Voters in New York City want to keep Ray Kelly as their police commissioner and nearly half of them support the department’s stop-and-frisk program
, according to a new poll released Friday.
The New York Times/Siena College survey
also showed that voters want more charter schools — and that an overwhelming majority plan to support public advocate Bill de Blasio for mayor in next month’s election, even though the Democrat opposes all three of those ideas.
De Blasio had a 68 percent to 19 percent lead among likely voters over Republican nominee Joe Lhota, a former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and 58 percent had a favorable opinion of de Blasio compared with 22 percent who viewed Lhota favorably, the poll found.
Lhota's "got a lot of problems, let’s face it," said Donald Levy, director of the Siena Research Institute. "It’s time for him to pull out whatever he thinks is his best stuff at this point: his biography, his toughness, his ability to respond to disasters, his ability to keep New Yorkers safe from a terrorist attack, and make difficult decisions."
There are, however, a few potential concerns for de Blasio. The poll showed that 62 percent of voters agreed with Lhota’s wish to keep Kelly as police commissioner, whom de Blasio has said he would replace.
They also favored by 56 percent to 34 percent creating more charter schools, a position held by Lhota and Mayor Michael Bloomberg but not de Blasio, who has proposed charging charter schools a sliding scale of rent.
Stop-and-frisk was supported by 47 percent and opposed by 48 percent.
The citywide telephone poll of 700 likely voters was conducted from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Lhota, meanwhile, is working hard to boost his chances, broadcasting his first general election TV ad on Wednesday, pointing out that he supports same-sex marriage, abortion rights, and the legalization of marijuana, but that, unlike de Blasio, he would not raise taxes.
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De Blasio immediately released his own ad, a documentary-style excerpt from his primary night victory speech.
The two men reportedly have agreed to televised debates on three successive Tuesdays this month.
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