Mayor Bill de Blasio is running for re-election this year on promises to face down the new Republican regime in Washington, D.C.—but a new Quinnipiac University poll found residents of the five boroughs believe his arch-rival Gov. Andrew Cuomo is the man for that job.
The survey of 1,005 New York City residents found that 46 percent of New Yorkers think de Blasio should “try to get along with” President-elect Donald Trump, while 45 percent want to see the mayor become a “national leader” in opposing the new administration’s policies—though 60 percent of registered Democrats questioned want de Blasio to choose the latter path. The mayor has so far struck a mostly defiant stance toward the incoming commander-in-chief, even as he has allowed for potential cooperation on infrastructure and on getting Congress to refund the NYPD for protecting Trump Tower.
By contrast, 67 percent of all respondents, including 60 percent of Dems, believe Cuomo would prove “more effective at making sure New York City interests are best represented” in GOP-occupied D.C. These findings are somewhat in keeping with a December poll that found half of New Yorkers want their governor to be a “national leader” in opposing Trump—even though a majority believed Cuomo would make a poor 2020 Democratic nominee.
Apparently weighing on the mayor’s numbers is the ever-swelling homeless population, which continues to crack all-time records. Almost 60 percent survey participants said they disapproved of how de Blasio has handled the issue, and 72 percent of them characterized it as a “very serious problem.”
The mayor fared little better among members of his own party, as more than half condemned how he has dealt with the indigent crisis and three-quarters described the situation as “very serious.”
“Homelessness is hitting record numbers in New York City and three out of four voters say it’s a ‘very serious’ problem,” said Tim Malloy, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll.
Voters also gave de Blasio weak marks on his handling of the city’s budget, public schools and police-community relations, breaking seven to eight points toward the negative side. But he fared generally better among Democrats, whose votes will likely prove decisive to determining whether he spends another four years in Gracie Mansion, thanks to their enormous enrollment advantage.
De Blasio performed poorly among all voters on the issue that threatens to consume his administration: corruption. As two parallel grand juries contemplate evidence the mayor and his aides broke the law in their political fundraising efforts, only 30 percent of those polled expressed a positive opinion of his public ethics, compared to 50 percent who voiced a negative view.
Even among Democrats, de Blasio scored just a 36 percent approval rating for his handling of corruption, compared to a 43 percent who disapproved.
Nonetheless, a poll Quinnipiac put out yesterday discovered the mayor would trounce just about any Democratic opponent in the September primary—with the sole exception of Hillary Clinton.
This might have something to do with his handling of crime, a sensitive issue through his first two years in office. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed said they approved of how he has dealt with illicit activity on the streets—a figure that jumped to a whopping 65 percent among Dems. Half of voters like his NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, while just 17 percent dislike him.
Better than two-thirds of voters said they would prefer to remain in New York City rather than move elsewhere if they had the choice. Asked how they felt about “how things are going in New York City today,” 54 percent of all participants said they were either “somewhat satisfied” or “very satisfied.”