With only weeks before New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first year in office comes to a close, the Big Apple’s voters are starting to sour on their famously progressive mayor.
While a majority of voters continue to approve of the job the mayor has done in office (52 percent, according to the latest New York Times/Siena poll), a figure that remains largely unchanged from an April Siena poll, voters are turning on how the city is managed.
52 percent say that de Blasio’s New York City is on the “wrong track.” Only 41 percent disagree. That is a near perfect reversal from April when 51 percent said that the city was on the “right track” and only 42 percent disagreed. That’s the highest level of dissatisfaction with the state of the city this poll has registered since 2011.
“On the broad question of whether the mayor focuses on issues of importance to New Yorkers, he got a 48-47 favorability rating,” Capital New York reported. “Not surprisingly, only 20 percent of Republicans said he focuses on issues that matter to them, compared to 54 percent of Democrats.”
When de Blasio took office, a Quinnipiac polls showed that 67 percent of New York City-based survey respondents were optimistic about the future of the metropolis. 60 percent of voters believe that the new mayor would make progress on their chief priority.
The reason for the decline in optimism in this latest Siena survey is likely the result of its timing. This poll was taken immediately following the unrest that resulted from a grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer responsible for the death of Eric Garner.
New Yorkers were split about the state of race relations in the city, which de Blasio has sought balance on in his public remarks by speaking to the concerns of black and Latino residents upset with the NYPD while also unequivocally defending his police commissioner, Bill Bratton.
While 45 percent of those surveyed said race relations are good, 48 percent felt they are bad and 7 percent were undecided.
The split was fairly even along racial lines: 40 percent of blacks have a positive view of race relations, compared to 46 percent of whites and 44 percent of Hispanics. By comparison, 51 percent of blacks answered the question negatively, compared to 47 percent of whites and 49 percent of Hispanics.
While the city’s new mayor is largely avoiding blame for the dismal state of affairs and the public’s general apprehension about the future, he cannot escape it forever. De Blasio may be enjoying some residual goodwill he earned from voters in the wake of the 2013 election, but that benefit of the doubt is fast wearing off.
Voters do not like his priorities, they don’t like how he’s run the city, and they think the future is bleak. It’s only a matter of time before they blame the man in Gracie Mansion for the woeful state of affairs.