February 2, 2006 - Bloomberg Soars Into Second Term With 72% Approval, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Schools Top Priority List; Voters Back Butt Tax Hike
The second honeymoon continues for Mayor Michael Bloomberg as New York City voters give him a 72 - 19 percent approval rating, including 66 percent approval ratings among black and Hispanic voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to an all time Bloomberg high 75 - 17 percent approval in a November 17, 2005, poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

But 50 percent of voters say Mayor Bloomberg is not aggressive enough in seeking state financial help for New York City public schools, while 5 percent say he is too aggressive and 39 percent say he is about right.

In an open-ended question, where respondents can give any answer, 25 percent of New York City voters say education is the most important problem in the city today, followed by 15 percent who list economic issues, and 11 percent each for housing and crime. No voters listed Ground Zero development as a "most important problem."

"Mayor Bloomberg has a strong approval base as he begins the difficult and unpopular task of shaping a city budget. But half of New Yorkers say he should fight harder when he goes to Albany looking for education funds," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.

"At this point, only 3 percent of New York City voters list taxes as the most important problem facing the city."

New York City should use its current budget surplus to improve services, 50 percent of voters say, while 21 percent say the city should use the surplus to cut taxes and 25 percent say use it to pay off some of the city's debt.

A total of 72 percent of New York City voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going in the city today, with 26 percent who are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied." The "satisfaction" rate drops from 82 percent among white voters to 59 percent among black and Hispanic voters.

Cigarette Tax Hike

By a 71 - 24 percent margin, voters back Bloomberg's proposal to raise cigarette taxes 50 cents per pack. The 17 percent of New Yorkers who admit smoking oppose the tax hike 59 - 36 percent.

A total of 53 percent of voters say the tax hike will be "very effective" or "somewhat effective" in discouraging young people from starting to smoke, while 46 percent say it will be "not too effective" or "not effective at all."

The Mayor has the right amount of power, 68 percent of voters say, while 21 percent say he has too much power and 7 percent say he has too little power.

The City council has the right amount of power, 48 percent of voters say, while 13 percent say too much and 23 percent say too little.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn remains largely unknown, with 73 percent of New York City voters saying they don't know enough about her to form an opinion.

By a 27 - 14 percent margin, voters say Speaker Quinn will make the City Council more effective, but 60 percent are undecided. From January 25 - 30, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,072 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida and nationwide as a public service and for research. For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu 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 72% 82% 72% 69% 77% 66% 66% Disapprove 19 13 19 24 16 24 24 DK/NA 8 5 9 7 6 10 11

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Approve 71% 70% 77% 70% 75% 75% 71% Disapprove 22 20 16 21 18 18 20 DK/NA 7 10 7 9 7 7 9

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Michael Bloomberg is handling his job as Mayor?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Feb 2   Nov 17  Aug 18  Jul 19  Jun 22  Nov 17  Jul 2
                        2006    2005    2005    2005    2005    2005    2003


Approve 72 75 64 60 55 75 31 Disapprove 19 17 26 30 36 17 60 DK/NA 8 7 10 10 10 7 8



3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joel Klein is handling his job as New York City Schools Chancellor?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Approve 40% 44% 41% 35% 37% 44% 41% Disapprove 37 29 38 40 31 43 42 DK/NA 23 28 21 25 32 13 17

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Approve 39% 35% 40% 43% 50% 43% 37% Disapprove 44 42 31 35 29 35 40 DK/NA 17 22 29 22 21 22 24

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joel Klein is handling his job as New York City Schools Chancellor?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Feb 2   Sep 22  Apr 1   Nov 25  Jul 2   Feb 26  Nov 25
                        2006    2005    2004    2003    2003    2003    2003


Approve 40 40 36 35 39 46 35 Disapprove 37 33 35 33 33 27 33 DK/NA 23 27 29 33 28 28 33



4. 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 13% 24% 10% 15% 18% 7% 10% Smwht satisfied 59 59 61 55 64 52 49 Smwht dissatisfied 19 8 20 21 14 27 25 Very dissatisfied 7 5 8 7 3 13 14 DK/NA 1 3 1 2 1 2 2

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Very satisfied 9% 13% 19% 10% 17% 15% 12% Smwht satisfied 58 57 57 60 68 62 55 Smwht dissatisfied 23 21 16 21 11 16 22 Very dissatisfied 10 7 7 8 2 6 9 DK/NA 1 2 1 2 1 1 2

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?

