Poll shows Mayor Adams’ support sinking amid federal investigation

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By Dan Sears

Mayor Eric Adams is losing support among New York City residents, with more than half disapproving of his performance and more than 70% saying they believe he did something “illegal” or “unethical” during his 2021 campaign in his dealings with Turkey, according to a Marist poll released on Tuesday.

The numbers are the worst yet for Adams, a Democrat nearing the halfway point of his first term.

Marist conducted the poll more than a week after a federal investigation surrounding Adams’ campaign came into public view, when the FBI raided the home of Adams’ top fundraiser and days later seized the mayor’s electronic devices in public. Investigators are reportedly looking into potential illegal campaign donations from Turkish nationals — and whether the mayor or any of his associates offered official favors in return.

Neither Adams nor his campaign have been accused of wrongdoing, but the investigation has intensified scrutiny of his inner circle and campaign practices, with questions about the investigation dominating his weekly press conferences.

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Overall, the poll shows 54% of residents disapprove of how Adams’ performance as mayor, up more than double from 24% in March 2022.

In what is likely to be a particular concern for the mayor, the survey also found eroding support among his key base: 39% of Black residents said they disapproved of the job Adams is doing, compared to 21% last year, while 56% of Latino residents said they disapproved, double the 28% who said so last year.

The growing dissatisfaction among white residents was even more pronounced: 58% said they disapproved, versus 23% in last year’s poll.

Regarding the federal investigation, 33% of residents said they believed the mayor “has done something illegal” while 39% said he “has done something unethical, but not illegal.” Only 18% said he had done nothing wrong.

Evan Thies, a spokesperson for Adams’ campaign, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The mayor did not address the poll with reporters on Tuesday, but he projected confidence about his popularity in the face of the ongoing investigation.

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Adams said he recently started a legal defense fund because “everyday New Yorkers” were reaching out to him to offer their help. Adams has hired WilmerHale, a high-powered, international law firm, to represent him amid the investigation.

“I am just overwhelmed with gratitude for the people who have watched my work over all these years,” he said. “And they’re saying, ‘Listen, we want to be with you during this period of time.’”

The poll, which also surveyed New Yorkers across the state, found worsening approval ratings for Gov. Kathy Hochul.

More than half — or 56% of New Yorkers, including 43% of Democrats — said they do not think she is improving the way things work in Albany.

The poll was conducted between Nov. 13 and 15. It surveyed 1,780 adults in New York state, including more than 650 New York City residents. The survey comes with a margin of error of 3 percentage points for state residents polled and 4.9 percentage points for city residents.

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