Latinos and the Next New York City Mayor’s Race

tu sabor latino

Tu Sabor Latino Restaurant in Manhattan. (Steve and Sarah Emry/flickr)

By Angelo Falcón, President of the National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP).

A NY1 News/Marist College poll released yesterday found a racially divided electorate in New York City. On their preferences for the next Democratic nomination for New York City Mayor, Mayor Bloomberg’s approval rating and the directions the city is going, significant differences along racial-ethnic lines emerged. Latinos, along with Blacks, found themselves taking different positions than the city’s White registered voters.

2012 Democratic Candidate for Mayor? Latino Democratic registered voters joined Blacks and Whites in preferring Council Speaker Christine Quinn as the candidate for New York City Mayor they would support in next year’s Democratic primary. Close to a third (29 percent) of Latinos supported Quinn, compared to 27 percent of Blacks and 41 percent of Whites. However, as these levels of support indicate, her level of support among people of color is significantly lower than among Whites. Click here to see full results on this question.

The only candidate of color listed in the survey, Bill Thompson, who is Black, came in a weak second overall, far behind Quinn. He did best among Black Democrats (24 percent), but did not get more support than Quinn (27 percent) among Blacks. Thompson received support from only 6 percent of Whites and 11 percent of Latinos. This low level of support for Thompson as the only person of color listed as a candidate by Blacks and Latinos is surprising since he is the only candidate listed who has run for Mayor four years ago and did well then with voters of color.

Latinos were most undecided about this race (34 percent). Blacks (28 percent) and Whites (24 percent) were significantly less undecided.

Impact of a Bloomberg Endorsement? Asked what impact Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement of a mayoral candidate would have on their decision, majorities of Latino Democratic registered voters (55 percent) and Blacks (52 percent) stated that it would make them less likely to vote for that candidate. White Democratic voters were more divided on the Bloomberg endorsement impact, with 33 percent stating that it would make them more likely to vote for the candidate, 31 percent less likely, 26 percent that it would make no difference, and 10 percent unsure. Click here to see full results on this question.

Bloomberg Approval Rating and Handling of Budget? Mayor Bloomberg’s overall approval rating divided along racial-ethnic lines. Almost two-thirds of Latinos (65 percent) thought the Mayor’s performance had been only fair or poor, as did 58 percent of Blacks. In terms of the Mayor’s worst rating, poor, 34 percent of Latinos gave him this worst rating, compared to 15 percent each of Whites and Blacks. In contrast, 56 percent of Whites thought the Mayor’s performance of excellent or good. Click here to see full results on this question.

Since they are most affected by changes in the city’s budget, the majority of Latinos (58 percent) and Blacks (56 percent) disapproved of Mayor’s Bloomberg’s handling of the budget. On the other hand, 60 percent of Whites approved. Click here to see full results on this question.

Bloomberg Legacy? Asked about Mayor Bloombergs legacy, since this is his last term in office, those surveyed were divided. A third (33 percent) of Latinos thought it was below average of one of the worst, compared to 27 percent of Blacks and only 14 percent of Whites. Those thinking he would be known as one of the best mayors or above average, were 50 percent of Whites, 37 percent of Latinos and 27 percent of Blacks. Click here to see full results on this question.

Direction of the City? A majority of Latinos (54 percent) thought the city was going in the wrong direction, while 61 percent of Whites thought it was going in the right direction. Blacks were divided, with 47 percent thinking it is going in the wrong direction, and 44 percent in the right direction. Click here to see full results on this question.

This NY1 News/Marist College Poll was conducted on April 10-17, 2012 of 886 New York residents. Of these, 671 were registered voters and 402 registered Democrats. Of the registered voters, 25 percent were Latino, 23 percent Black and 40 percent White. Although the Marist Poll refers to African-Americans, I refer instead to Blacks to be more inclusive of Caribbean Blacks and Africans who are part of this category.

Angelo Falcón is President of the National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP) and edits The NiLP Network on Latino Issues. He can be contacted at

Fi2W is supported by the New York Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with additional support from the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation and the Sirus Fund.

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