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Mayor's Approval Rating Continues Slide

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s dismal approval rating still hasn’t found the bottom, sliding to a new low for his year-and-a-half in office.

“I am what I am. And I'm not going to be somebody that I'm not,” said the mayor Wednesday.

According to a Quinnipiac university poll, the mayor has an approval rating of 31 percent, a point lower than his rating in May.

Since then, the mayor has brokered a budget protecting many city services and has seemed more active in communities throughout the city, including his big splash with kids at a Harlem public swimming pool last week. Still, New Yorkers aren't cutting the mayor any slack.

The poll shows that 54 percent think the mayor doesn't understand the problems and issues facing the city.

“What we've got to do is to do the right things,” said Bloomberg. “The only poll that matters is the poll that takes place in the voting booth when there’s a time for an election or a re-election. And I'm not worried about that at all — quite the contrary.”

“People say they don’t relate to him,” said Quinnipiac poll director Maurice Carroll. “Is it because he's a zillionaire, because while you and I get on Virgin Airlines to go to London, he gets on his private jet? I don't know. But they don’t think he relates to New Yorkers.”

The poll also showed that the mayor's push for elections without party labels gets a big thumbs down. Fifty-five percent said they do not support the idea and 61 percent of New Yorkers would not vote for the billionaire businessman in a non-partisan election.

Quinnipiac University polled 776 registered voters in New York City, and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

An upside for the mayor, the poll showed the majority of New Yorkers think Bloomberg has strong leadership qualities and also think he is honest and trustworthy. One saving grace is that there is still a ways to go until Election Day in 2005, so time is on the Bloomberg's side.

--Sandra Endo
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