Liu's Poll Numbers Drop, But He's Still in Running for Mayor, Poll Finds

By Jill Colvin on December 15, 2011 1:00pm 

New York City Comptroller John Liu.
New York City Comptroller John Liu.
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Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images

MANHATTAN — City Comptroller John Liu's approval ratings have plummeted in the wake of allegations of campaign fundraising fraud, but that hasn't knocked him out of the 2013 mayoral race entirely, poll numbers show.

A Quinnipac poll out Thursday found that Liu's approval rating has dropped from 57 percent in May to 38 percent today — with the number of those who disapprove of him more than doubling, from 14 percent to 35 percent.

Nearly half of those polled — 46 percent — also believe Liu would make a lousy mayor.

"New York City Comptroller John Liu has been in the news a lot, in a bad way. All those negative stories about his fundraising have zapped his job-approval numbers," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Nonetheless, more than 4 in 10 voters said they would like to see Liu stay in office as comptroller. And when he’s stacked against the roster of fellow would-be mayoral candidates, Liu’s status has barely changed.

The city's top cop, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, remains the clear frontrunner on the list of talked-about candidates, with 24 percent of those polled wanting him as the next mayor, even though he has said he has no intention of running.

But with Kelly out of the race, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn landed in the top spot with 23 percent of the vote, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz came in second with 16 percent, former mayor candidate and City Comptroller William Thompson got 9 percent, Liu got 9 percent, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer got 6 percent — virtually unchanged from a poll in mid-October, Quinnipiac notes.

Voters appear to have mixed opinions about nearly all the presumptive candidates.

While Quinn scored an approval rating of 55 percent, matching her all-time high in March 2011, voters are split 39 to 37 percent about whether she would make a good mayor.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio also appears to have problems, with only 22 percent polled saying they think he would make a good mayor — a surprising 3 percentage points fewer than Liu.

City Comptroller John Liu, pictured with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at the 9/11 Memorial public opening, has seen his poll numbers fall amid allegations of campaign fundraising fraud.
City Comptroller John Liu, pictured with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at the 9/11 Memorial public opening, has seen his poll numbers fall amid allegations of campaign fundraising fraud.
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DNAinfo/Olivia Scheck

Carroll said the numbers suggest that voters aren't entirely satisfied with the roster of choices.

"City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio have OK job approval ratings, but voters don't seem enchanted with the prospect of either elected official as mayor," he said.

The poll also found that 63 percent of city voters approve of President Barack Obama’s performance on the job, with overwhelming support among African American voters.

The poll of 1,242 registered voters, conducted from Dec. 7 through Dec. 12, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percent.

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