October 21, 2008 - New Yorkers Tilt Against Third Term For Bloomberg, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; 87 Percent Say Let Voters Decide In Referendum

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By a 51 - 45 percent margin, New York City voters oppose extending the eight-year term limit to 12 years so they can elect Mayor Michael Bloomberg to a third term, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a similar, but not identical, question in an October 3 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll in which New Yorkers supported 54 - 42 percent extending term limits for four more years of Mayor Bloomberg. That question was asked before the Mayor formally announced that he would ask to extend term limits and seek a third term.

In this latest survey, Democrats oppose extending term limits 53 - 43 percent and independent voters split with 50 percent opposed and 48 percent supporting it. Republicans support the four-year extension 54 - 44 percent. Whites back the idea 56 - 41 percent while black voters oppose it 62 - 35 percent and Hispanic voters oppose it 53 - 42 percent.

New York City voters approve 75 - 20 percent of the job Bloomberg is doing, tying his record, and 59 percent say they "definitely" or "probably' would vote for him if term limits are extended and he is on the ballot next year.

"Opponents of Mayor Bloomberg's plan to extend term limits are winning - narrowly - the battle for the hearts and mind of New Yorkers," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"They love Mayor Mike and two weeks ago they were ready to give him a third term, in a hypothetical situation. But now that it's real and other voices are being heard, voters are having second thoughts."

Looking at another term limit question, 50 percent of New Yorkers say changing the rules in the middle of the game is unfair, while 46 percent say Bloomberg deserves four more years to finish his work as Mayor.

Voters support 62 - 29 percent the overall concept of term limits. And in a question where no person is named, they oppose 56 - 36 percent extending term limits from eight years to 12 years for all elected New York City officials.

They also oppose 60 - 31 percent extending term limits so their local City Council member can serve for more years.

By an 89 - 7 percent margin, New York City voters say the issue of term limits should be decided by voters in a referendum, not by an act of the City Council. Even Republican voters prefer a referendum 85 - 11 percent.

If there is a referendum, voters would oppose 52 - 41 percent "extending term limits for four more years for all elected New York City officials, including the Mayor." Results among Democrats, Republicans and independent voters are consistent. White voters say 50 - 44 percent they would vote to extend term limits, while black voters would vote no 60 - 32 percent and Hispanic voters would oppose the extension 56 - 37 percent.

"Voters to City Council: We voted for term limits twice and, if it's going to change, it should be us - not you - who decide it," Carroll said.

Despite the economic collapse and the threat that collapse poses to the city budget, Bloomberg would meet these challenges and have a successful third term, 64 percent of voters say. Another 22 percent say these challenges would overwhelm Bloomberg and damage his record.

"Remember what happened to Mayor Koch and Gov. Cuomo during their third terms? New Yorkers don't think it will happen to Bloomberg. By almost 3-1, they reject the history lesson that third terms are trouble," Carroll said.

"A reelected Mayor Mike will meet the job's challenges, New Yorkers think. Only one in five thinks he'll damage his reputation.

From October 15 - 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,017 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed - http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Michael Bloomberg is handling his job as Mayor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Approve              75%    82%    72%    80%    83%    69%    66%
Disapprove           20     16     22     14     14     24     24
DK/NA                 6      3      5      6      2      8     10
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Approve              73%    70%    82%    75%    71%    78%    71%
Disapprove           22     22     14     18     27     19     20
DK/NA                 5      8      4      6      1      3      8
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Michael Bloomberg is handling his job as Mayor? * also 75% on 10/03/08, 3/12/08, 1/16/07 & 11/17/05
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Oct 21  Oct 3   Jul 16  May 7   Mar 12  Oct 21  Jul 2
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2008    2008*   2003
 
Approve              75      75      71      70      75      75     31
Disapprove           20      19      22      22      17      19     60
DK/NA                 6       6       6       8       8       6      8
 
 
2. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New York City today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Very satisfied       14%    23%    11%    15%    17%    11%    12%
Smwht satisfied      46     53     46     48     57     40     38
Smwht dissatisfied   24     16     27     25     19     24     31
Very dissatisfied    14      7     15     13      6     24     17
DK/NA                 1      2      1      -      1      1      2
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Very satisfied       12%    11%    17%    15%    15%    15%    13%
Smwht satisfied      39     45     50     46     54     52     41
Smwht dissatisfied   26     25     23     25     21     21     27
Very dissatisfied    22     17      8     13      9     10     18
DK/NA                 1      2      1      -      1      1      1
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New York City today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                     Oct 21  Oct 3   Jul 16  May 8   Nov 19  Jul 25  Jul 12  Apr 12
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2006    2006
 
Very satisfied       14      12       9       8      12      10      16      12
Smwht satisfied      46      48      48      47      53      54      51      56
Smwht dissatisfied   24      23      26      28      22      23      22      22
Very dissatisfied    14      16      15      16      11      12      10       9
DK/NA                 1       1       1       -       2       1       1       1
 
 
3. Generally speaking, do you favor or oppose setting limits on the number of years elected officials can hold office?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Favor                62%    68%    62%    63%    62%    62%    60%
Oppose               29     27     30     27     32     28     26
DK/NA                 9      5      8      9      6     10     14
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Favor                66%    62%    58%    63%    69%    63%    62%
Oppose               21     30     31     29     27     30     27
DK/NA                13      8     11      8      4      7     11
 
TREND: Generally speaking, do you favor or oppose setting limits on the number of years elected officials can hold office?
                     Oct 21  Oct 3   Jul 16  Mar 1
                     2008    2008    2008    2001
 
Favor                62      65      71      67
Oppose               29      29      23      28
DK/NA                 9       6       6       5
 
