New Yorkers Like the NYPD

There’s an emerging political consensus that elected Democrats’ high tolerance for urban lawlessness won’t play in the suburbs. But it’s not playing so well among urbanites, either. A new poll of New Yorkers finds that just like everywhere else, public safety is a priority.

Echelon Insights conducted the survey of New York City adult residents in July for the Manhattan Institute. The poll finds that a majority—53% of respondents—approve of the New York City Police Department.

More broadly, the survey suggests that America’s biggest city may now be home to a rising number of budding conservatives who’ve been mugged by the reality of leftist governance. Michael Hendrix of the Manhattan Institute reports additional results:

The state of the economy and public safety are the two leading worries for New Yorkers. This is unsurprising, given recent events, but nevertheless a confirmation that protests and lockdowns have made their mark on Gotham’s residents and will likely shape the next mayoral election in 2021. Pocketbook issues also reign, with residents worried about the cost of living and housing as well as how much they pay in taxes. New Yorkers do not believe that city services are worth what they pay in taxes and would rather shrink the size of government than raise taxes.

New Yorkers would largely support a pragmatic, growth-oriented agenda for the city. That includes making government leaner and more efficient as well as reducing regulations that stand in the way of new businesses or housing. Many New Yorkers support more choice in education as well as selective public schools. Amid cries to defund the police, New Yorkers still want uniformed officers engaging in community-based policing. They also favor giving judges the freedom to factor in the risk of re-offense in offering bail, something that the state’s recent changes to its bail law disallow.

Prioritizing public safety and prosperity would certainly represent a change in New York City governance, and that seems to be on the mind of some voters. Slightly more city residents disapproved than approved of the job Mayor Bill do Blasio is doing. The survey finds the mayor is currently running 15 percentage points behind the approval rating of the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Mr. de Blasio calls himself a “social Democrat” and now aspires to the popularity of a bureaucrat.


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