Many New York City voters and the GOP want Commissioner Ray Kelly as mayor
City's GOP pols hope to see Commissioner's hat in the ring
A new poll by the Daily News released yesterday has shown that a majority of New Yorkers strongly approve of the job Raymond Kelly is doing as Police Commissioner, whilst nearly half of them hope that he runs for mayor next year.
According to the new Daily News poll, which was compiled from 600 participants, Kelly’s job approval rating as Commissioner is 77%, he also has a high 63% favorability rating among city voters, the highest of anyone considering a mayoral run next year the Daily News wrote. The poll found that 46% of voters surveyed said Kelly should run for mayor on the GOP line, whilst 34% don’t want him to run and 20% claimed they aren’t sure.
The poll underlines that a mayoral race would not be easy prospect for Kelly, 70, in a city where Democrats have a 5-to-1 enrollment advantage over Republicans, but it also makes it clear that he has a real shot at winning City Hall.
'He could be a contender,' Doug Schoen, who surveyed 600 likely city voters, told the Daily News. 'He clearly is the last, best hope of the Republican Party at this point.'
More than 80% of city voters view the former Marine as a strong leader, 60% say he is independent and 78% say he’s a good manager. An impressive 87% said they believed he’d do an excellent or good job protecting the city from terrorism.
And though he’s closely tied to Mayor Bloomberg, 68% said Kelly would govern in a different style with a different approach.
'For a person who hasn’t done any campaigning — he’s just been doing his job as commissioner — that is really an extraordinarily positive poll for him,” said state GOP Chairman Ed Cox.
Kelly's numbers aren't all unadulterated good news, however. When it comes to city administration, community relations and civil liberties issues his numbers drop. The poll shows just 51% feel Kelly is in touch with the needs of people in their neighborhood, while half say he is insensitive to civil liberties.
The NYPD under his watch are facing growing criticism for their controversial stop-and-frisk policy, which overwhelmingly targets men of color, and also for their comprehensive surveillance of the Muslim community in the city. These widely discussed concerns may explain why 32% said having Kelly as mayor would hurt race relations in the city, and 41% said it would have no impact.
'It says he would have to demonstrate that he could really reach out and connect with ordinary people, something he's not had to do as police commissioner,' Schoen said. 'That's all soluble and addressable in a campaign should he mount one.'
Kelly's numbers plummet in other key areas. 53% percent said Kelly doesn’t know enough about issues beyond crime and terrorism. 27% feel he is versed enough on issues like education and jobs to be a good mayor. Only about a third of potential voters think Kelly would succeed at creating jobs, compared with 44% who say he would be fair or poor.
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