Bill de Blasio’s Approval Ratings Highlights City’s Racial Divide

November 19, 2014 | Prachi Gupta

Is New York City’s romance with progressive Mayor Bill de Blasio over? It depends on whom you ask. The New York Times reports that while de Blasio’s overall rating is “waning” but “still solid,” it illustrates a sharp racial divide in the city.

According to a poll by Quinnipiac University, de Blasio’s ratings have slipped from a 50% approval rating to 49%, and slumped further with a 32% disapproval rating to 36% in the past three months. But a closer look at the numbers suggest the reasons why are nuanced: de Blasio is slipping with predominantly white voters. From the Times:

Since August, Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, has improved upon already impressive reviews from black voters, with support rising to 71 percent, from 65 percent in the last poll. The mayor also won praise from Hispanic voters, with 56 percent approving and 27 percent disapproving, the new poll said.

But among white voters, the mayor’s approval rating has slipped to 34 percent, with 50 percent disapproving of his performance. In August, 36 percent of white voters approved, and 45 percent disapproved.

The poll results call to mind De Blasio’s camgain promise of taking “dead aim at the Tale of Two Cities” and melding them into one, a nod to the city’s social inequalities. But the polls show he still has a long way to go before New Yorkers will feel that they’re treated equally. Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll said of the racial gap, it “gets wider every time we ask.”

(Photo: Kevin Case)