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De Blasio Poll Numbers Drop to Lowest Ever Amid Scandal

By Jeff Mays | May 24, 2016 3:10pm
 With multiple federal and state probes looking into his fundraising activities, Mayor Bill de Blasio's poll numbers have dipped to their lowest point ever and a majority of voters say he doesn't deserve re-election, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.
With multiple federal and state probes looking into his fundraising activities, Mayor Bill de Blasio's poll numbers have dipped to their lowest point ever and a majority of voters say he doesn't deserve re-election, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.
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Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office

MIDTOWN — Mayor Bill de Blasio's poll numbers have dropped to their lowest point ever and a majority of voters say he doesn't deserve re-election as multiple federal and state agencies probe his fundraising activities, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.

The poll found that voters, by a margin of 52 to 37 percent, say de Blasio does not deserve a second term.

The mayor also has a negative job approval rating, with only 41 percent of voters saying he's doing a good job versus 52 percent who don't. In January, 50 percent of voters approved of the job de Blasio was doing versus 42 percent who did not.

“Heading into his re-election year, Mayor Bill de Blasio is not in good political shape,” Quinnipiac University Poll Assistant Director Maurice Carroll said in a statement.

The last time de Blasio's poll numbers dipped in October 2015, there were still no candidates that could beat him in a re-election matchup.

That's not the case anymore:

► Comptroller Scott Stringer, running as an independent, trails the mayor 37 to 36 percent. In October 2015, Stringer received only 13 percent of the vote.

► Borough President Eric Adams also only trails the mayor by 35 to 34 percent if he were to run as an independent.

►  Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. also running as an independent, trails de Blasio 37 to 32 percent.

READ MORE: Here's Who Might Run Against Bill de Blasio in 2017

“The three possible challengers we matched up against de Blasio, a black borough president, a white city comptroller and a Hispanic borough president, are all little known, but all three are close," Carroll said. "In fact, Mayor de Blasio against either Comptroller Scott Stringer or Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is too close to call."

Asked about the poll, Stringer said he hadn't "digested" it yet.

"I don't think much of it," Stringer said, adding that he was focused on an analysis he released Tuesday of de Blasio's executive budget. "Other people will speculate on the number of polls that come out every day."

Adams issued a similar statement.

“While I have made no secret of my hope to earn the votes of New Yorkers in 2021 in pursuit of serving them as mayor of the greatest city on Earth, I continue to be focused on my ongoing service to the borough of my birth and my run next year for re-election as Brooklyn borough president," Adams said.

De Blasio spokeswoman Karen Hinton said a poll is not a good judge of the mayor's successes.

"The one thing less reliable than the weather is a poll. The mayor will be judged by results, the only real measure of success," Hinton said. "Crime is down; affordable housing is being built; and more and more children are attending pre-K.  At the end of the day, voters care about what their elected officials are achieving for them."

The mayor is facing a swirl of investigations around his fundraising.

Federal authorities are looking into whether donors to the Campaign for One New York, a nonprofit the mayor launched to advance his political agenda, received favors in exchange for their donations.

Authorities are also examining whether de Blasio's unsuccessful effort to win control of the state Senate violated campaign finance and election laws.

READ MORE: Here's What We Know About the Probe Into Mayor Bill de Blasio's Fundraising

And probers are checking the details behind the city lifting the deed restrictions on multiple properties for individuals who donated to the mayor's nonprofit or his effort to win back the Senate.

De Blasio has been avoiding the press and has also taken criticism for his lack of transparency.

Last week, de Blasio declared that five of his advisers were "agents of the city" and their communications should be shielded from public view.

The investigations have taken a toll on how voters view the mayor.

The mayor is even "losing ground" among his strongest backers: black and Latino voters.

Among black voters, 58 percent approve of the job de Blasio is doing versus 31 percent who don't. A Quinnipiac poll from January found that 77 percent of black voters approved of the job the mayor was doing versus only 11 percent who didn't.

Among Latino voters, 55 percent approve of the job the mayor is doing versus 41 percent who don't. That's down from 66 percent of Latinos who approved of de Blasio in January versus 29 percent who didn't.

The poll showed his lowest scores ever on character trait issues. Fifty-three percent of voters said de Blasio does not have strong leadership qualities, while 43 percent of voters believe the mayor is honest and trustworthy.

Christina Greer, a professor of political science at Fordham University, said de Blasio's poll numbers come as no surprise but they don't seem as bad as they could be, possibly because crime is low and de Blasio has delivered on promises such as universal pre-K.

Among Democrats, 58 percent approve of the job de Blasio is doing versus 37 percent who don't.

"He's in the nadir of his mayoralty. Last week was literally the worst week of his entire mayoralty," Greer said. "But a lot of voters are still trying to give him the benefit of the doubt."