New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is shown in...

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is shown in this photo from Tuesday, April 14, 2015. Credit: Charles Eckert

A poll released Tuesday showed Mayor Bill de Blasio's job approval ratings sinking at home in New York City as he advocated for progressive change on the national stage in Washington, D.C.

Only 44 percent of city voters surveyed say he is performing well as mayor -- his lowest showing since taking office nearly 18 months ago, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.

Voters were split, however, on whether his involvement in national affairs is distracting him from his duties as New York City's chief executive -- 46 percent said yes while 42 percent said no.

"A lot of people don't like him wandering off, being a spokesman for liberals, but a lot of people do," Quinnipiac poll assistant director Maurice Carroll said.

The mayor, who in the past month has traveled to Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin to speak on combating income inequality, will be in the capital with other progressive leaders from across the nation through Wednesday. He then leaves for a speaking tour in California.

De Blasio has said that lobbying for changes nationally would produce more funding and improvements locally.

The poll surveyed 969 city voters via landline and cellphone between May 6 and Monday. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

Half of the voters polled say de Blasio does not have strong leadership qualities; 44 percent say he does.

Mayoral spokesman Wiley Norvell said in a statement: "Polls go up and polls go down, but one thing that is certain and constant is Mayor de Blasio's commitment to combatting income inequality in New York City."

De Blasio's approval ratings are higher among black voters than white ones; 68 percent versus 56 percent. His job approval rating was the highest just after he took office, 53 percent in a Jan. 16, 2014 Quinnipiac poll.

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