May 7, 2008 - Kelly Leads 'Guess List' For 2009 NYC Mayor's Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Few Blame Quinn For City Council Budget Scandal

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Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's approval rating has dropped among black voters, but he still tops the list of possible contenders in the 2009 New York City mayor's race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has slipped a few points and Comptroller William Thompson is up slightly.

Kelly's approval rating is 59 - 30 percent, including a negative 36 - 55 percent among black voters. This compares with a 62 - 28 percent approval, including 44 - 44 percent among black voters, in a March 13 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

Choosing from six possible candidates, 23 percent of New York City voters say they would most like Kelly as Mayor next year, compared to 22 percent March 13. Other results are:
  • U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner - 16 percent, compared to 14 percent March 13;
  • Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz - 13 percent, compared 14 percent;
  • Thompson - 10 percent, compared to 8 percent;
  • Quinn - 10 percent, compared to 13 percent;
  • Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum - 6 percent, compared to 8 percent.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, meanwhile, has a 70 - 22 percent approval rating, down from 75 - 17 percent March 12. In 30 months of Quinnipiac University polls, Bloomberg's approval has dropped below 70 percent - to 69 percent - just once.

"Commissioner Ray Kelly still leads the potential pack in the 2009 mayor's race, but the Sean Bell case seems to have had an impact. Kelly's job rating among black New Yorkers, which has been up and down for 18 months, turns negative again," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"The city's love affair with Mayor Mike persists."

"Even after the congestion pricing setback and the Bell verdict, Mayor Bloomberg's job approval is in the stratosphere," Carroll added.

City Council Scandal

A total of 50 percent of New York City voters say they've heard or read "a lot" or "some" about the City Council allocating funds to groups that do not exist, while 48 percent say they've heard or read "not much" or "nothing at all."

By a 65 - 11 percent margin, voters say this practice is "corrupt" rather than "necessary because of the way the budget laws are written." Margins are consistent among all groups.

Council Speaker Quinn is most responsible for these so-called "phantom budget items," 21 percent of voters say, while 23 percent say previous City Council speakers are responsible and 15 percent say staff members are responsible. Another 41 percent are undecided.

But 52 percent of voters say Quinn knew this practice was going on, while 14 percent believe her when she says she thought the practice had ended.

And 46 percent of voters say Bloomberg knew of the 'phantom budget items," while 26 percent believe his claim that he did not know about it.

Voters say 81 - 11 percent that City Council members should not be allowed to direct city money to non-profit organizations that employ their relatives.

"The City Council's fiscal legerdemain wasn't just budgetary business as usual, New Yorkers think; it was crooked," Carroll said. "Council Speaker Christine Quinn knew, most voters think. Many think Bloomberg did, too.

"But so far, not many voters are blaming Speaker Quinn. They apparently think the phantom budgeting was historical. She shares the blame with former Council speakers.

"New Yorkers don't like pork - or 'member items' as it's called in City Hall and Albany, or 'earmarks' in Washington - if the money finds its way to legislators' families."

From April 30 - May 5, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,790 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.3 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research. For more data -- 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                 70%     71%     71%     72%     77%     62%     66%
Disapprove              22      23      23      20      18      29      27
DK/NA                    8       6       6       8       6      10       7
 
                        Brnx    Kngs    Man     Qns     StIsl   Men     Wom
 
Approve                 65%     66%     79%     68%     73%     73%     68%
Disapprove              25      26      16      24      20      21      24
DK/NA                   10       8       5       8       8       6       9
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Michael Bloomberg is handling his job as Mayor? * - also 75% on 1/16/07 & 11/17/2005
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        May 7   Mar 12  Jan 9   Nov 19  Aug 29  Mar 12  Jul 2
                        2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2008*   2003
 
Approve                 70      75      73      71      70      75      31
Disapprove              22      17      20      21      21      17      60
DK/NA                    8       8       7       8      10       8       8
 
 
2. Now I'm going to name six people who might run for mayor next year. After I read all six names, please tell me which one you would most like to see elected mayor in 2009. Here are the choices: Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Congressman Anthony Weiner, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, City Comptroller William Thompson or Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp
 
Markowitz               13%      8%     14%     13%      9%     22%     13%
Kelly                   23      45      16      30      28      12      25
Weiner                  16      14      17      15      23       9      11
Quinn                   10       5      12       8      12       9       9
Thompson                10       4      12       7       5      22       7
Gotbaum                  6       4       7       6       5      10       6
DK/NA                   22      21      21      22      20      16      28
 
                        Brnx    Kngs    Man     Qns     StIsl   Men     Wom
 
Markowitz                7%     27%      7%      6%     11%     12%     14%
Kelly                   21      20      17      29      36      27      20
Weiner                  14      16      16      17      15      17      15
Quinn                   13       7      15      10       7       8      12
Thompson                13      10      10       9       6      10      10
Gotbaum                  6       5       8       6       6       3       9
DK/NA                   25      16      28      22      19      23      21
 
