Poll: NYers like NYPD's Ray Kelly better than Mayor Michael Bloomberg

At the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York At the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly speak to the press following the Police Academy graduation ceremony. (Dec. 28, 2012) Photo Credit: Nancy Borowick

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NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly got a higher job approval rating than his boss, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, released Thursday.

The results also showed that a wide majority of New York City voters believed that if a mayoral candidate promised to ask Kelly to stay on as police commissioner, it would be a positive factor in deciding whether to vote for that candidate.

About 75 percent of city voters said they approved of the way Kelly was handling his job, with 19 percent disapproving and 8 percent who didn't respond. Asked the same question about Bloomberg's performance as mayor, 56 percent of respondents approved, while 37 percent disapproved.

"He is always up," said Quinnipiac poll director Maurice Carroll about Kelly's favorable rating. "People like him; they like the cops."

The city police got a 70 percent approval rate for their job, the highest rating since February 2002, when it reached 76 percent, according to Quinnipiac.

The survey polled 1,332 city voters between Jan. 8 and 14, and has a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points.

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With Bloomberg term-limited and another mayor taking control in January 2014, many in city government have wondered if Kelly would be asked by the next administration to stay on. The poll showed that mayoral candidates should think about promising to ask Kelly to stay at his post. About 63 percent of respondents said it would be viewed as a "positive" campaign factor if a candidate promised to ask Kelly to remain in his job.

Police stop-and-frisk tactics, where officers approach, question and sometimes frisk people who they reasonably suspect are involved in criminal activity, remains a divisive issue along largely racial and ethnic lines.

Overall, 46 percent of voters approved of the tactic while 50 percent disapproved, percentages that have remained about the same in the past year. About 56 percent of whites approved of stop and frisk, while 27 percent of blacks and 42 percent of Hispanics voiced approval, the poll showed.

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