Mayor de Blasio: How's he doing?
Stephon Johnson | 6/4/2015, midnight
On Tuesday night’s episode of “The Daily Show,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke with host Jon Stewart about his increased national profile. The mayor talked about spreading and implementing his progressive agenda, hitting the usual points on minimum wage and taxing the wealthy. He spoke about his desire for the country to see the benefits of a progressive agenda.
But how is he doing in the city that he’s actually overseeing?
According to the most recent Quinnipiac University poll, it’s a resounding “meh.” When asked, 46 percent of New York City voters said that de Blasio’s involvement in national affairs is distracting him from his City Hall duties, with 44 percent approving of the job he’s doing (his lowest rating since taking office). New Yorkers’ ratings of the mayor’s handling of crime and public schools are also down.
Among Black voters, de Blasio’s approval rating is 68 percent (a 7 percent drop from January). With Hispanic voters, 48 percent approve of the mayor’s job (a 6 percent drop from January). As for white voters, nothing has changed in six months. Fifty-six percent of white voters disapprove of the job de Blasio’s doing (down from 57 percent in January).
“Is Mayor Bill de Blasio distracted from his day job by his role as a national liberal spokesman? New Yorkers lean yes: Some wish he’d concentrate on City Hall and almost as many applaud his outspokenness,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Assistant Director Maurice Carroll in a statement after the release of the poll numbers. “The mayor’s job approval hits a new low and he’s lost a lot of ground on his handling of crime and the schools, two key areas for any mayor.”
Crime has been on the minds of many New Yorkers recently with the uptick in shootings and murders. According to the recent story by the local news website DNAInfo, 57 of the city’s 76 New York Police Department precincts have seen spikes in serious crime during a four-week period ending May 24, compared with the previous four weeks. Local daily papers such as the New York Post have clamored for the reintroduction of stop-and-frisk as it was practiced under the Michael Bloomberg administration.
In another recent poll by Quinnipiac University, the mayor found himself at odds with most New Yorkers. De Blasio supports an end to the “broken windows” style of policing, in which police issue summonses for so-called quality-of-life crimes. According to their numbers, 57 percent of New Yorkers (including 50 percent of Black voters) support this style of policing, and 55 percent of New Yorkers (51 percent of Black voters) approve of the job Police Commissioner William Bratton is doing. Whereas the majority of Black voters approve of Bratton, they give an unfavorable review to police in general, at only 39 percent approval.
Last month, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries chastised the mayor for not supporting a law banning chokeholds by police after the death of Eric Garner. He also said the mayor shouldn’t get credit for ending the way stop-and-frisk was practiced during the past 12 years.