Under water: Mayor Adams’ approval rating plummets to historic depths in new poll

Mayor Eric Adams
Mayor Eric Adams.
Photo courtesy of Mayor Eric Adams’ Office

Mayor Eric Adams’ approval rating has plummeted to just 28%, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll the lowest job performance numbers of any Big Apple mayor since the institution began quizzing the city’s registered voters nearly 30 years ago.

Approximately 58% of city residents disapprove of the job Adams is doing, while 14% did not offer an opinion. The previous lowest approval rating for a New York City mayor found by Quinnipiac was for former Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2003, when he received 31% approval and 60% disapproval.

Adams’ approval numbers were the lowest he has received since he took office nearly two years ago, marking a troubling nadir close to the halfway point of his administration.

But the mayor’s office refuted the findings as “incorrect,” choosing instead to tout Adams’ achievements such as a drop in violent crime and stronger employment numbers.

“Incorrect polls come out every day, but the real numbers cannot be questioned,” said Fabien Levy, the Deputy Mayor for Communications. “Crime is down, jobs are up, and we continue to deliver billions of dollars into the pockets of working people. There will always be more work to do, but there is no question that this city is in a better place under Mayor Adams’ leadership.”

The Quinnipiac poll also looked at Adams’ personal traits, with many voters having a negative view. Only 40% believe the mayor has “strong leadership qualities,” while 55% think he does not, and just 32% see him as “honest and trustworthy”; 54% do not. 

‘No good news in this poll’

The survey of 1,297 self-identified registered city voters was conducted by phone between Nov. 30 and Dec. 4.

It found that Adams’ poor standing with city residents is driven by his deep budget cuts across city agencies, his handling of the migrant crisis, the federal investigation into his 2021 mayoral campaign, and recent allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman in 1993.

“There’s no good news for Mayor Adams in this poll,” Quinnipiac University Poll Assistant Director Mary Snow said in a statement. 

“Not only are voters giving him poor grades on the job he’s doing at City Hall; their views on his character have dimmed,” she added. “As the city faces across the board budget cuts while dealing with a migrant crisis, headlines about a federal investigation into the mayor’s 2021 campaign and an accusation of sexual assault leveled against him from 30 years ago are taking a toll.”

The only bloc Adams received a positive rating from was Black voters, with 48% giving his job performance a thumbs up. Meanwhile, 38% of Black voters gave him a thumbs down. 

Mayor Adams at budget announcement in the summer of 2023.
Mayor Eric Adams during Fiscal Year 2024 adopted budget rollout.Photo by Dean Moses

Budget cuts trouble respondents

The vast majority of New Yorkers — 83% — are either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about the impact of Adams’ recent $3.7 billion budget cuts, which are impacting city services like police officer recruitment, trash collection and pre-K seats. Adams says the move is necessary to balance the city’s budget by closing a $7.1 billion gap over the next fiscal year driven by massive spending on the migrant crisis.

Close to two-thirds of voters — 65% — support raising taxes on the wealthy to close the estimated budget shortfall, while 30% are against it.

“Generally, there’s not many things New Yorkers agree on, but they are in sync on a number of issues facing the city right now, including worrying about how the mayor’s budget cuts will affect their day to day lives,” Snow said. “When it comes to a solution, all but Republicans and Staten Island voters support raising taxes on the city’s wealthiest residents.”

When asked about it in the past, Adams has resisted calling for raising taxes on the wealthy, which would have to be done on the state level.

When it comes to the FBI investigation into the mayor’s 2021 campaign, over potential collusion between his operation and the Turkish government to receive illegal foreign donations, 52% of voters believe Adams either did something illegal or unethical. Meanwhile, 20% think he did nothing wrong and 28% did not weigh in.

Adams’ most recent dismal poll numbers follow another recent survey from Marist College where he did not do much better — 37% approval and 54% disapproval.