Mayor's Approval Sinks to 8-Year Low

A new poll finds Mayor Bloomberg with 39 percent approval among registered voters.

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    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks onstage at the 2011 Jackie Robinson Foundation awards gala a The Waldorf-Astoria on March 7, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Jackie Robinson Foundation)

    Mayor Bloomberg's approval rating is at its lower point in eight years, after a rough several months when he was blamed for sloppy cleanup of a major blizzard and questioned for a joke he made about drunken Irish people.

    A Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday found the billionaire's approval rating has sunk to 39 percent -- the lowest of any citywide elected official included in the poll of registered voters.

    Bloomberg's numbers haven't been that low since 2003, when voters were seething about a property tax hike and a smoking ban in restaurants and bars.

    When Quinnipiac last measured the mayor's approval rating in November, 55 percent of voters said he was doing a good job.

    The 69-year-old mayor's numbers skyrocketed into the high 50s and 60s after he was re-elected to a second term in 2005, and stayed there throughout those four years.

    But ever since he won a third term -- after changing term-limits law, which had limited him to two terms -- Bloomberg has had a rough time.

    He angered outer borough New Yorkers in late December when the city responded poorly to a major blizzard on the Christmas weekend, leaving many streets unplowed for days.

    New Yorkers were also offended when he said, during a speech at the American Irish Historical Society, that he often passes by the building and sees "a bunch of people that are totally inebriated, hanging out the window, waving."

    Also in his third term, Bloomberg's replacement pick for schools chancellor was roundly criticized for not having education credentials, and several city consultants have been arrested for stealing millions while working on a project to create an electronic timesheet system for city employees.

    The mayor has also had to make repeated budget cuts, including threats to lay off teachers.

    Bloomberg was booed at a St. Patrick's Day parade in Queens this month by New Yorkers. One person yelled at him to take the A train "back to Manhattan."

    Asked about the poll Wednesday, Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser said "the mayor is making tough choices in a difficult time, which is what people elected him to do."

    Quinnipiac polled 1,115 registered voters from March 8 through Monday. The poll has a plus or minus 3 percentage point margin of error.