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NYC Democratic Primary Voters Want A New Direction

bloHere’s a look at some of the key findings from preliminary exit polls of voters in Tuesday’s New York City Democratic primaries:


Nearly three-quarters of New York City Democratic primary voters say the next mayor ought to move the city away from the policies of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to the preliminary results of an exit poll conducted by Edison Research, and about a third said they were seeking a candidate for mayor who “can bring needed change.”



Two-thirds of primary voters surveyed said it was a bad idea to allow Bloomberg to run for a third term in office. The mayor heads toward the end of his term with just a narrow majority of those voting today saying they approve of the way he handled his 12 years in office. He earns his highest approval ratings from senior citizens, those with higher income or more formal education, Manhattanites and Jewish voters, and his lowest among black voters.

Bloomberg also earns high marks from the most liberal Democratic voters — 6 in 10 who say they are very liberal approve of his work as mayor.



Voters rated two key policies of the Bloomberg era negatively in the poll, with about 6 in 10 saying the police practice known as “stop and frisk” was excessive and resulted in the harassment of innocent people, and only 3 in 10 saying the city’s public schools had improved during the mayor’s time in office.

There are broad racial gaps on both policies, with black voters viewing the Bloomberg policies negatively, while whites are more apt to say things have improved in the public schools and evenly split on stop and frisk. Beyond the racial divide on stop and frisk, there’s also a generation gap, with 6 in 10 under age 65 calling the program excessive, while seniors split about evenly on whether it overreaches or is an acceptable way to prevent crime.



Voters were generally in the middle on the city’s economy, with just a few in the extreme categories of “excellent” and “poor” and about 4 in 10 each saying it’s a more lukewarm “good” or “not so good.” Voters in the outer boroughs are most disappointed in the state of the economy, with more than 6 in 10 in the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island rating it negatively, while most in Manhattan say it’s in good shape, and Brooklynites are split about evenly. Most whites call the economy good, while most blacks and Hispanics say it’s in bad shape. And men are split about evenly between good and bad, while most women say the economy is not so good or poor.


Agiesta reported from Washington. The preliminary exit poll of 1,298 New York City Democratic Primary voters was conducted for AP and other media outlets by Edison Research in a random sample of 40 precincts citywide. Results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.0 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.


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