February 17, 2010 - New Yorkers Like Mike A Lot, But A Little Less, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Back City Worker Wage Freeze To Balance Budget

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New York City voters approve 61 - 30 percent of the job Mayor Michael Bloomberg is doing, his lowest score in almost five years, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This is down from a 67 - 26 percent approval rating in a September 24 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, and Mayor Bloomberg's lowest score since a 60 - 30 percent rating July 19, 2005.

White voters approve of Mayor Bloomberg 69 - 24 percent, while black voters approve 52 - 35 percent and Hispanic voters approve 56 - 32 percent. The Mayor's approval ranges from 55 - 34 percent in Brooklyn to 70 - 22 percent in Manhattan.

Approval ratings for other citywide leaders are:
  • 44 - 28 percent for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, with 27 percent undecided;
  • 44 - 11 percent for Comptroller John Liu, with 45 percent undecided;
  • 37 - 13 percent for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, with 50 percent undecided;
  • 39 - 40 percent for Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, with 21 percent undecided.
"Incumbents in every state in which we poll are getting hammered by voters frustrated by a bad economy and other issues, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg felt some of that pain on Election Day. Fortunately for Mayor Mike, he started from a higher place and hasn't fallen very far," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The man who cruised through his second term with 70 percent approval ratings should be happy if he can stay above 60 percent in his third term.

"For Mayor Mike, 60 is the new 70.

"City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, beset by anti-incumbent fever and scandals in the Council, gets lackluster grades. And voters just don't know much about the two new guys, Comptroller John Liu and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

While 92 percent of New York City voters say the city's budget problems are "very serious" or "somewhat serious," they back President Barack Obama's plans to raise fees on banks 65 - 26 percent, rejecting Bloomberg's argument that higher fees will reduce tax revenue.

Voters also back President Obama's plan to limit Wall Street bonuses 68 - 27 percent, again rejecting Bloomberg's argument that this also will reduce city tax revenue.

New York City voters approve 72 - 25 percent of the job President Obama is doing.

To balance the budget, 45 percent of voters say cut services while 43 percent say raise taxes. Asked to name which tax should be raised:
  • 43 percent pick the sales tax;
  • 24 percent select property tax;
  • 22 percent cite the income tax.
By wide margins, voters oppose most ideas for service cuts to balance the budget:
  • 84 - 12 percent against closing some senior centers;
  • 85 - 12 percent against closing some fire houses;
  • 74 - 24 percent against reducing garbage collections;
  • 75 - 22 percent against increasing public school class sizes;
  • 57 - 41 percent against reducing library hours;
  • 54 - 44 percent against reducing street cleaning.
New York City voters oppose 63 - 32 percent city worker layoffs to balance the budget, but they support 50 - 34 percent furloughs for city workers.

And by a large 63 - 31 percent margin, voters support a wage freeze for city workers. Support for a wage freeze ranges from 60 - 35 percent among Democrats to 70 - 25 percent among independent voters to 72 - 21 percent among Republicans.

"When it comes to budget balancing, city workers are in the cross hairs," Carroll said.

"Otherwise, it's NIMBA, not in my budget area. No, New Yorkers say overwhelmingly, don't close senior centers or fire houses; don't reduce trash collections or increase school class size. They're negative, too, but not so heavily, on cutting street cleaning or library hours."

From February 11 - 15, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,195 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 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, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

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              61%    67%    57%    66%    69%    52%    56%
Disapprove           30     23     33     26     24     35     32
DK/NA                 9     10     10      8      7     13     12
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Approve              56%    55%    70%    60%    63%    62%    59%
Disapprove           33     34     22     32     29     29     31
DK/NA                11     11      8      8      7      9     10
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Michael Bloomberg is handling his job as Mayor? (*High also 75% Oct 3 2008, Mar 2008, Jan 2007 & Nov 2005)
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS..
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Feb 17  Sep 24  Aug 26  Jul 28  Oct 21  Jul 2   Jul 2
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2008*   2003    2003
 
