Exclusive Poll Finds New Yorkers Pessimistic About NYC, Adams

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Views of life in New York City are bleak, according to a Siena College survey of city dwellers exclusively for Spectrum News NY1.


what you need to know

  • Click here to view the full Spectrum News NY1/Siena College survey and methodology
  • A majority say the city is going in the wrong direction
  • A staggering 70% say they feel less safe now than they did before the pandemic hit
  • Five months into his tenure as mayor, Adams’ standing is under water

A majority of respondents (56%) said their city is going in the wrong direction, compared to 32% who said it is on the right track.

And a staggering seven in 10 New Yorkers said they now feel less safe than they did before the pandemic began.

The Spectrum News NY1/Siena College poll also found that 76% of respondents are either somewhat or very concerned about becoming a victim of violent crime.

That comes as Mayor Eric Adams noted this week that shootings are on the decline — even as crime overall is still on the rise.

“That’s not a large number of people,” he said of the perpetrators on Monday. “It’s a small number of people who use violence all the time.”

And what about Adams, who’s the head of town? His job approval rating is deep under water. Just 29% rated his performance as good or excellent, while more than twice as many (64%) said he did fairly or poorly.

“Normally you would say that a newly elected CEO is on a honeymoon,” said Don Levy, director of the Siena College Research Institute. “Well, if he had it, it definitely seems over.”

The survey of 1,000 residents of the city was conducted between May 22nd and June 1st. She has an error rate of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The mayor has cited improvements under his leadership, saying of the NYPD, “Your job is to get dangerous people off the streets. My job and the job of my agencies is to keep people from becoming dangerous. And that is the partnership we are building.”

But in terms of issues, the poll found that Adams scored worst on tackling homelessness — 49% said he’s doing a poor job — and on crime, 45% said he’s doing a poor job.

He got the highest score for encouraging tourists to visit New York City. Forty-three percent said he was doing excellent or well.

“We are at the top of the world. This is New York City,” he crowed last month. “This is the best city in the world.”

New York State’s direction and Gov. Kathy Hochul’s job approval ratings are slightly better, but still low, according to the poll.

Forty-six percent of city dwellers said the state was going in the wrong direction, and 38 percent said it was on the right track.

When asked what work Hochul does, 35% rated it as good or excellent, while 54% rated it as fair or poor.

Asked about the poll and New Yorkers’ safety concerns at a news conference Tuesday morning, Hochul noted that she signed a gun reform package on Monday.

“Yesterday we signed a nationally leading, historic violence prevention package that New Yorkers are learning from,” she said. “No governor has done as much as we have in such a short time to tackle the specter of crime and gun violence on our streets.”

“And we’re not just talking about the mass shootings in places like Buffalo,” she added. “We’re talking about everyday street crime.”

Levy added, “12% say, ‘I don’t know,’ so in New York City there are always some people who think the world is New York City.”

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