Small Plurality of NYers Approve of Job de Blasio Is Doing as Mayor

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Small Plurality of NYers Approve of Job de Blasio Is Doing as Mayor; Down from End of First Year in Office; Approval of Bratton & NYPD Performance Up Significantly

Crime Top Issue for Plurality; Majority Say NYC About as Safe as Before de Blasio Took Office; Far More Say NYC Is Less Safe Rather than Safer Now; Homelessness & Housing are Issues de Blasio Scores Worst with NYers

By Two-to-One, New Yorkers Call Big Apple Greatest City in the World

Loudonville, NY. As he approaches the end of his second year as mayor, New Yorkers are less supportive of the job Bill de Blasio is doing than they were a year ago. While 44 percent of New York City residents approve of the job de Blasio is doing as mayor, nearly as many, 38 percent, disapprove, down from 52-32 percent approval last December, according to The New York Times/Siena College poll of New York City residents released today. As compared to a year ago, in the aftermath of the Eric Garner grand jury decision, job approval for Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and support for the job members of the NYPD are doing are both up significantly.

One-third of City residents say keeping New York safe from crime is the issue they most want de Blasio to concentrate on, far ahead of improving public education, which finished second with 20 percent. While 52 percent say the City is about as safe today as it was before de Blasio became mayor, 33 percent say it’s less safe and only 14 percent say it’s safer. By two-to-one margins, residents disapprove of the job de Blasio is doing to both address the problem of homelessness and the ability of New Yorkers to obtain affordable housing.

“Nearly halfway into his term, Mayor de Blasio is getting mixed grades from New Yorkers. His job approval rating is down from last year, and is barely break even among registered voters. Only Democrats approve of the job he’s doing, 51-36 percent, while independents disapprove 43-37 percent and Republicans overwhelmingly disapprove, 74-16 percent,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “His approval is highest in the Bronx, 53-32 percent, and lowest in Staten Island, 62-24 percent disapproval, with small pluralities approving in the other three boroughs. Black and Latino New Yorkers approve of the way de Blasio is handling his job better than two-to-one and white New Yorkers disapprove by a better than two-to-one margin.”

“When it comes to both addressing the ability to obtain affordable housing and combatting the problem of homelessness, New Yorkers strongly disapprove of the job de Blasio is doing. At least 58 percent of Democrats and liberals, blacks, whites and Latinos, and residents of every borough disapprove of de Blasio job on both of these issues,” Greenberg said. “And while 47 percent say they see about the same number of homeless people now as compared to before de Blasio took office, 38 percent say they see more and only 10 percent see fewer.”

New Yorkers believe de Blasio cares about their problems 62-35 percent, little changed from 64-33 percent last December. By a 48-45 percent margin New Yorkers say de Blasio has strong leadership qualities, down from 54-37 percent in December. While a plurality, 46 percent, say de Blasio is focused enough on running the City, 40 percent say he’s too involved in matters outside New York, down significantly from 58-26 percent last year. Only 15 percent say the City is a better place to live since de Blasio became mayor, compared to 28 percent who say it’s worse and a majority, 54 percent, who say it’s about the same.

“New Yorkers don’t give de Blasio all bad news. A strong majority continues to believe the mayor cares about their problems. By a 59-39 percent margin, they have confidence in his ability to deal with a serious crisis. And by a nearly two-to-one margin, 59-33 percent, New Yorkers are optimistic about the next two years under Mayor de Blasio,” Greenberg said.

Bratton & NYPD See Ratings Improve Over the Last Year; Crime is Key Issue for New Yorkers
Bratton has a 52-31 percent job approval rating, up significantly from 43-40 percent in December. By a 54-46 percent margin, New Yorkers give the police a positive job performance rating, up significantly from a negative 55-44 percent job performance rating in December.

“Bratton’s job approval rating is up sharply from last December in the weeks following the grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer after the tragic death of Eric Garner. Democrats and independents who gave Bratton break-even marks last year now give him strong job approval marks, as do Latinos, a plurality of whom disapproved of his job last year. And black New Yorkers, who disapproved of his job by a 23-point margin last December are now evenly divided,” Greenberg said.

“In the wake of the Garner grand jury decision last year, 26 percent of New Yorkers said the police were doing a poor job. Now, half that number, 13 percent, feel that way. Although blacks and Latinos continue to give the NYPD a negative job performance rating, it is considerably less negative than less year, and whites are largely unchanged, with about two-thirds giving the police a positive rating,” Greenberg said.

“Even as views of the NYPD and its commissioner have improved over the last year, one-third of New Yorkers think that crime is the most important issue for the mayor to address, more than any other issue. And one-third of New Yorkers think that the City is less safe now than it was before de Blasio took office, compared to less than half that number, 14 percent, who say New York is safer,” Greenberg said. “At the same time, 60 percent of New Yorkers say they approve of the job de Blasio is doing when it comes to the police keeping New Yorkers safe.”

City May Be Headed on the Wrong Track, But it Is the Greatest City in the World
A majority of New Yorkers, 52 percent, say the City is headed on the wrong track, compared to only 40 percent who say the City is headed in the right direction, virtually unchanged from last December’s 52-41 percent saying wrong track. When it comes to the condition of the City’s economy, 63 percent say it is good, compared to only 34 percent who say it’s bad. Is New York City the greatest city in the world? Yes, says 65 percent of residents.

“New Yorkers may not love the mayor. They may think the City is headed on the wrong track. They may not be satisfied with the quality of public schools or other facets of life in the City. And on many issues, there’s a wide difference of opinion between New Yorkers of different parties, boroughs and races. But on one issue none of those differences arise,” Greenberg said. “At least 60 percent of Democrats, Republicans and independents, blacks, whites and Latinos, Catholics, Jews and Protestants, men and women, young and old, and residents of every borough agree: The Big Apple is the greatest city on the planet.”

New Yorkers’ View on Race Relations in the City Improve a Little in Last Year
By a 50-45 percent margin, New Yorkers say race relations in the City are generally good, up from last December, when 45 percent said they were good and 48 percent said they were bad.

“There was some improvement in the way both white and black New Yorkers view race relations in the City over the last year. Whites now say good by seven points up from one point bad last year. Black are now evenly divided after saying bad by 11 points last year. And Latinos are largely unchanged saying bad by three points this year and five points last year,” Greenberg said.

This New York Times/Siena College Poll was conducted October 29-November 11, 2015 by telephone calls in both English and Spanish to 1,961 New York City residents of whom 1,588 are registered voters. It has a margin of error of +2.5 percentage points for residents and +/-2.6 for registered voters. Data was statistically adjusted to correct for unequal probability of selection by household size and the overlap of land and cell phones and by age, education, borough, race/ethnicity and gender to ensure representativeness. Sampling was conducted via random digit dialing to landline and cell phones weighted to reflect known population patterns. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social and cultural research primarily in New York State. SRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. For more information, call Steve Greenberg at (518) 469-9858. For survey cross-tabs and frequencies: www.Siena.edu/SRI/SNY.

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