March 15, 2000 - Race Divides New Yorkers' Attitudes On Police, Mayor, Quinnipiac College Poll Finds; Vallone, Green, Hevesi All Get 50 Percent Approval
There is a pronounced racial divide among New York City voters in their attitudes about Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and about police, according to a Quinnipiac College poll released today. New Yorkers approve 43 - 49 percent of the job Mayor Giuliani is doing; white voters approve 62 - 32 percent, while black voters give the Mayor a negative 13 - 80 percent approval, and Hispanic voters give a negative 39 - 53 percent approval.

By a 34 - 41 percent margin, New Yorkers have a favorable opinion of the Mayor, with 23 percent mixed. White voters have a 50 - 26 percent favorable opinion, while black voters give the Mayor a 8 - 70 percent favorability, with a 29 - 40 percent rating from Hispanic voters, the independent Quinnipiac College Poll finds.

Looking at voter approval ratings of other officials:
  • Public Advocate Mark Green gets a 56 - 13 percent approval for the job he is doing, with 31 percent undecided;
  • City Controller Alan Hevesi gets a 50 - 12 percent approval, with 38 percent undecided;
  • Council Speaker Peter Vallone gets a 54 - 18 percent approval, with 28 percent undecided;
  • Acting Schools Chancellor Harold Levy gets a 42 - 15 percent approval;
  • Police Commissioner Howard Safir gets a 38 - 48 percent approval.
"Mayor Giuliani does well in statewide polls of his race for the U.S. Senate. But his New York City neighbors are split, with white voters approving of the Mayor, while black voters disapprove," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac College Polling Institute.

"Three men who might be mayor do well on job approval, but many New Yorkers don't know much about them, something they'll have to fix in the next year."


"Harold Levy, who slipped in as interim schools chancellor, has rolled up impressive numbers in just a few weeks on the public stage, and bears watching," Carroll added.

By a narrow 46 - 43 percent margin, New Yorkers approve of the job police are doing city-wide; white voters approve of police 63 - 23 percent, while black voters have a negative 21 - 72 percent approval and Hispanic voters are negative 39 - 53 percent. New Yorkers approve 68 - 25 percent of police in their own community; white voters approve 82 - 12 percent; black voters approve 47 - 41 percent and Hispanic voters approve 61 - 36 percent.

By a 37 - 10 percent margin, New Yorkers see police more as friends than as enemies, while 50 percent see them as neither. By a 50 - 3 percent margin, white voters see police as friends, not enemies. Black voters are split 22 - 22 percent on whether they see police as friends or enemies, while Hispanic voters see police as friends 25 - 6 percent.

Looking at police in their own community:
  • 30 percent of white voters say police are tougher on blacks, while 54 percent say police treat everyone the same;
  • 63 percent of black voters say police are tougher on blacks, while 24 percent say police treat everyone the same;
  • 47 percent of Hispanic voters say police are tougher on blacks, while 32 percent say police treat everyone the same.
"In perception of the police, New York is two separate cities: White voters see a police force that does a good job, while black New Yorkers disapprove of police," Carroll said. "Black and white voters feel better about police in their community, the cops they know."

Among all voters, Rev. Al Sharpton has a negative 25 - 39 percent favorability rating, with 30 percent mixed. Rev. Sharpton's favorability among white voters is a negative 9 - 59 percent, while black voters give him a 54 - 11 percent favorability and Hispanic voters give him a 22 - 29 percent favorability rating.

From March 7 - 13, Quinnipiac College surveyed 817 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percent. The Quinnipiac College Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu or call (203) 287-5201

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Rudolph Giuliani is handling his job as Mayor?
                                                         Oct 20
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp   1999


Approve 43% 62% 13% 39% 46%

Disapprove 49 32 80 53 46

DK/NA 7 6 7 8 8



3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Howard Safir is handling his job as Police Commissioner?
                                                         June 17
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp   1999


Approve 38% 53% 12% 34% 37%

Disapprove 48 30 79 47 49

DK/NA 14 17 8 19 13



4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mark Green is handling his job as Public Advocate?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Approve 56% 57% 63% 42%

Disapprove 13 11 12 18

DK/NA 31 32 25 39



5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Alan Hevesi is handling his job as City Controller?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Approve 50% 54% 51% 38%

Disapprove 12 7 14 18

DK/NA 38 38 35 45



6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Harold Levy is handling his job as acting New York City Schools Chancellor?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Approve 42% 41% 44% 45%

Disapprove 15 13 16 17

DK/NA 43 45 40 38



7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Peter Vallone is handling his job as City Council Speaker?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Approve 54% 53% 56% 51%

Disapprove 18 17 21 13

DK/NA 28 30 22 36



8. Is your opinion of Reverend Al Sharpton favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                         April 8
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp   1999


Favorable 25% 9% 54% 22% 23%

Unfavorable 39 59 11 29 46

Mixed 30 29 31 32 26

Haven't heard enough 5 2 5 17 4

Refused - - - - 1



9. Is your opinion of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                         June 17
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp   1999


Favorable 34% 50% 8% 29% 36%

Unfavorable 41 26 70 40 40

Mixed 23 24 20 27 22

Haven't heard enough 2 - 2 4 2

Refused - - 1 - 1



10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the New York City police are doing their job?
                                                         June 17
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp   1999


Approve 46% 63% 21% 39% 49%

Disapprove 43 23 72 53 43

DK/NA 11 14 7 8 8



11. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the police in your community are doing their job?
                                                         June 17
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp   1999


Approve 68% 82% 47% 61% 68%

Disapprove 25 12 41 36 26

DK/NA 7 7 11 3 5



12. Do you generally think of the police more as friends, more as enemies, or don't you think of them in either of these ways?
                                                         June 17
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp   1999


Friends 37% 50% 22% 25% 37%

Enemies 10 3 22 6 11

Neither 50 44 52 66 50

DK/NA 3 2 4 3 2



13. Do you think the police in New York City are generally tougher on whites than on blacks, or tougher on blacks than on whites, or do the police treat them both the same?
                                                         June 17
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp   1999


Tougher on whites - 1% - - 1%

Tougher on blacks 64 52 86 66 68

Treat them the same 27 37 9 26 24

DK/NA 9 10 6 9 7



14. Do you think the police in your community are generally tougher on whites than on blacks, or tougher on blacks than on whites, or do the police treat them both the same?
                                                         June 17
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp   1999


Tougher on whites 1% 1% - 2% 2%

Tougher on blacks 43 30 63 47 42

Treat them the same 41 54 24 32 44

DK/NA 15 14 13 19 12