The latest numbers have 49 percent of New Yorkers backing Mayor Bill de Blasio's handling of his office, with 31 percent disapproving. Credit: Rob Bennett/NYC Mayor's Office
On the eve of Bill de Blasio's first 100 days in office, a new poll shows that about half of New Yorkers approve of the new mayor's work so far.
The latest numbers from the New York Times, NY1 and Siena College poll have 49 percent of New Yorkers backing the mayor's handling of his office, with 31 percent disapproving.
That sentiment varies along ethnic lines: 45 percent of those unimpressed with the mayor identified as white.
"While overall nearly half of New Yorkers approve of the job that he's doing and about one-third disapprove," wrote Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg, "there is a very similar partisan and racial divide as to how voters feel about the job de Blasio is doing as mayor, with Democrats, black and Hispanic voters strongly approving and Republicans strongly disapproving. Independents lean toward approval, as white voters lean toward disapproval."
And while de Blasio faced significant criticism during last fall's campaign season for his police reform rhetoric, 70 percent of residents polled said they feel safe.
Another 54 percent approve of his handling of the controversial stop-and-frisk policy that critics, including de Blasio, often said disproportionately affected young black and Latino men.
Overall, a little more than half of the New Yorkers polled said they feel the like the city is moving in the right direction under de Blasio.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they believe de Blasio has focused on the issues that matter to them, and a drill down through the issues shows some residents want the mayor to refocus some of his energies.
By in large, most respondents are happy with his advocacy for universal prekindergarten (73 percent) and negotiations with the state (66 percent) that resulted in a $300 million commitment for the city.
Where de Blasio gets in trouble though are with his positions on co-locations of charter schools within traditional public schools. Forty-three percent of respondents disapprove of his handling of co-locations.
The mayor also faces skepticism on a number of his standing proposals, most notably his suggestion to ban horse carriages in New York City — a position that 59 percent of those polled do not agree with.
"It appears that the mayor has found an issue on which his opinion differs from the majority of voters of every stripe," Greenberg added.
Otherwise, many of the mayor's other initiatives seem to have traction with New Yorkers: 74 percent approved of the paid sick leave law he signed in March, 69 percent still support a tax on the wealthiest New Yorkers, and 65 percent approve of his municipal ID program for all residents regardless of immigration status.
The poll sampled 1,190 New York residents between March 29 and April 3, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.