Poll: Mayor Eric Adams’ approval rating among NYC voters sinks to historic 28% low

NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams’ job approval rating is at a historic low as he continues to face political fallout from the migrant crisis and an FBI investigation into his campaign, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The Quinnipiac University survey, which quizzed 1,297 registered voters in the city between Nov. 30 and this past Monday, found 58% of those polled disapprove of the job Adams is doing as the Big Apple’s chief executive. When contrasted with the 28% of voters who gave Adams’ performance a thumbs up in the analysis, that’s the lowest approval rating a mayor has scored in a Quinnipiac survey since the university started polling New Yorkers in 1996.

Prior to Adams’ polling pitfall, the worst approval rating recorded by Quinnipiac for a New York City mayor was the negative 31%-60% mark Michael Bloomberg netted in July 2003. Quinnipiac’s last poll, released this past February, gave Adams a negative 37%-43% approval, indicating his standing with voters has only since deteriorated further.

The new poll found Adams’ historically abysmal rating is being fueled by voters’ negative view of his push to enact deep city government budget cuts as well as his handling of the migrant crisis, homelessness, education and even public safety, his signature issue, with 60% of those polled disapproving of his public safety agenda. Also contributing to the unfavorable rating is voters’ poor opinion of the mayor’s personal traits, with 54% saying they do not consider him honest and trustworthy, compared to 32% who do, the poll found.

The poll includes registered Republicans, who view the Democratic mayor’s performance especially poorly. But things aren’t a lot better among registered Democrats, who gave Adams a negative 35%-49% rating, per the poll.

Quinnipiac’s damning findings come as Adams faces an FBI investigation into whether the Turkish government funneled illegal cash into his 2021 campaign’s coffers as well as an accusation of sexual assault leveled against him by a former Transit Police Department colleague.

Though Adams has not been accused of wrongdoing in the FBI probe and vehemently denies the assault claim, the two issues are impacting the way city voters view the mayor, according to Quinnipiac.

On the FBI probe front, the poll says 22% of voters believe Adams did something illegal, while 30% think he did something unethical but not illegal. Just 20% believe he did nothing wrong.

On the sexual assault that allegedly occurred in 1993, 32% of those surveyed think Adams is not being truthful in denying the incident ever happened, while 35% believe he’s telling the truth, according to the poll.

“There’s no good news for Mayor Adams in this poll. Not only are voters giving him poor grades on the job he’s doing at City Hall, their views on his character have dimmed,” said Mary Snow, a Quinnipiac University poll assistant director. “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 rough poll for Adams comes as a growing number of progressive Democrats, including former City Comptroller Scott Stringer, are weighing launching primary challenges against the mayor in the 2025 election.

The only category of voters who gave Adams a net positive rating in the new poll was Black New Yorkers, who offered him a 48%-38% approval-disapproval ratio.

Fabien Levy, Adams’ deputy mayor of communications, sought to downplay the negative findings, saying in a statement that “incorrect polls come out every day.”

“The real numbers cannot be questioned: Crime is down, jobs are up, and we continue to deliver billions of dollars into the pockets of working people,” Levy said. Though overall major felonies in the city are down by 0.7% as compared to the same time last year, some crime categories have spiked dramatically, like grand auto larcenies, which were up by 16.8% as of this week, according to NYPD data.

“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,” Levy added.

Those New Yorkers polled by Quinnipiac beg to differ. Only 4% of those surveyed said they are “very satisfied” with “the way things are going in New York City today.”

Some of the worst marks Adams got in the new poll focus on his handling of the city budget and homelessness.

Just 22% of voters approve of the way Adams is overseeing city spending, while 66% disapprove, as he seeks to slash the budgets of all municipal agencies, including the NYPD. The mayor has said the belt-tightening is necessary to offset the hundreds of millions of dollars his administration is spending on housing and providing services for tens of thousands of newly arrived migrants.

On homelessness, Adams had 72% of voters disapprove of his approach to tackling it, while 22% approved. One of Adams’ key initiatives for addressing homelessness has been enacting a controversial policy to involuntarily hospitalize those deemed to be a danger to themselves.

Adams — who occasionally quips about wondering when the “hard part” of being mayor starts — isn’t convincing New Yorkers that he has the right skills for the job, either. Of those surveyed, 55% said Adams doesn’t have strong leadership qualities, while 40% told the pollsters he does.