Approve              61      67      66      63      75      31      31
Disapprove           30      26      28      29      20      60      60
DK/NA                 9       7       5       8       6       8       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              39%    46%    40%    40%    44%    38%    36%
Disapprove           40     31     40     39     34     45     41
DK/NA                21     23     20     20     23     17     22
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Approve              36%    40%    43%    36%    49%    44%    36%
Disapprove           46     41     31     43     44     38     42
DK/NA                18     20     27     21      7     19     22
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joel Klein is handling his job as New York City Schools Chancellor?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb 17  Mar 24  Feb 24  Jan 27  Nov 25  Feb 26  Mar 15
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2008    2003    2007
 
Approve              39      37      44      43      43      46      33
Disapprove           40      35      36      36      35      27      43
DK/NA                21      28      20      21      22      28      24
 
 
4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill de Blasio is handling his job as Public Advocate?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Approve              37%    35%    44%    28%    37%    48%    31%
Disapprove           13     13     11     18     10     13     18
DK/NA                50     53     46     54     53     39     51
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Approve              38%    42%    33%    35%    41%    37%    38%
Disapprove           17     15     10     12     10     14     12
DK/NA                45     44     57     52     49     49     50
 
 
5. 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              44%    34%    51%    36%    45%    44%    45%
Disapprove           28     38     24     32     28     37     20
DK/NA                27     28     25     31     27     19     35
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Approve              48%    37%    50%    43%    55%    40%    48%
Disapprove           29     33     24     27     23     34     24
DK/NA                24     30     26     30     21     26     29
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christine Quinn is handling her job as City Council Speaker?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb 17  Feb 24  Jan 27  Nov 25  Oct 3   Mar 14  Nov 25
                     2010    2009    2009    2008    2008    2007    2008
 
Approve              44      42      43      40      48      51      40
Disapprove           28      25      23      29      22      12      29
DK/NA                27      33      34      31      29      37      31
 
 
6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Liu is handling his job as City Comptroller?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Approve              44%    30%    50%    39%    39%    50%    46%
Disapprove           11     21      7     15     13      7     11
DK/NA                45     49     43     46     48     43     43
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Approve              49%    46%    36%    47%    40%    43%    45%
Disapprove           10     11      9     11     16     13      9
DK/NA                41     43     55     42     44     44     46
 
 
7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Approve              72%    22%    89%    58%    53%    92%    88%
Disapprove           25     75      8     38     43      5     10
DK/NA                 3      3      3      4      4      3      2
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Approve              83%    69%    77%    73%    40%    69%    74%
Disapprove           14     27     20     23     57     28     22
DK/NA                 3      4      3      4      3      3      4
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     Feb 17  Aug 26  Jul 28  Jun 16  Feb 25
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Approve              72      76      74      79      78
Disapprove           25      19      20      16      13
DK/NA                 3       5       6       6       9
 
 
8. 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        8%     6%     9%     7%     8%     6%    12%
Smwht satisfied      51     55     55     48     58     49     39
Smwht dissatisfied   26     24     25     27     22     29     32
Very dissatisfied    14     15     11     17     11     16     16
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      1      1      1
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Very satisfied        4%     7%    13%     8%     5%     8%     8%
Smwht satisfied      51     52     52     51     48     52     51
Smwht dissatisfied   30     27     24     25     29     25     27
Very dissatisfied    15     14     10     17     16     14     14
DK/NA                 -      1      1      1      2      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?
                                                             VERY+SMWHT...
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb 17  Jul 28  Jun 16  Mar 24  Feb 24  Feb 11  Jul 2
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2009    1998    2003
 
Very satisfied        8       8       8       8       5      18       7
Smwht satisfied      51      51      51      45      44      58      23
Smwht dissatisfied   26      26      27      31      33      18      32
Very dissatisfied    14      14      13      14      17       5      38
DK/NA                 1       1       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
12. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Michael Bloomberg is handling the city budget?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Approve              55%    64%    54%    56%    66%    43%    48%
Disapprove           35     24     36     35     26     48     40
DK/NA                10     12     10      8      9      9     12
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Approve              47%    50%    67%    55%    57%    59%    52%
Disapprove           44     40     23     32     37     31     37
DK/NA                 9     10     10     12      6     10     10
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Michael Bloomberg is handling the city budget? (*High also 55% Jan 2009)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb 17  Mar 24  Feb 25  Jan 28  Nov 25  Feb 17  May 7
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2008    2010    2003
 
