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Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s job-approval rating rose to its highest since November after he mobilized emergency services and ordered evacuations before Hurricane Irene, a Quinnipiac Poll reported.
Bloomberg’s performance was backed by 54 percent of those surveyed the first week of September, up from 45 percent in July. His rating was 40 percent in May and as high as 55 percent on Nov. 23, according to the poll.
“Maybe it was the decisive preparations for Irene,” Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in Hamden, Connecticut, said in a statement. “The critics cried ‘overkill!’ But most people agreed with the mayor, ‘better safe than sorry.’”
Bloomberg ordered mandatory evacuation for about 370,000 people in Coney Island, the Rockaways, Battery Park City and other neighborhoods before Irene passed through New York Aug. 27 and 28 as a tropical storm. Damage was less severe for the city than the power disruptions and floods in upstate New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont.
Eighty-six percent of city voters approved of Bloomberg’s preparations, which included daily news briefings, opening more than 90 shelters on higher ground and evacuating residents including hospital patients from low-lying areas.
Bloomberg’s disapproval rating fell as low as 39 percent in March, his lowest score in a Quinnipiac poll in eight years. The mayor was criticized for not declaring a snow emergency in a post-Christmas blizzard that dumped 20 inches of snow and left some streets unplowed for a week.
The latest survey consisted of telephone interviews with 1,282 registered voters from Sept. 1-6. It has an error margin of 2.7 percentage points, the poll stated in a news release.
The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.
--Editors: Jerry Hart, Mark Schoifet
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