What to Know
- NBC New York went around to every borough of the city to see what regular New Yorkers thought about the mayor's Oval Office aspirations
- Residents all over the city were split, with some wishing de Blasio well but not thinking he'll win, to some saying it's a terrible idea
- One thing was consistent through the whole city: Concern over de Blasio shirking mayoral repsonsibilities while on the road
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is hitting the road to see how voters in Iowa and South Carolina respond to his progressive agenda — but he doesn't exactly have unwavering support from his constituents back home.
NBC New York went around to every borough of the city to see what regular New Yorkers thought about his Oval Office aspirations.
There were split opinions in the Bronx. One man laughed when asked about the chances of a President de Blasio, saying it's never going to happen.
"Worst mayor in history," said Sal Martucci of Throggs Neck.
And while residents in Staten Island seemed to agree with that take, others in the Bronx said they would vote for him — even though they don't think he'll beat out the other Democrats.
In Manhattan, people mingling in Times Square didn't seem totally on board with de Blasio's decision. One man said he thought it would take his "priorities off of the city, and I think his legacy is in danger."
The mayor had more support in Brooklyn, where residents of the Red Hook Houses offered their support — despite the NYCHA scandals that have plagued de Blasio's time in office.
And the opinions in Queens were as diverse as the population. But one thing consistent through all the boroughs — concern over him shirking responsibilities as mayor of New York City.
One New Yorker de Blasio knows he doesn't won't be getting support from: Donald Trump Jr., who went on Twitter to call the presidential run a "clown show."
"Rather than do a PR stunt run for President (we all know it’s going nowhere) maybe @NYCMayor should clean up his backyard first," Trump Jr. tweeted. "This video from this morning should tell you all you need to know about his leadership. What a clown show!!!"
De Blasio announced his candidacy Thursday morning and will travel to Iowa to headline an event in Sioux City, which local Democrats are calling the "first stop on his presidential announcement tour." The mayor will then head to South Carolina for the weekend.
He joins a Democratic field with almost two dozen other candidates.
In mounting a bid, the mayor is essentially ignoring the voters who overwhelmingly elected him to City Hall twice. An April 3 Quinnipiac University poll found 76 percent of New York City voters opposed the idea of him running for the White House.
His job approval rating at that time was at just 42 percent, and only one in five New Yorkers supported him running.
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Even in his most traditionally loyal demographics — black voters and voters in the Bronx — seven out of every 10 were against the idea of him running for president.
De Blasio becomes the first sitting mayor of New York City to run for president since John Lindsay's brief run in 1972. (Rudy Giuliani ran for president after his term as mayor ended, and Michael Bloomberg flirted with a run but never formally launched a campaign.)
De Blasio is the city's 109th mayor, coming into office in 2014, and has been a progressive voice on certain issues including early childhood education, immigration reform and voting rights.
De Blasio follows other tri-state Democrats running for president, including New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.