Approve              55      54      54      55      51      55      28
Disapprove           35      34      38      38      38      35      63
DK/NA                10      12       9       7      11      10       9
 
 
13. To balance the city budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer - raising taxes or cutting government programs and services?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Raising taxes        43%     8%    52%    36%    39%    48%    38%
Cutting services     45     83     35     52     50     38     46
DK/NA                13      8     13     12     10     14     16
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Raising taxes        41%    44%    48%    44%    20%    40%    45%
Cutting services     47     42     40     44     67     50     40
DK/NA                12     14     11     12     12     10     15
 
TREND: To balance the city budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer raising taxes or cutting government programs and services?
                     Feb 17  Mar 24  Feb 25  Jan 28  Nov 25
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2008
 
Raising taxes        43      52      53      46      48
Cutting services     45      37      39      39      37
DK/NA                13      11       8      15      15
 
 
14. To balance the city budget, if you had to choose, which city tax do you think should be increased: personal income tax, sales tax or property tax?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Income tax           22%     8%    26%    18%    25%    18%    20%
Sales tax            43     56     40     47     41     49     39
Property tax         24     14     26     25     23     18     29
DK/NA                11     21      8     11     11     15     12
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Income tax           24%    22%    21%    21%    24%    21%    23%
Sales tax            36     42     36     52     56     44     42
Property tax         21     23     34     20      8     22     25
DK/NA                19     13      9      7     13     13     10
 
TREND: To balance the city budget, if you had to choose, which city tax do you think should be increased - personal income tax, sales tax or property tax? (Data available upon request back to Jul 2002)
                     Feb 17  Mar 24  Feb 25  Jan 28  Nov 25  May 7   Feb 27
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2008    2003    2003
 
Income tax           22      28      21      22      21      23      19
Sales tax            43      39      49      43      44      40      41
Property tax         24      24      22      24      24      23      26
DK/NA                11       9       7      10      11      14      15
 
 
15. How serious do you think New York City's budget problems are - very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, not at all serious?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Very serious         53%    47%    51%    57%    49%    58%    54%
Smwht serious        39     46     41     37     46     33     32
Not too serious       5      5      6      5      4      6     10
Not at all serious    1      -      1      1      -      3      2
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      1      1      2
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Very serious         52%    55%    50%    53%    60%    53%    53%
Smwht serious        38     38     41     39     35     36     41
Not too serious       8      3      7      6      4      7      4
Not at all serious    3      3      -      1      -      2      1
DK/NA                 -      1      2      1      1      2      1
 
TREND: How serious do you think New York City's budget problems are - very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious or not at all serious (*High also 95% Jan 2009)
                                                             VERY+SMWHT...
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb 17  Mar 24  Feb 25  Jan 28  Nov 25  Feb 25  Jul 17
                     2010    2009    2009    2009    2008    2009*   2002
 
Very serious         53      65      61      64      66      61      46
Smwht serious        39      29      34      31      28      34      41
Not too serious       5       3       3       3       3       3       9
Not at all serious    1       -       1       1       1       1       1
DK/NA                 1       2       1       1       2       1       3
 
 
16. To help balance the city budget would you support or oppose closing some senior centers?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Support              12%    25%    10%    13%    17%     7%     8%
Oppose               84     68     88     83     79     92     89
DK/NA                 3      7      3      3      5      1      3
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Support               9%    14%    15%     8%    17%    13%    12%
Oppose               90     84     82     85     82     82     86
DK/NA                 1      3      3      7      2      5      2
 
 
18. To help balance the city budget would you support or oppose - closing some firehouses?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Support              12%    16%    11%    12%    13%    10%    13%
Oppose               85     82     86     85     83     88     85
DK/NA                 3      1      3      3      4      2      2
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Support               6%    12%    13%    14%    17%    15%     9%
Oppose               92     86     82     83     82     81     88
DK/NA                 1      2      5      4      1      3      3
 