TREND: Now I'm going to name six people who might run for Mayor next year. After I read all six names, please tell me which one you would most like to see elected Mayor in 2009. Here are the choices: Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Congressman Anthony Weiner, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, City Comptroller William Thompson, and Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum?
                        May 7   Mar 13
                        2008    2008
 
Markowitz               13      14
Kelly                   23      22
Weiner                  16      14
Quinn                   10      13
Thompson                10       8
Gotbaum                  6       8
DK/NA                   22      21
 
 
3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ray Kelly is handling his job as Police Commissioner?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp
 
Approve                 59%     78%     55%     64%     76%     36%     55%
Disapprove              30      16      32      28      13      55      38
DK/NA                   11       6      13       8      11       9       7
 
                        Brnx    Kngs    Man     Qns     StIsl   Men     Wom
 
Approve                 54%     56%     62%     59%     69%     62%     56%
Disapprove              39      32      27      28      24      30      31
DK/NA                    7      12      11      13       7       8      13
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ray Kelly is handling his job as Police Commissioner? * also 70% on 2/3/06
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        May 7   Mar 13  Jan 9   Nov 19  Aug 29  Mar 9   Jan 16
                        2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2006 *  2007
 
Approve                 59      62      60      55      62      70      52
Disapprove              30      28      23      30      25      17      34
DK/NA                   11      10      16      16      13      13      14
 
 
4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joel Klein handling his job as New York City Schools Chancellor?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp
 
Approve                 37%     37%     37%     40%     37%     38%     37%
Disapprove              41      38      42      38      38      46      44
DK/NA                   22      25      20      23      25      17      19
 
                        Brnx    Kngs    Man     Qns     StIsl   Men     Wom
 
Approve                 37%     34%     42%     37%     37%     41%     34%
Disapprove              47      43      34      42      44      38      44
DK/NA                   16      23      24      21      19      22      21
 
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
                        May 7   Mar 13  Jan 9   Nov 21  Aug 29  Feb 26  Mar 15
                        2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2003    2007
 
Approve                 37      40      40      44      39      46      33
Disapprove              41      39      37      36      37      27      43
DK/NA                   22      21      24      20      23      28      24
 
 
5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Betsy Gotbaum is handling her job as Public Advocate?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp
 
Approve                 48%     37%     52%     46%     44%     56%     52%
Disapprove              18      27      15      22      18      18      17
DK/NA                   33      35      33      32      38      25      31
 
                        Brnx    Kngs    Man     Qns     StIsl   Men     Wom
 
Approve                 58%     47%     47%     45%     48%     40%     55%
Disapprove              18      16      16      22      22      25      13
DK/NA                   23      36      37      33      29      34      32
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Betsy Gotbaum is handling her job as Public Advocate?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        May 7   Mar 13  Jan 9   Nov 19  Aug 29  May 7   Feb 26
                        2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2008    2003
 
Approve                 48      45      44      40      39      48      34
Disapprove              18      18      18      19      18      18      17
DK/NA                   33      37      38      40      43      33      49
 
 
6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christine Quinn is handling her job as City Council Speaker?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp
 
Approve                 43%     36%     48%     40%     40%     47%     50%
Disapprove              30      35      26      35      33      30      21
DK/NA                   27      30      26      25      26      23      30
 
                        Brnx    Kngs    Man     Qns     StIsl   Men     Wom
 
Approve                 46%     43%     46%     41%     38%     38%     48%
Disapprove              28      31      28      30      34      36      25
DK/NA                   27      26      27      28      28      26      28
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christine Quinn is handling her job as City Council Speaker?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        May 7   Mar 13  Jan 9   Nov 19  Aug 29  Mar 14  May 7
                        2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2007    2008
 
Approve                 43      48      48      46      44      51      43
Disapprove              30      15      14      16      16      12      30
DK/NA                   27      37      38      37      40      37      27
 
 
7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way William Thompson is handling his job as City Comptroller?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp
 
Approve                 51%     48%     52%     53%     46%     61%     50%
Disapprove              16      22      14      15      11      18      22
DK/NA                   33      30      34      32      44      21      28
 
                        Brnx    Kngs    Man     Qns     StIsl   Men     Wom
 
Approve                 59%     53%     46%     49%     49%     55%     48%
Disapprove              15      17      12      18      19      15      16
DK/NA                   26      31      42      33      32      29      36
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way William Thompson is handling his job as City Comptroller?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        May 7   Mar 13  Jan 9   Nov 19  Aug 29  May 7  Feb 26
                        2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2008   2003
 
