Quinnipiac Poll: Giuliani Still No. 1 With New Yorkers

Thursday, 28 Feb 2013 12:07 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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New Yorkers believe former Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the best leader the city’s had for the past 50 years, a new Quinnipiac University poll of voters revealed Wednesday.

Giuliani, who became a household name following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, is still the favorite of 31 percent of the 1,017 voters Quinnipiac polled Feb. 20-25. He was the top choice for 73 percent of Republicans, 19 percent of Democrats, and 36 percent of independent voters.

Former Mayor Ed Koch, who died earlier this month, was the voters’ second choice with 25 percent support, and current Mayor Michael Bloomberg came in third, drawing 24 percent. He was followed by former mayors David Dinkins, John Lindsay, and Abe Beam.

Bloomberg saw a slight dip in his job approval ratings in the poll, with 53 percent of voters approving and 40 percent disapproving. Last month, a similar poll put his job performance rating at 56 percent.

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Bloomberg’s so-called “Nanny State” initiatives may have contributed to his third-place showing, with voters taking an overall negative view of his ban on soft drinks by a 51 percent to 46 percent margin while backing his proposed ban on plastic take-out containers by 69 percent to 29 percent.

Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said Bloomberg’s favorable ratings of 70 percent earlier in his long-running administration appear to be gone. “But as his tenure winds down, we still like him,” he added, referring to his current approval rating of 53 percent.

The New Yorkers polled also had a strong opinion on whether the mayor’s office should keep control of the city’s public schools. Sixty percent said the next mayor should share control of schools with an independent board, and 41 percent said they are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports Bloomberg’s top priority of continuing total control over schools.

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