Mayor Eric Adams’ approval rating takes a hit in new Marist College poll.
Photo Credit: Benny Polatseck | Mayoral Photography Office
Mayor Eric Adams’ job approval has taken a major hit as the majority of New Yorkers believe his 2021 campaign did “something wrong” in its dealings with the Turkish government that are currently under federal investigation, a Tuesday Marist College poll found.
The results were based on the response of 1,780 New York State adults, 1,556 of whom are registered voters and 581 of whom are New York City registered voters, and was conducted between Nov.13th and 15th.
The poll shows that the majority of Big Apple residents — 54% — disapprove of the mayor’s job performance nearly two years into his tenure, while just 37% approve. That stands in sharp contrast to a March 2022 Marist poll, conducted early in Adams’ time in office, that found 61% of New Yorkers approved of his job performance and only 24% disapproved.
The Tuesday poll also revealed that over seven in 10 city residents think Adams’ 2021 mayoral campaign did something untoward in its associations with Turkey. The FBI is currently investigating whether those dealings involved the mayor’s campaign colluding with the Turkish government to accept illegal foreign donations through straw donors in exchange for political favors.
The mayor has not been accused of any wrongdoing. He and his surrogates have emphasized they are fully cooperating with the probe and his chief counsel Lisa Zornberg said she has seen “no indication” that he’s a target of the investigation.
The survey also contained bad news for Gov. Kathy Hochul, with 42% of New Yorkers giving her job performance a thumbs down, while just 41% approve of the job she has done. Additionally, 56% of state residents do not think Hochul is improving the way Albany works and 59% believe the quality of life in the Empire state has gotten worse over the past 12 months.
“There’s no good news for New York’s major officials,” said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Governor Hochul’s standing has deteriorated in the state, Mayor Adams faces a more negative constituency.”
A spokesperson for the mayor’s campaign declined to comment on the poll.
Evan Roth Smith, a pollster and founding partner of Slingshot Strategies, told amNewYork Metro that the poll’s findings around the FBI investigation into Adams’ campaign show that city voters do not believe the mayor’s initial denials of wrongdoing. He said that reality is reflected in Adams and his aides shifting their messaging from outright denials of doing anything wrong to emphasizing their cooperation with investigators.
“Voters see that right? People see that change in tone, from the strenuous denial to the sort of capitulation to the reality of the investigation,” Roth Smith said. “And I think [a lot of people] sense what that might mean, which is that something wrong was done.”
The survey comes as the mayor has endured a seemingly endless barrage of negative headlines over the past several months. Adams has taken hits from almost every direction stemming from the ongoing migrant crisis, several rounds of sizable budget cuts, a series of damning reports on the state of the Rikers Island jail complex and now the federal investigation into his campaign.
Roth Smith said that if the mayor appears to be giving more of his attention to the investigation than running the city, that could really hurt him politically.
“If people are dissatisfied with the direction of the city, and they’re watching the mayor be investigated, and they feel that he has taken his hands off the wheel of running government because he’s too focused on this investigation, and isn’t even trying to fix all the things that people want fixed, then that’s when the numbers go into the basement,” Roth Smith said.
Adams has insisted that he can focus on running the city and tending to the investigation at the same time. Yet, on Nov. 2 — the day the investigation first exploded into public view — the mayor suddenly pulled out of several meetings with White House officials and members of Congress in Washington D.C. to jet back to the city when FBI agents raided the home of his top fundraiser, Brianna Suggs.
The mayor’s plummeting numbers could spell trouble for his 2025 re-election bid as he is already garnering a growing list of potential challengers, including state Sens. Jessica Ramos (D-Queens) and Zellnor Myrie (D-Brooklyn) and Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. However, he is prepared, having already raised $2.5 million for his re-election.