 
19. To help balance the city budget would you support or oppose - reducing garbage collections?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Support              24%    28%    22%    27%    26%    22%    24%
Oppose               74     70     76     71     72     77     73
DK/NA                 2      2      2      1      2      1      3
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Support              21%    23%    22%    28%    37%    25%    24%
Oppose               75     76     76     71     62     73     74
DK/NA                 4      1      2      2      1      2      2
 
 
20. To help balance the city budget would you support or oppose - increasing class sizes in the public schools?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Support              22%    36%    19%    25%    27%    16%    24%
Oppose               75     55     79     70     69     81     76
DK/NA                 3      9      2      5      5      3      -
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Support              20%    23%    20%    21%    37%    30%    16%
Oppose               77     75     75     76     60     66     81
DK/NA                 4      2      5      2      3      4      3
 
 
21. To help balance the city budget would you support or oppose - reducing library hours?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Support              41%    59%    37%    41%    48%    30%    40%
Oppose               57     37     60     57     50     67     57
DK/NA                 2      4      2      1      2      3      2
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Support              35%    35%    44%    45%    53%    42%    40%
Oppose               61     63     53     54     45     55     58
DK/NA                 3      2      3      1      2      3      2
 
 
22. To help balance the city budget would you support or oppose - reducing street cleaning?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Support              44%    55%    41%    44%    54%    37%    32%
Oppose               54     42     56     54     44     61     65
DK/NA                 3      4      3      2      2      2      3
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Support              40%    43%    45%    42%    58%    46%    42%
Oppose               59     56     51     54     40     52     55
DK/NA                 1      1      4      4      2      2      3
 
 
23. To help balance the city budget would you support or oppose - layoffs for city employees?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Support              32%    58%    22%    42%    44%    12%    23%
Oppose               63     36     75     51     49     86     73
DK/NA                 5      5      4      7      7      2      4
 
                                                                      Union
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom    HsHld
 
Support              25%    30%    40%    29%    36%    39%    26%    19%
Oppose               70     67     52     66     59     58     68     76
DK/NA                 5      3      8      5      5      4      6      5
 
 
24. To help balance the city budget would you support or oppose - furloughs for city employees?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Support              50%    56%    47%    58%    58%    44%    41%
Oppose               34     28     38     27     27     37     45
DK/NA                16     16     15     15     15     19     14
 
                                                                      Union
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom    HsHld
 
Support              44%    45%    57%    52%    57%    57%    45%    44%
Oppose               39     34     29     35     40     30     38     43
DK/NA                17     21     14     14      3     14     17     13
 
 
25. To help balance the city budget, would you support or oppose - a wage freeze for city workers?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Support              63%    72%    60%    70%    71%    57%    49%
Oppose               31     21     35     25     24     40     38
DK/NA                 6      8      5      5      4      3     13
 
                                                                      Union
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom    HsHld
 
Support              52%    57%    69%    68%    75%    70%    58%    54%
Oppose               43     37     23     26     23     25     36     40
DK/NA                 5      6      8      5      2      5      6      6
 
 
26. President Obama has proposed a fee on the nation's largest banks. Which comes closer to your point of view: this fee is a good idea because the banks caused the economic problems and got a government bailout or this fee is a bad idea because it will reduce the taxes that New York City collects?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Good idea            65%    31%    73%    62%    58%    75%    64%
Bad idea             26     60     16     32     35     17     20
DK/NA                 9      8     11      6      7      8     16
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Good idea            67%    66%    66%    67%    45%    61%    68%
Bad idea             18     26     25     24     50     31     21
DK/NA                14      8      9      9      6      7     11
 
 
27. Some people say that bonuses for people working in financial services should be limited because of the economic problems caused by the banks. Others say that bonuses for people working in financial services should not be limited because this reduces taxes that New York City collects. Which comes closer to your point of view?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
 
Yes/Limit bonuses    68%    39%    75%    63%    61%    76%    72%
No/Reduces taxes     27     51     21     32     34     21     21
DK/NA                 5     10      3      4      4      3      6
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
 
Yes/Limit bonuses    73%    67%    62%    72%    64%    63%    72%
No/Reduces taxes     21     28     33     24     33     33     23
DK/NA                 5      5      5      4      2      4      5