                        Feb 2   Nov 17  Sep 22  Jul 19  Mar 31  Jan 19  Nov 10
                        2006    2005    2005    2005    2005    2005    2004


Very satisfied 13 19 12 11 5 10 8 Smwht satisfied 59 56 51 55 49 50 50 Smwht dissatisfied 19 16 22 22 28 24 26 Very dissatisfied 7 8 13 10 16 14 15 DK/NA 1 1 2 2 2 1 1



5. What do you think is the most important problem facing New York City today?

                        Tot


Education Total 25% Education general 20 Teachers 1 Funding education 3 School choice/vouchers 1

Economy Total 15% Economy general 3 Unemployment/jobs 7 Minimum wage too low 1 Cost of living 4

Crime/Violence Total 11% Crime/Violence general 9 Gangs/Youth crime 1 Drugs 1

Housing Total 11% Housing general 3 Housing Costs/ Availability 7 Rent control/ Stabilization 1

Terrorism Total 6% Terrorism general 3 Security/Safety 3

Transportation Total 4% Lack of quality mass trans/Public trans 2 Highway traffic/ congestion 1 Transportation other 1

Taxes Total 3% Taxes general 2 Property tax 1

Poverty/Homeless 3 Children's issues 2 Budget general 1 Class inequality 1 Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMO's 1 Immigration 1 Overcrowding/Over population 1 Racism/Race relations 1 War (Iraq) - Other 6 DK/NA 5



6. Do you think the Mayor of New York City has too much power, too little power, or about the right amount of power?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Too much 21% 15% 23% 17% 14% 28% 29% Too little 7 10 6 7 6 6 10 Right amount 68 73 67 72 76 63 55 DK/NA 4 2 4 4 4 3 6

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Too much 23% 22% 15% 23% 22% 17% 24% Too little 9 6 7 8 4 9 6 Right amount 65 68 73 65 72 71 66 DK/NA 4 4 5 4 3 3 5



7. Do you think the New York City Council has too much power, too little power, or about the right amount of power?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Too much 13% 21% 9% 16% 14% 14% 12% Too little 23 15 26 21 17 27 26 Right amount 48 48 48 48 50 46 48 DK/NA 16 15 16 15 19 13 15

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Too much 17% 11% 10% 16% 14% 15% 11% Too little 24 25 26 20 13 24 23 Right amount 44 47 44 52 59 49 47 DK/NA 16 17 20 13 14 12 20



8. Is your opinion of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about her?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Favorable 16% 14% 18% 13% 18% 10% 12% Unfavorable 3 8 2 4 4 3 4 Mixed 6 9 5 10 6 6 9 Hvn't hrd enough 73 68 73 72 70 79 73 REFUSED 2 1 2 1 2 3 1

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Favorable 15% 12% 20% 17% 14% 19% 13% Unfavorable 4 4 2 3 6 5 2 Mixed 5 6 8 7 1 8 5 Hvn't hrd enough 74 76 68 70 79 67 77 REFUSED 3 2 1 3 - 2 2



9. Do you think the new City Council Speaker Christine Quinn will make the City Council a more effective body or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Yes 27% 26% 30% 22% 25% 25% 34% No 14 21 11 18 13 15 18 DK/NA 60 53 59 60 62 60 48

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Yes 31% 20% 24% 33% 31% 27% 27% No 11 16 14 12 14 18 10 DK/NA 58 64 61 54 55 55 63



10. New York City currently has a budget surplus. Do you think the budget surplus should be used to improve services, cut taxes, or pay off some of the debt?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Improve services 50% 44% 54% 46% 47% 48% 58% Cut taxes 21 28 18 22 19 27 20 Pay off debt 25 25 24 31 30 23 22 DK/NA 3 2 3 2 4 2 1

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Improve services 51% 51% 49% 49% 58% 46% 54% Cut taxes 25 22 14 26 23 22 21 Pay off debt 23 24 33 23 17 31 21 DK/NA 1 3 4 2 3 1 4

TREND: New York City currently has a budget surplus. Do you think the budget surplus should be used to improve services, cut taxes, or pay off some of the debt?

