Mayor Bill de Blasio’s approval rating shot up to its highest levels on record in the latest Quinnipiac University poll—suggesting that the scandal surrounding top Department of Correction officials’ abuse of city-owned vehicles, and the subsequent unceremonious resignation of Commissioner Joseph Ponte last Friday have not dragged on his popularity heading into this fall’s election season.
The survey questioned 1,019 New York City voters between May 10 and May 16, amid the fallout of a city Department of Investigation report that found Ponte and 20 of his lieutenants had improperly taken their municipal SUVs out on personal excursions. Nonetheless, Quinnipiac discovered that a whopping 60 percent of those polled approved of the mayor’s performance in office—his strongest numbers ever, and a 10 point improvement from a study the school conducted back in February.
“Remember all those news stories about how Mayor Bill de Blasio was in political trouble?” said Maurice Carroll, assistant director for the survey. “Well, he ain’t.”
Almost three-quarters of Democrats told the university they approve of the mayor’s performance in office. And for the first time in recent memory, a majority of all New Yorkers—57 percent—said the liberal mayor deserves re-election.
Meanwhile, voters appear barely aware of the mayor’s premier Republican opponents, real estate executive Paul Massey and Staten Island Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis. More than 80 percent of voters, including 77 percent of Republicans, reported they didn’t know enough about Massey to form an opinion.
Malliotakis had a higher approval rate among registered GOP members—18 percent to Massey’s 14—but 84 percent of respondents said they didn’t have enough information to form an opinion.
And even though roughly three-quarters of Republicans said they would vote for either GOP candidate instead of de Blasio, the poll found the incumbent would cream them in a general election with close to two-thirds of the vote.
“Stay tuned for a slam-bang mayoral election—four years from now,” said Carroll.
Malliotakis secured the ballot line of the Conservative Party today, while Massey has the Independence Party row—meaning both might ultimately appear on the ballot, no matter the outcome of the GOP primary.
Quinnipiac also discovered that New Yorkers still overwhelmingly loathe their city’s most prominent son: President Donald Trump, whose scandals surrounding his dismissal of former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey have continued to proliferate. Nearly 75 percent of those question said they disapproved of the president’s job performance.
Even on Staten Island, the city’s lone red borough, only 40 percent of voters gave the president a thumbs up, while 57 frowned upon his actions.
But de Blasio still falls short of his nemesis, Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Democratic governor enjoys a 69 percent approval rating among voters in the five boroughs, and 80 percent among members of his own party.