 74 percent of respondents said they did.
In contrast, twenty percent named education generally, 13 percent said jobs and 9 percent said safety and housing. Whatever the issue, a strong majority–62 percent–predicted Mr. de Blasio would make progress on their issue of choice.
New Yorkers further weighed in on several hot-button issues, with an overwhelming 61 percent saying they don’t want the city to ban horse-drawn carriages–as Mr. de Blasio plans to do. Another 62 percent said they approve of the job the NYPD is doing and 59 percent support Mr. de Blasio’s choice for police commissioner, Bill Bratton.
Mr. de Blasio also boasts an approval rating of 53 percent, though a sizable slice of the sample–34 percent–remained undecided about the new Democratic mayor.
The poll was conducted between January 9 and 15. View the full survey below: