Five months into Eric Adams’ tenure as mayor, 49 percent of New Yorkers cited crime as the city’s most urgent issue followed by affordable housing and homelessness, with only 37 percent of voters approving of the mayor’s efforts to get crime under control, a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found.
Adams’ new dismal numbers on controlling crime, his biggest priority since becoming mayor in January, were released as he spoke at a Milken Institute technology panel as part of a three-day trip to Los Angeles. The poll surveyed 1,249 registered New York City voters between April 28 and May 2, with a 2.8 percent margin of error.
Quinnipiac University polling analyst Mary Snow said that while Adams’ overall approval rating of 43 percent – with a disapproval rating of 37 percent and 20 percent not giving an opinion – is more or less positive, his performance on crime is dragging his numbers down.
“Mayor Adams gets a positive score on his job performance, but it’s tepid,” Snow said. “The biggest weight on his numbers: crime. It’s by far the most urgent issue and voters are holding him accountable.”
According to the poll, Adams’ 37 percent approval rating – and 54 percent disapproval rating – on his handling of crime has slipped significantly from the 49 to 35 percent rating he received from Quinnipiac’s last New York City poll in early February.
The poll also found that people’s confidence in Adams’ ability to reduce gun violence in the city has decreased over the past three months. While a majority of respondents – 58 percent – said they were confident Adams could accomplish his key agenda item of controlling crime in February, the new poll numbers showed that only 43 percent of respondents said they were still confident he could get crime down and 53 percent said they aren’t.
Snow placed some of the blame for this shift on the N train mass shooting in Sunset park last month and an overall uptick in major crimes.
“In the wake of April’s mass shooting on the subway along with an increase in major crimes, confidence slips in the Mayor being able to reduce gun violence,” Snow said.
Adams’ approval ratings also dropped in his handling of other key issues including the coronavirus pandemic, public schools and police-community relations.
On a more positive note for Adams, 50 percent of poll respondents think the city’s tourism industry – one of the most crucial sectors to the city’s economy prior to the pandemic – will rebound in the next year. And a majority, 66 percent, think the city will fully recover from COVID-19.
“There’s a silver lining tucked in a somewhat bleak snapshot of the city,” Snow said. “Despite concerns over crime, half of voters expect tourism in New York City to increase over the next year. In the long run, a majority is expressing confidence that the city’s economy will fully bounce back from the losses of the pandemic.”