New Yorkers are having second thoughts about Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s third term.
As for a fourth term? No thanks.
With less than 18 months to go in Mr. Bloomberg’s unexpectedly long mayoral tenure, nearly three-quarters of New Yorkers said he should not have been allowed to run for a third term, according to the latest poll by The New York Times.
Mr. Bloomberg, having persuaded the City Council to approve a change in term limits that paved the way for his re-election in 2009, has presided over city government for more than a decade, and he still gets solid grades. Forty-eight percent of the poll’s respondents approved of his job performance, and 39 percent disapproved, about the same as a year ago.
But asked if they would support Mr. Bloomberg, a political independent, in a hypothetical bid for a fourth four-year stint in City Hall, 65 percent of New Yorkers said they would not vote for the mayor again. One-quarter of voters would vote for him to stay on, and 8 percent said “it depends.” (The mayor, who is 70, has said he has no plans to run again.)
The eagerness for a new mayor comes even as New Yorkers are starting to feel more positive about the city’s economy. And the proportion of residents who would prefer to keep living in the city, rather than move away, is the highest since Mr. Bloomberg took office, the poll found.
In a year’s time, the proportion of New Yorkers who describe the local economy as good has risen sharply, to 45 percent from the 29 percent measured in a Times/CBS News survey in August 2011. New Yorkers said in follow-up interviews that they could see many improvements from a year ago and fewer signs of decline.
Baylen Thomas, 40, an actor, said sellers in his Brooklyn apartment building had received four offers, and at least one apartment had been sold, after five years of “almost no sales.”
Pearline Childs, 77, a retired bookkeeper, said she saw crowded stores and eager shoppers around her low- and middle-income Manhattan neighborhood.
“People look like they’re spending more and living better than they did last year,” she said.
And Steven Tober, 69, a retired teacher who lives in Forest Hills, Queens, said he had been struck by the packed restaurants he was seeing in Manhattan.
“If people are eating out, they must have money,” he said.
Still, unemployment remains at the top of residents’ concerns, and many New Yorkers are still troubled by the economy. That was particularly true of black and Hispanic residents, about 60 percent of whom said in the poll that the economy was poor. Just over half of white respondents said the economy was good.
More than a third of New Yorkers polled said the quality of life had improved under Mr. Bloomberg, about the same proportion as three years ago. One in five residents said the quality of life had worsened, and 39 percent thought it had stayed the same.
Mr. Bloomberg’s strongest support comes from men, older residents, whites, and residents of Manhattan and Queens. Women, middle-aged voters and residents of the other boroughs are more closely divided on his performance.
But there is consensus that Anthony D. Weiner, the former Democratic representative and mayoral hopeful who resigned after sending sexually explicit online communications to several women, should not return to public life. Asked about Mr. Weiner’s seeking another political office, 54 percent said it was a bad idea, a third deemed it a good idea and 13 percent were not sure.
Source: The NY Times