It's been six months since Mayor Eric Adams took office, and a recent poll shows that New Yorkers are very divided on the job he's doing so far — with most not giving him rave reviews.
The rather pessimistic findings come from a Spectrum News NY1/ Siena poll released Tuesday that show a -35 net favorability rating for the mayor.
The poll found that only 29% of New York City adults think Adams is doing an "excellent" or "good" job as mayor. Just over a third (35 percent) of respondents gave him "fair" marks, while just under a third (29 percent) said he was doing a "poor" job.
“If New Yorkers had a honeymoon with Mayor Adams, it was brief and it’s clearly over. Only 29% give him a positive rating for the job he’s doing as mayor, compared to 64% who give him a negative rating,” said Dr. Don Levy, Director, Siena College Research Institute.
Get Tri-state area news and weather forecasts to your inbox. Sign up for NBC New York newsletters.
Although he was underwater on every performance-related question, there were a few issues in which the mayor fared even worse. When it comes to fighting crime, a whopping 74% of those surveyed believe he is doing just a fair or poor job. New York City has seen its fair share of gun violence with the mass subway shooting in Brooklyn last month and incidents of multiple kids getting shot, including while sitting in a car or walking on the street.
Meanwhile, on the topic of homelessness, 76% believe he is doing a fair or poor job. This has proven a hot topic as the mayor has received criticism by those experiencing homelessness and their advocates when it comes to removing street encampments, which they say does not address the problem. The removal of the street encampments has become a controversial practice that mirrors similar efforts in other liberal metropolises that had previously tolerated the encampments. However, others think that homelessness in the city needs to be resolved.
Adams also polled worse than Gov. Kathy Hochul among Big Apple voters. While 54% of those surveyed believe Hochul is doing a fair or poor job, 64% believe the same of Adams.
According to the poll, 64% of those polled believe Adams, a former NYPD captain, is doing a fair or poor job at transforming the NYPD into a force that protects and serves the city. He scored the same percentage points among those surveyed who believe he is doing a fair or poor job at tackling the safety issue at Rikers Island.
Meanwhile, 62% of those polled believe Adams is doing a fair or poor job at managing everyday city services.
Also interesting: An equal amount of respondents (36 percent) said that Adams is doing a better job than former Mayor Bill de Blasio, as the number of those who said he was doing about the same. Seventeen percent said he was doing worse.
"That's pretty good to me. If you're a New Yorker and you only have 17 percent that state you're worse than anything, I am happy for that," Adams said at a Tuesday press conference.
Adams did not seem to mind the middling results the poll indicated, saying that New Yorkers are notoriously harsh graders — adding that getting a "fair" result from them is more of a compliment than it seems.
"Mommy always told me to try and get an A but she never told me I failed with a C," he said.
The poll also revealed that, by a 53-37% margin, city residents approve of the mayor’s style.
Additionally, the poll showed that 70% of New Yorkers say they feel less safe in the city than pre-pandemic, compared to 25% who feel about as safe today as before the pandemic and only 3% who feel safer. According to the poll, 76% said they are very or somewhat concerned that they will be a victim of violent crime.
“Even worse for Adams are his job performance ratings on specific issues. About three-quarters of New Yorkers give him negative grades on both addressing homelessness and fighting crime," Dr. Levy said. "And at least 59% give him negative grades on transforming the NYPD, managing city services, tackling safety at Rikers Island, and running the public schools."
Adams took a more serious note when addressing his poor marks on homelessness and crime, saying "we are going to turn around this city and crime, I know that. And New Yorkers are going to start not only being safe, they're going to feel safe."
City Hall Spokesperson Fabien Levy said that city residents are right to focus on crime, and it has been Adams' "top priority since day one."
"While reducing crime in the city won’t happen overnight, we are seeing movement and the most recent figures from the NYPD reflect progress, with shootings going down week after week for the last two months," the spokesperson said. "Mayor Adams is laser-focused on reducing gun violence, which is why nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers rated Mayors Adams as ‘excellent,’ ‘good,’ or ‘fair’ in this survey.”
The survey was conducted from May 22 to June 1, 2022 by telephone to 1,000 New York City residents. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.