Newsday
Updated January 16, 2015 10:02 PM


Poll: Racial divide persists on de Blasio

By MATTHEW CHAYES  matthew.chayes@newsday.com

Just about half of New York City voters like Mayor Bill de Blasio's job performance, a rating boosted by black support and weakened by white disapproval, according to an opinion poll released Friday by Quinnipiac University.

The survey also shows that voters have a far higher approval rating of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo -- with 71 percent favoring Cuomo and 23 percent disapproving. On de Blasio, 49 percent approved and 40 percent disapproved.

De Blasio's ratings were little changed since his feud with police unions was inflamed by the murders of two cops in Brooklyn last month. A poll Dec. 18 -- two days before the killings -- measured his approval as 47 percent.

Support for de Blasio has consistently diverged along racial lines since he was elected in 2013.

"He got elected on that pattern -- negative among whites, very, very positive among blacks," Quinnipiac's Maurice Carroll said.

The first half of the poll, released Thursday, concluded that New Yorkers strongly opposed cops' turning their backs on de Blasio at the funerals for the two slain officers. They also overwhelmingly disapproved of both Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch, a de Blasio nemesis; and the Rev. Al Sharpton, an ally of the mayor.

Lynch said Friday the results didn't matter to him.

"I fight for and speak for the police officers of the City of New York and they are the only ones whose opinions I care about. I don't do my job to make myself popular, I fight for what's right for my members," he said in a statement.

Sharpton did not comment.

Among blacks, de Blasio's approval rating is 78 percent to 15 percent. He also is popular among Hispanics, 54 percent to 35 percent. But among whites, 57 percent disapprove and 32 percent support him.

The differences along racial lines are far narrower for Cuomo than for de Blasio.

De Blasio's approval rating has hovered around 50 percent since soon after he took office last year, with his best rating, 53 percent, in Quinnipiac's first post-inauguration poll.

The mayor has a lower rating than his NYPD commissioner, William Bratton, who the poll found is favored by 56 percent of voters.

Poll participants were called from Jan. 7 to 14, with 1,182 New York City voters completing the survey via landline or cellphone. There is a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

De Blasio's top spokesman, Phillip Walzak, declined to answer questions but issued a statement: "The mayor remains committed to a reform agenda that fights income inequality, brings police and community closer together, and lifts up more New Yorkers."

A Cuomo spokeswoman didn't return a message seeking comment.