Poll: Popularity is not Nutter’s problem, violence is

Michael Nutter
RIKARD LARMA/METRO

A Pew Charitable Trust poll released yesterday showed that — though Mayor Michael Nutter’s job approval rating is at its highest overall since 2009 — residents are not pleased with how his administration is dealing with violent crime.

According to Pew, 74 percent of the 1,600 surveyed between Jan. 4 and 19 ranked crime a “very serious” problem and 42 percent said the city was headed in the wrong direction. When rating the Nutter administration in five policy areas, the lowest grade by far was for “reducing violent crime,” with only 14 percent seeing “major improvement.”

“Of course people are concerned — I’m concerned about crime,” Nutter said yesterday. “There are some crazy ass people out there doing some crazy ass things. Some of the incidents that occurred while the poll was being done were bizarre,” he said, referencing the stepfather charged with shooting a car full of teens in Juniata and the man who allegedly slit two peoples’ throats in their South Philadelphia home.

“We can certainly recover from a horrific start to this year,” he said, pointing to the graduation of an upcoming police cadet class and a number of initiatives he introduced last month, including $20,000 rewards for information leading to convictions of any homicide suspect.

The percentage of those who said they felt completely safe in their homes also fell.

“I don’t feel safe at nighttime by myself,” said Kimberly Hills of North Philadelphia, though she favored the reward money. “It doesn’t bring a loved one back, but at least it gives the family closure.”

Seniors, affluent gave high marks

Nutter’s approval rating was 60 percent, up from 52 percent last year, and up 10 percent among black residents, whose approval rating of the mayor was at 52 percent this year.

He scored higher among the older and wealthier — his approval rating among residents who had family incomes over $100,000 was 77 percent, versus 56 percent from those with incomes under $30,000, and his rating among citizens aged 65 and over was 72 percent, 20 points higher than it was among the 18 to 34 age group. As far as policy, the mayor scored the highest marks for his efforts at “making Philadelphia a greener city that is more environmentally friendly and energy efficient.”


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