New York, NY – Mayor Bloomberg’s approval rating has fallen to the lowest point in five years, a new poll out Friday shows, as he contemplates painful cuts to balance the city budget.
Little more than half, 57%, of those polled in the latest Quinnipiac University poll approve of how Bloomberg is handling the job, down four points from two months ago. In a separate question, 59% said they would not vote for a fourth term for the mayor.
Quinnipiac poll director Maurice Carroll said the mayor’s approval is still high compared to other politicians, but is suffering as he proposes how to cut spending.
“Hardly anyone doubts that the city is in tough fiscal shape. But New Yorkers don’t like any of the budget-balancing cuts that have been talked about,” Carroll said. “The exception: A squeeze on city workers. Voters accept the idea of a wage freeze, or even furloughs.”
While New Yorkers prefer 45%-40% to raise taxes instead of making cuts, Bloomberg has ruled out any tax hikes this year. Instead, he has proposed cuts like closing firehouses — which 88% of those polled said would be wrong.
Instead, 60% of those polled would support a wage freeze for city workers, and 50% say the city should furlough some workers — but 63% were opposed to laying off any city employees.
Among other citywide elected officials, Public Advocate John Liu had the highest approval rating of 49%. Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s rating was 44% and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s was 34%.
The poll also found 57% of New Yorkers still support a two-term limit for elected officials. Bloomberg pushed to extend the law so he could run again, but a commission studying changes to the city charter could put term limits back on the ballot in November.
A separate proposal to make city elections nonpartisan won support from only 41% of New Yorkers. The idea failed in a 2003 referendum despite Bloomberg’s support, but the charter revision commission could put it on the ballot again this fall.