 
4. Currently, there is an 8 year time limit for all elected New York City officials. Do you favor or oppose extending this limit to 12 years?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Favor                36%    43%    35%    35%    45%    26%    33%
Oppose               56     51     56     59     48     66     58
DK/NA                 8      5      9      6      7      8      9
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Favor                30%    28%    46%    37%    45%    39%    33%
Oppose               63     64     41     59     52     57     56
DK/NA                 8      8     13      4      4      4     11
 
TREND: Currently, there is an 8 year term limit for all elected New York City officials. Do you favor or oppose extending this limit to 12 years?
                     Oct 21  Oct 3   Jul 16  Mar 1
                     2008    2008    2008    2001
 
Favor                36      39      32      34
Oppose               56      56      65      63
DK/NA                 8       5       3       4
 
 
5. As you may know, Michael Bloomberg will have served 8 years as Mayor by the end of 2009. Mayor Bloomberg has said he would like to run for a third term as mayor. Would you favor or oppose extending the 8 year time limit so you could vote for him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Favor                45%    54%    43%    48%    56%    35%    42%
Oppose               51     44     53     50     41     62     53
DK/NA                 3      2      4      2      3      3      5
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Favor                37%    39%    57%    46%    53%    45%    46%
Oppose               62     57     39     51     46     53     50
DK/NA                 2      5      4      3      1      2      5
 
TREND: As you may know, Michael Bloomberg will have served 8 years as Mayor by the end of 2009. Mayor Bloomberg has said he would like to run for a third term as mayor. Would you favor or oppose extending the 8 year time limit so you could vote for him? * wording "If Mayor Bloomberg commits to running..."
                     Oct 21  Oct 3   Jul 16
                     2008    2008*   2008*
 
Favor                45      54      38
Oppose               51      42      56
DK/NA                 3       4       5
 
 
6. Would you favor or oppose extending the 8 year time limit so your local City Council member can serve four more years?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Favor                31%    26%    30%    37%    38%    23%    24%
Oppose               60     64     59     57     53     71     61
DK/NA                 9      9     11      5      9      6     16
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Favor                25%    31%    37%    29%    32%    32%    30%
Oppose               69     60     50     62     63     64     55
DK/NA                 6      9     13      9      6      4     14
 
TREND: Would you favor or oppose extending the 8 year time limit so your local City Council member can serve four more years?
                     Oct 21  Oct 3   Jul 16
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Favor                31      35      26
Oppose               60      58      66
DK/NA                 9       7       8
 
 
7. If term limits are altered or abolished and Mayor Bloomberg could run again, which comes closest to your feelings: Bloomberg has a lot of good programs he wants to finish;he should get four more years in office OR Changing the rules in the middle of the game is unfair;someone else should have the chance to be mayor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Four more years      46%    54%    44%    52%    58%    37%    44%
Change is unfair     50     44     53     47     38     61     54
DK/NA                 3      2      3      1      4      3      3
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Four more years      39%    40%    56%    47%    55%    46%    47%
Change is unfair     59     56     39     51     45     51     50
DK/NA                 2      4      6      2      1      3      3
 
TREND: If term limits are altered or abolished and Mayor Bloomberg could run again, which comes closest to your feelings: Bloomberg has a lot of good programs he wants to finish; he should get four more years in office OR Changing the rules in the middle of the game is unfair; someone else should have the chance to be mayor?
                     Oct 21  Oct 3   Jul 16
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Four more years      46      52      40
Change is unfair     50      44      55
DK/NA                 3       5       5
 
 
8. Who do you think should decide the issue of whether or not to extend term limits by four more years - the City Council or the voters in a referendum?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
City Council          7%    11%     6%     4%     9%     5%     5%
Voters               89     85     90     93     89     91     88
DK/NA                 4      4      4      3      3      4      7
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
City Council          4%     7%     7%     6%     9%     9%     4%
Voters               93     86     88     91     91     88     90
DK/NA                 2      7      5      3      -      3      5
 
 
9. If there is a referendum, would you vote for or against extending term limits by four more years for all elected New York City officials, including the Mayor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
For                  41%    40%    41%    42%    50%    32%    37%
Against              52     52     52     53     44     60     56
DK/NA                 7      8      7      4      6      9      7
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
For                  38%    35%    52%    41%    45%    44%    39%
Against              56     57     40     53     52     52     51
DK/NA                 6      8      9      7      3      4     10
 
 
10. If term limits are extended and Mayor Bloomberg runs for reelection in 2009, how likely is it that you would vote for him? Would you definitely vote for him, probably vote for him, probably not vote for him, or definitely not vote for him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Definitely           32%    45%    29%    35%    37%    29%    29%
Probably             27     21     29     28     31     21     28
Probably not         13      8     14     10      9     18     14
Definitely not       21     17     23     19     15     25     24
DK/NA                 7      9      6      7      7      7      4
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Definitely           25%    30%    37%    34%    36%    33%    32%
Probably             26     25     32     25     25     29     25
Probably not         15     13     10     11     18     11     14
Definitely not       27     25     13     23     18     20     22
DK/NA                 8      7      8      7      4      7      7
 
 
11. If Michael Bloomberg is elected to a third term, considering the collapse of the economy and the threat it poses to the city budget, what comes closer to your point of view - Michael Bloomberg will meet these challenges and have a successful 3rd term OR These challenges will overwhelm Michael Bloomberg and damage his record?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Will meet challenges 64%    72%    62%    66%    74%    57%    60%
Damage his record    22     20     23     19     15     25     22
DK/NA                15      8     14     15     11     18     19
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Will meet challenges 61%    60%    71%    60%    70%    62%    65%
Damage his record    20     22     16     28     20     24     19
DK/NA                19     17     13     12     10     13     16