                        Feb 2   Feb 11
                        2006    1998


Improve services 50 44 Cut taxes 21 23 Pay off debt 25 30 DK/NA 3 4



11. Thinking about Mayor Bloomberg's efforts in seeking state financial help for New York City schools, do you think Mayor Bloomberg has been too aggressive, not aggressive enough, or about right?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Too aggressive 5% 4% 5% 5% 3% 6% 10% Not aggressive enough 50 46 49 55 46 54 49 About right 39 45 38 35 42 38 36 DK/NA 6 5 7 5 9 2 4

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Too aggressive 9% 5% 2% 5% 7% 4% 6% Not aggressive enough 46 50 54 51 43 50 50 About right 43 39 37 37 47 42 37 DK/NA 2 6 8 7 4 5 7



12. As you may know, Mayor Bloomberg has proposed increasing the cigarette tax by 50 cents a pack in New York City to support public health initiatives to reduce smoking. Do you support or oppose this proposal?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Support 71% 67% 74% 69% 73% 69% 69% Oppose 24 29 22 26 24 26 27 DK/NA 4 4 4 5 3 5 4

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Support 65% 70% 76% 69% 84% 67% 75% Oppose 29 23 21 29 15 29 21 DK/NA 6 7 3 2 1 4 5

Smokers Q15

Support 36% Oppose 59 DK/NA 5



13. How effective do you think a 50 cent increase in the cigarette tax would be in reducing smoking among current smokers? Very effective, somewhat effective, not too effective, or not effective at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Very effective 9% 11% 8% 8% 6% 9% 13% Somewhat effective 33 30 36 33 38 29 30 Not too effective 26 27 25 25 29 25 21 Not effective at all 30 32 29 31 26 36 34 DK/NA 2 - 1 4 1 2 2

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Very effective 13% 9% 7% 8% 10% 10% 8% Somewhat effective 31 31 37 33 41 32 35 Not too effective 17 29 28 24 34 25 26 Not effective at all 36 30 27 33 13 31 29 DK/NA 2 1 1 2 3 2 2

Smokers Q15

Very effective 7% Somewhat effective 21 Not too effective 24 Not effective at all 47 DK/NA -



14. How effective do you think a 50 cent increase in the cigarette tax would be in discouraging young people from starting to smoke? Very effective, somewhat effective, not too effective, or not effective at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Very effective 14% 14% 14% 11% 10% 15% 19% Somewhat effective 39 38 41 38 44 34 31 Not too effective 21 15 21 23 21 25 19 Not effective at all 25 33 23 25 23 26 29 DK/NA 1 - 1 2 1 1 1

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Very effective 22% 12% 11% 13% 14% 14% 14% Somewhat effective 31 36 43 41 42 39 39 Not too effective 12 27 22 17 22 19 22 Not effective at all 34 23 23 27 21 27 24 DK/NA 1 2 1 1 1 1 1

Smokers Q15

Very effective 10% Somewhat effective 27 Not too effective 27 Not effective at all 36 DK/NA -



15. Have you, yourself, smoked any cigarettes in the past week?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Yes 17% 20% 17% 18% 16% 17% 26% No 83 80 83 82 84 83 74 DK/NA - - - - - - -

Brnx Kngs Man Qns StIsl Men Wom

Yes 24% 17% 15% 16% 14% 19% 15% No 76 83 85 84 86 81 85 DK/NA - - - - - - -

TREND: Have you, yourself, smoked any cigarettes in the past week?

                        Feb 2   Oct 22  Nov 22  Apr 5
                        2006    2003    2002    2001


Yes 17 20 20 23 No 83 79 80 77 DK/NA - - - -