Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bloomberg Continues to Top the Polls

Today WAYLA reports on local politics from New York City.

A new Quinnipiac poll finds that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg continues to be viewed favorably by his constituents. Some results in the polls are rather striking.

For example, 55% of residents said they would describe Bloomberg as "cold and businesslike" while only 30% said he was "warm and friendly". Yet 62% still approve of the job he’s doing.

Bloomberg, it seems, would agree that he doesn’t need to be "warm and friendly" to be a good mayor.

"These are very serious times," he said. "I don't find anything warm and fuzzy about the potential of people losing their jobs or losing their homes.

"I don't find anything warm and fuzzy about city government having to reduce expenses and find alternative revenue sources. That's the job, and that's what I'm going to do."

Despite a four-point drop in his approval rating - due to budget cuts and tax hikes that came with the poor economy - pollsters say Bloomberg doesn’t need to sweat. According to Maurice Carroll, who directed the poll, "his job approval has gone from astronomical to merely stratospheric…He's within the atmosphere [now]."

And to make matters worse for his 2009 competitors, his name recognition is difficult to beat. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) - who said he may drop his candidacy due to the economic work that needs to be done in Washington - has only 44% name recognition.

City Comptroller Bill Thompson is looking to the black community to be a major factor of his overall support. But the poll found only 44% of African Americans could identify the official.

And Bloomberg continues to beat them in hypothetical head-to-head races. If Thompson was to win the Democratic Primary and face Bloomberg today, the incumbent would win 49%-35%. If Weiner was to face Bloomberg today, Bloomberg would win 46%-36%.

Of course, Bloomberg will not be facing anyone until November, which gives all candidates time to wage the tough campaign.

"Bloomberg is so far ahead - he won't be that far in November - but what difference does it make?" Carroll said.

He predicted voters will peel off as the budget cuts start to affect communities and as the campaign heats up and he cautioned that Bloomberg's image as "cold and businesslike" could hurt him.

"People like to like the people they vote for," he said.

But polls from 2004 also showed New York City residents to view Bloomberg as cold and in 2005 he was re-elected by a landslide. And with him this far ahead already, will his challengers really be able to climb back?

Only time will tell.

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