Bloomberg’s Budget Cuts Hurting Approval Rating, Poll Finds

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A new poll shows Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed budget cuts are hurting his approval rating.

Bloomberg’s approval rating hit a five-year low today, according to a new poll by Quinnipiac University. It seems that the drop is due to his handling of the city’s budget, and the litany of cuts he’s trying to push through to help balance the city’s books.

His approval rating is, however, still relatively high – at 57 percent. But it does represent a four-point drop from March, when 61 percent of New Yorkers polled said they approved of the job he’s doing. Many New Yorkers are concerned about the state of the city’s finances, with 90 percent saying that the city’s budget problems are “very serious” or “somewhat serious.”

Voters are split over the mayor’s handling of the budget, with 47 percent approving on his job; 44 percent, though, say they disapprove of his budget work.

The mayor’s budget plan includes no tax increases for New Yorkers, but this poll shows that voters actually would prefer tax increases over city service cuts. And by large margins, voters say they are opposed closing firehouses and senior centers, reducing garbage collection, increasing public school class sizes, reducing library hours and cutting back on street cleaning.

The poll also asked voters their opinions on term limits and on eliminating party primaries – two issues that a commission charged with proposing changes to the city charter is considering. New York City voters overwhelmingly support term limits, the poll found. And 57 percent of voters say elected officials should only be allowed to stay in office for two terms.

A majority of voters, 51 percent, also say they are opposed to the possibility of eliminating political party primaries in New York City elections. The mayor supports non-partisan elections but his earlier push to change the election system went down to defeat in 2003.

Meanwhile, the city’s Independent Budget Office released its analysis of the mayor’s executive budget today. Their projections largely line up with those out of City Hall.

But the IBO does estimate that the city will end this fiscal year with a $3.4 million surplus – which is about $100 million more than the Bloomberg administration is banking on. That surplus, of course, will be used to keep next year’s budget in balance.

(Source:  NY1)