Nearly three-quarters of New York City voters — 74 percent — think crime is a very serious problem, the highest ever recorded since the Quinnipiac College Poll first asked the question in 1999.
“This is a very high number. It’s eye-popping,” Quinnipiac Poll analyst Mary Snow told. “The number shows the urgency of the issue. The number is so different from what we’ve seen in the past.”
Until now, the highest number of voters thinking crime was a very serious problem was 50 percent back in January 2016, Quinnipiac reports.
Crime ranks as the most urgent issue facing the Big Apple at 46 percent, making it by far the top issue followed by affordable housing (14 percent) and homelessness (9 percent), the survey of 1,343 registered voters queried between Feb. 3-7 said.
Roughly 4 out of 10 voters — 43 percent — say New York City is less safe compared to other big cities, 36 percent say about as safe and 16 percent say more safe.
The 43 percent of voters saying the city is less safe than other big cities also is the highest level recorded since Quinnipiac first asked the question in 2003. Perhaps just as troubling, 2/3 of voters — 65 percent — said they personally worry about being the victim of a crime, compared to 35 percent who didn’t. That’s also the highest level of worry since Quinnipiac first asked the question in April 1999 when 57 percent expressed concern about being a victim of crime compared to 42 percent who didn’t.
“In the wake of two NYPD officers being shot and killed on duty among multiple high profile violent crimes, the mandate and urgency in New York City is clear: reducing crime is the number one issue in New York City,” Snow said.
Meanwhile, voters said homelessness has spiraled out of control — with 83 percent saying homelessness is a very serious problem compared to the previous high of 73 percent in 2017.Compared to a few years ago, 68 percent of voters say they have seen more homeless people on the streets, in parks and on the subway.
Overall, voters are sour on current conditions in the Big Apple.
Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of New Yorkers said they are either somewhat dissatisfied (28 percent) or very dissatisfied (36 percent) with the way things are going in the city today, the highest number of people very dissatisfied since July 2003 — less than two years after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Only one-third of voters were either very satisfied (5 percent) or somewhat satisfied (28 percent) with the state of Gotham. But voters were also bullish that Mayor Eric Adams will curb the increase in crime.
Nearly two third of voters — 64 percent — said they are optimistic about the next four years with Adams as mayor, compared to 27 percent who didn’t with the rest undecided. With roughly five weeks on the job, 46 percent of respondents approved of the job Adams is doing compared to 27 percent who didn’t while the other 27 percent who did not have an opinion.
A solid majority of voters — 58 percent — are either very confident (14 percent) or somewhat confident (44 percent) that Adams will reduce gun violence in the city while 39 percent are not so confident (22 percent) or not confident at all (17 percent).
And voters are split on the mayor’s plan to combat gun violence, with 29 percent saying the plan strikes the right balance between law enforcement and crime prevention programs, 30 percent saying it relies too much on law enforcement, and 27 percent saying it relies too much on crime prevention programs.
Voters give Adams high marks for his personal traits — 68 percent said he has strong leadership qualities, 57 percent said he understands the problems of people like them and 54 percent said he is trustworthy.
Sixty-one percent of respondents back his response to the coronavirus pandemic compared to 28 percent who disapproved.
Fifty-seven percent of voters approve of his handling of community-police relations — almost double the 29 percent who didn’t.
About half of voters approve his overall handling of crime — 49 percent — while 35 percent disapprove with the rest undecided. As for his handling of public schools, 44 percent expressed support and 31 percent disapproved.
A total of 1,343 city registered voters were surveyed from February 3-7. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.