Conventional wisdom has it that mayors often lose focus, and much of their popularity, during their third term in office, but an exclusive NY1/Marist College poll shows that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is managing to buck that trend. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
Mayors are often measured by their response to a crisis. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s popularity took a beating after the 2010 blizzard, but seems to have enjoyed a bump after Hurricane Sandy.
The latest NY1/Marist College poll shows Bloomberg with a 50 percent approval rating, versus 48 percent who disapprove.
The numbers are similar to the last NY1/Marist poll in November, when the mayor scored his best approval rating in two years.
"He was enjoying a post-Sandy bounce, and that seems to have sustained itself to the present poll," said Lee Mirignoff, a NY1/Marist College pollster.
Historically, the approval numbers fall in the middle range for Bloomberg. They are up from an all-time low of 37 percent post-blizzard, but well below a record-high 68 percent approval in 2008.
"Each of the five boroughs, I think it’s fair to say, is better off today than ever before, and our state, and the state of our city, has never been stronger," Bloomberg said in his final State of the City speech Thursday.
New Yorkers are not quite so enthusiastic, but 55 percent said the city’s moving in the right direction, while just 36 percent said it's moving in the wrong direction.
As to the next mayor, equal numbers of voters said education and jobs should be the top priority. Economic development ranks third, followed by housing, crime, taxes, poverty, terrorism, transportation and race relations.
"People still see some significant problems, particularly in the area of education and jobs and economic development," Mirignoff said. "Those are things that people really want the next mayor to get a better handle on. But for the most part, people are positive about the direction the city’s been going in."
As for Bloomberg’s legacy, 44 percent said he’ll be remembered as one of the city’s best mayors or as above average. 37 percent said average. 20 percent said he’ll be remembered as below average or one of the worst mayors in city history.
There are, of course, 10-and-a-half months remaining to shape that legacy, for better or for worse.
All poll results referenced in Friday's story have a margin of error of 2.7 percent.