New York Mayor Bill de Blasio may have won the election in a landslide last year, but it’s not clear that voters are equally enthusiastic about all of his policies. A new Quinnipiac University poll found that only 40 percent of city voters support the Mayor’s plan to hike taxes on the rich to pay for an expansion of pre-K offerings. This stands in contrast to the 49 percent who supported Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plans to find the money for the program within the existing state budget. The statewide numbers were even more lopsided, with only 37 percent supporting de Blasio’s approach. Yet despite the relative unpopularity of his plan, de Blasio’s team is putting a positive spin on the poll, as the WSJ reports:
Those results appear at odds with one of the central arguments that Mr. de Blasio has used to make the case for his plan–that he has the support of the public, both in the city and statewide, to raise taxes on the wealthy. In his state of the city address Monday, for example, the mayor suggested there is a “vast societal consensus” for his proposed tax increase.A spokeswoman for Mr. de Blasio, Marti Adams, said that “today’s poll shows that New Yorkers from across the political spectrum want universal pre-K and a real plan to provide it.”
In many ways, New York is the ultimate test case for the divisions between the two wings of the Democratic Party. The state is run by a high-profile moderate Democrat in Governor Cuomo, while its largest city and cultural center is run by Bill de Blasio, who, along with Elizabeth Warren, has become the national face of the party’s liberal wing.On this issue, at least, voters in the city and the state at large seem to be siding with the Governor. This doesn’t mean that Bill de Blasio’s agenda is doomed—this is only one issue and the pre-K idea itself remains very popular. But at the very least this could be an early warning sign that de Blasio’s soak the rich approach is raising some eyebrows even in deep-blue NYC.