New Yorkers want City Hall out of Chick-fil-A controversy: Poll
Despite the controversy created by the views of Chick-fil-A's owner on gay marriage, New Yorkers say City Hall should not go out of its way to pluck the chain from Gotham.
In a poll released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University, 82% of New Yorkers said Dan Cathy's criticism of same-sex nups should not impact Chick-fil-A's ability to gain permits in the city.
The poll also found that 83% didn't want public officials discouraging New Yorkers from patronizing the restaurant.
"New Yorkers may disagree with what you say, but they defend your right to sell chicken," Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he wouldn't deny permits to Chick-fil-A, which has one location at an NYU dining hall, because doing so would violate free speech.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, however, has spearheaded an onlinepetition and campaign that declares the chain unwelcome in New York City.
Robert Y. Shapiro, a political-science professor at Columbia University, said the ooll numbers don't surprise him, because New Yorkers tend to separate personal beliefs from government intervention in business matters.
"People are interpreting this as a generic free speech issue," he said of the poll.
Although Quinn and New Yorkers disagree on the restaurant chain, she is their top pick for the next mayor.
About 29% of city residents would choose her to succeed Michael Bloomberg with 34% undecided and less than half choosing City Comptroller John Liu, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, former city comptroller Bill Thompson, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Manhattan Media president Tom Allon.
Shapiro said even though the Democratic primary is more than a year away, Quinn has popularity or side due to her recent wedding and activism.
"She has been visible on the political and personal front. People now are looking for cues and any information they can get on her," he said.