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Mayor Bill de Blasio dismisses new poll showing 38 percent approval rating

Mayor Bill de Blasio arrives at City Hall

Mayor Bill de Blasio arrives at City Hall in Manhattan on Sept. 21, 2015. Photo Credit: AP / Seth Wenig

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday dismissed a new opinion poll reflecting his lowest-ever ratings, but the city's first avowedly progressive leader in two decades acknowledged that he needs to do a better job "explaining to people how this vision is affecting their lives."

When asked about the survey showing that only 38 percent of New York City voters believe he is performing well, de Blasio rattled off a list of indicators, taking credit for expanding prekindergarten, lowering overall crime and stimulating job growth.

"Polls come and go," he said. "There's no question about the work being done and the impact it is having on people. That's what matters, and I know it will be felt."

A Wall Street Journal/NBC4 New York/Marist College poll showed that de Blasio's job approval numbers had tumbled from 44 percent in a May survey. The poll also suggested that more people believe the city is on the wrong track than believe it's on the right track.

De Blasio touted the 177,000 new jobs since he took office, declaring "We have a city that is getting safer all the time" and that 65,000 4-year-olds are in prekindergarten.

"We'll keep doing this work and showing people what it means for their lives, but there's no question that this is a time when the city's moving forward," de Blasio said.

De Blasio reacted to the poll at a news conference in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where he announced a policy to make it harder for hotels to locate within so-called industrial-business zones -- city-created districts that offer tax breaks to jump-start manufacturing and encourage businesses to open and stay in the city. The administration wants the land to be used to create industrial jobs, not for hotels. Opening buildings like hotels and storage facilities in such zones will now need special permission.

Near the end of a news conference, de Blasio said in response to a question that he couldn't immediately name a single mistake he's made over the course of his 22-month mayoralty.

"I would have to think about that and come back with a coherent answer," de Blasio said. "I think one thing we have to do better is explaining to people how this vision is affecting their lives."

De Blasio also pushed back at Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who reportedly told a closed-door meeting recently that he sees it as part of his job to "save New York City." A Cuomo spokesman has denied that the governor used those words, a report of which originally appeared in The New York Daily News. Cuomo's office didn't return a message seeking comment on Tuesday.

"In terms of any measure of how you judge a city and its success, there are a lot of areas where this city is literally doing better than ever," de Blasio said, when asked about the report. "I think we're on the right track. "

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