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Voters Don't Blame Mayor for Budget Woes, New Poll Shows

By DNAinfo Staff on June 30, 2010 1:21pm

Bloomberg's poll numbers have remained relatively stable through the budget negotiation process.
Bloomberg's poll numbers have remained relatively stable through the budget negotiation process.
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Mayor's Office

By Jill Colvin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — Manhattanites are bemoaning the city's budget woes, but they don't blame the mayor or the City Council, a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday finds.

The poll shows that Mayor Michael Bloomberg has emerged relatively unscathed from the service-slashing 2011 Fiscal Year budget, which the City Council approved Tuesday by a margin of 48 to 1.

Among Manhattan voters, the mayor's overall approval rating stands at 62 percent, while 49 percent approval of his handling of the budget — higher than any other borough. City-wide, his approval ratings have held steady since May.

The City Council and Council Speaker Christine Quinn win less favor from voters, with 29 percent and 32 percent of Manhattanites approving their handling of the budget, respectively. But Quinn's overall approval numbers haven't moved much since negotiations began.

"The budget didn't help — or hurt — anyone's approval numbers," Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

Still, 93 percent of Manhattanites said the city's budget problems remain "very" or "somewhat serious."

“We’re as worried as ever about the city budget," Carroll said.

Despite that fact, most of the poll respondents are against layoffs, especially for teachers, as well as reducing pensions for workers.

On the other hand, Manhattan voters say they support furloughs for city employees 57 to 32 percent, and they back wage freezes, even for teachers.

A majority of those polled — 54 percent — also said they would have preferred a tax raise to service cuts, which stands in stark contrast to the priorities that Speaker Quinn and the council had set during negotiations.

The poll of 1,183 New York City registered voters was conducted between June 21 and June 28 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent.