New Yorkers are a tough crowd to please — especially for politicians winding up their last term in office, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is quickly finding out.
A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday puts Hizzoner’s approval rating at 39 percent, its lowest since 2003, when New Yorkers were faced with the double whammy of increasing taxes and a smoking ban.
“People get tired of you. They got tired of me,” said former Mayor Ed Koch, who was voted out of office when he tried to run for a fourth time in 1989.
“It’s the third term blahs,” said Quinnipiac pollster Maurice Carroll.
Bloomberg’s poll numbers were at their height — a 75 percent approval rating — in October 2008. But after he narrowly won a third term in 2009, the mayor has been mired in controversies, the most recent being his administration’s sluggish response to December’s blizzard and his choice of former publishing exec Cathie Black as schools chancellor.
“People are just fatigued (with Bloomberg) and the snowstorm lit a match that the administration will have to deal with for the next two years,” said Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf.
Some residents in the outer boroughs were particularly fuming after storm clean up this winter appeared to lag behind efforts in Manhattan.
As a result, Quinnipiac poll numbers show a majority disapproval for Bloomberg in the outer boroughs – a staggering 66 percent in Staten Island, where voters were crucial in helping him win re-election in 2009.
“It’s almost like he’s been very detached this last term,” said GOP pollster Jim McLaughlin.
In recent weeks, Bloomberg has been booed at St. Patrick's Day parade festivities after a joke he made about inebriated Irish and his plan to lay off teachers.
The mayor was not deterred Wednesday by his poor ratings. His spokesman Stu Loeser said that Bloomberg “is making tough choices in a difficult time, which is what people elected him to do.”
He had at least one supporter Wednesday.
“The reality is that he is a good mayor,” said former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who himself had mediocre poll numbers during his last term until 9/11 shot his approval ratings up to 70 percent after 9/11. “He runs New York City like a business," Giuliani told WNBC News.
(With Dina Davis)
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New Yorkers weigh in on Mayor Bloomberg’s performance:
"He could do better, and I don’t agree with a lot of what he does. The smoking ban that he signed, I don’t smoke, but I don’t like him telling people what they can do." - Bill Murphy, 30, Rego Park
"From a scale of one to 10, I give him a one. Too many things are going wrong. The city is broke. People can’t find jobs. The transit, they go up. … Only the rich can live in this city." - Eddie Brown, 61, Bedford Stuyvesant
"The third term was one too many. It just seems like his focus is on the fiscal issues and not on the issues facing the rest of the city." - Eric Clark, 28, Kew Gardens
"He has done a good job up until the snowstorm. He has done a good job with the teachers because the kids are our future." - Eve Gonzales, 28, Jamaica
"He doesn’t care about society. … What he’s doing with the teachers is horrible. … He didn’t do a good job in the snowstorms." - Joilyn Ventura, 30, Washington Heights