New York's Bloomberg Loses Republican Support Over Mosque Stand, Poll Says

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has maintained the 49 percent approval rating he received in a Marist Poll last month, while losing support among Republicans and gaining favor with Democrats over his backing for an Islamic community center near Ground Zero.

The latest survey, released today, showed that of those city residents who favor the project 57 percent approve of Bloomberg’s performance compared with 43 percent of the project’s opponents who also think positively of the mayor.

This corresponded to an 8 percentage-point increase in Democratic support to 55 percent for him, from 47 percent in an Aug. 10 Marist survey. Among Republicans, who the poll said were more likely to oppose the center, Bloomberg’s approval rating has fallen to 36 percent from 55 percent last month. Almost half of registered city voters, 48 percent, disapprove of his handling of the situation, while 42 percent approve.

“Bloomberg’s position hasn’t gone unnoticed among New Yorkers,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Poughkeepsie, New York-based Marist Institute for Public Opinion. “His approval rating has remained the same except he’s doing better among Democrats and he’s lost 19 points in his approval rating among Republicans.”

Most respondents, 46 percent, said the city is headed in the right direction, an improvement from the 44 percent who thought that way last month. The poll showed 44 percent think the mayor is leading the city astray, compared with 47 percent who felt that way in August.

The telephone survey is based on the responses of 616 New York City registered voters, from Sept. 2 through Sept. 7, to produce results within an error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

To contact the reporters on this story: Henry Goldman in New York at hgoldman@bloomberg.net

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