Approve                 51      44      48      45      41      51     35
Disapprove              16      11      14      15      12      16     13
DK/NA                   33      46      38      41      47      33     52
 
 
8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the city council is handling its job?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp
 
Approve                 47%     41%     51%     39%     44%     50%     50%
Disapprove              38      41      33      47      38      38      37
DK/NA                   16      18      16      13      18      12      13
 
                        Brnx    Kngs    Man     Qns     StIsl   Men     Wom
 
Approve                 51%     49%     46%     44%     36%     42%     50%
Disapprove              35      37      35      42      44      45      33
DK/NA                   14      14      19      14      20      13      17
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the city council is handling its job?
                                                                Highest Highest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        May 7   Mar 13  Jan 9   Nov 19  Aug 29  Mar 13  Aug 29
                        2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2008    2007
 
Approve                 47      50      46      45      44      50      44
Disapprove              38      29      31      32      32      29      32
DK/NA                   16      21      23      23      25      21      25
 
 
36. How much have you heard or read about the New York City Council allocating money to groups that do not exist, so called "phantom budget items", and then later transferring the money to other groups - A lot, some, not much, or nothing at all?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp
 
A lot                   23%     24%     23%     23%     27%     22%     19%
Some                    27      23      26      32      32      26      18
Not much                16      16      16      16      13      19      19
Nothing at all          32      35      33      28      26      31      42
DK/NA                    2       3       2       -       2       2       1
 
                        Brnx    Kngs    Man     Qns     StIsl   Men     Wom
 
A lot                   22%     19%     27%     23%     27%     27%     20%
Some                    23      28      31      25      22      29      26
Not much                20      16      11      16      29      13      19
Nothing at all          33      34      29      33      20      30      33
DK/NA                    3       3       1       2       2       1       3
 
 
37. Do you think this practice is corrupt or do you think this practice is necessary because of the way the budget laws are written?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp
 
Corrupt                 65%     72%     63%     69%     64%     72%     64%
Necessary               11       7      12      12      12      10      14
DK/NA                   23      22      25      19      24      18      21
 
                        Brnx    Kngs    Man     Qns     StIsl   Men     Wom
 
Corrupt                 69%     67%     59%     68%     66%     68%     63%
Necessary               12      10      13      11      15      12      11
DK/NA                   19      24      29      21      19      20      26
 
 
38. Who do you think was most responsible for the so called "phantom budget items" - Council Speaker Christine Quinn, previous City Council Speakers, or staff members?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp
 
Council Speaker
 Christine Quinn        21%     26%     20%     23%     23%     21%     19%
Previous City
 Council Speakers       23      20      23      25      26      26      19
Staff members           15      15      15      16      12      18      19
DK/NA                   41      39      41      36      40      35      43
 
                        Brnx    Kngs    Man     Qns     StIsl   Men     Wom
 
Council Speaker
 Christine Quinn        26%     19%     19%     22%     26%     25%     19%
Previous City
 Council Speakers       22      20      28      23      23      26      21
Staff members           16      14      13      17      17      14      16
DK/NA                   36      47      40      39      34      36      45
 
 
39. Do you think Council Speaker Quinn knew this practice was going on or do you think she believed this practice had ended?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp
 
Knew it was going on    52%     60%     48%     59%     53%     55%     50%
Believed it had ended   14      10      16      12      13      15      18
DK/NA                   34      30      36      29      34      30      33
 
                        Brnx    Kngs    Man     Qns     StIsl   Men     Wom
 
Knew it was going on    53%     52%     45%     57%     61%     59%     47%
Believed it had ended   15      12      17      12      13      12      15
DK/NA                   31      37      38      31      26      29      38
 
 
40. Do you think Mayor Bloomberg was aware of the so called "phantom budget items" before it was reported in the media?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp
 
Yes                     46%     42%     46%     49%     39%     55%     53%
No                      26      32      24      29      29      26      21
DK/NA                   28      27      30      22      32      19      26
 
                        Brnx    Kngs    Man     Qns     StIsl   Men     Wom
 
Yes                     55%     48%     39%     44%     48%     44%     48%
No                      21      22      28      29      31      29      23
DK/NA                   24      29      33      27      21      27      29
 
 
41. Do you think Council Members should be allowed to direct city money to non- profit organizations that employ their relatives?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp
 
Yes                     11%     18%     10%      8%     11%     10%     11%
No                      81      75      82      88      83      80      80
DK/NA                    8       8       8       4       6      10       8
 
                        Brnx    Kngs    Man     Qns     StIsl   Men     Wom
 
Yes                     11%     11%     13%      8%     11%     12%     10%
No                      81      79      80      85      85      79      83
DK/NA                    8      10       8       7       4       9       8