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Poll: De Blasio needs to improve handling of homelessness, NYPD

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, pictured

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, pictured Nov. 6, 2016, didn't comment on results of a new poll released on Nov. 17, 2016, about his performance. Credit: Charles Eckert

New York City voters disapprove by a 2-to-1 ratio how Mayor Bill de Blasio is combating homelessness and poverty, according to a poll released Thursday, marking a continuing racial and partisan split.

According to Quinnipiac University pollsters, 59 percent disapprove and 31 percent approve of how the Democrat is handling the problem. Only 17 percent of Republicans approve, as do 22 percent of whites, 37 percent of Democrats, and 45 percent of blacks.

The results released Thursday were the second half of a poll about the Democratic mayor conducted between Nov. 9 and Nov. 15 that questioned 1,138 voters, constrained by an overall margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

Nearly half of New York City voters think that de Blasio doesn’t deserve a second term — but he would win because they’d vote for him nevertheless, according to part one of the poll.

Overall, de Blasio, 55, has strongest support among blacks, who approve 71 percent to 22 percent, but whites disapprove 67 percent to 28 percent.

According to Thursday’s release:

n By 48 percent to 44 percent, voters approve of how de Blasio is handling crime; 20 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of whites, 59 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of blacks approve.

n Voters approve by 47 percent to 43 percent how he’s handling relations between blacks and whites; 13 percent of Republicans, 58 percent of Democrats, 37 percent of whites and 63 percent of blacks.

n By 40 percent to 53 percent, voters disapprove how he’s handling the relationship between the NYPD and policed communities, with similar racial and partisan breakdowns to the other questions.

Some of de Blasio’s worst numbers in the poll were on homelessness.

In late September, the administration announced the number of people living in homeless shelters hit a record high, nearly 60,000, a figure that excludes the approximately 2,500 people living on the streets.

Asked about the poll on Thursday, de Blasio said, “I will do my broad disclaimer about all public polls: They come, they go. They go up, they go down. Sorry, I believe this fundamentally.”

De Blasio said he planned to “crisscross the city” as he pursues his second term as the 109th mayor, adding: “We’re going to every neighborhood, unquestionably.”

On Thursday, de Blasio accepted the endorsement of 32BJ SEIU, the property-services workers union with more than 150,000 members. Earlier this week, de Blasio got nods from sanitation and grocery-workers unions.

“I’ve always been someone who was an insurgent,” de Blasio said at the 32BJ endorsement rally. “I’ve always been an underdog in every election I’ve been in.”

Separately, de Blasio’s office late Thursday released an updated New York City budget plan, increasing spending to $83.5 billion from $82.1 billion.

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