Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Referendum Phobia

As this morning's Q Poll underscores (via Liz), Mayor Mike has a good reason to stay away from a referendum on his wish to keep ahold of the reins of power. The folks, and even many who like the mayor, feel that the idea of changing term limits should be put to a vote: "Today's Q poll finds New York City voters are tilting against the idea of extending term limits so the mayor and two-thirds of Council members can seek re-election in 2009...Generally speaking, voters said they support term limits (62-29) and oppose extending the current eight-year limit to 12 years (36-56). When asked specifically whether they would support extending term limits so Bloomberg can run again, 51 percent said they oppose the idea, 45 percent said they favor it and 3 percent didn't know or had no opinion. By an 89-7 percent margin, voters said they wanted the term limits question to be settled by another referendum, not by the City Council."

So its not just a few malcontents, is it Mike? "The problem is that if this goes to a referendum, Bloomberg would probably lose - at least according to the Q poll's numbers (52-41)." All of which exacerbates the problem of doing this legislatively, particularly for those council members who have larger political ambitions. As Liz points out: "In today's poll, voters also said they oppose (60 - 31) extending term limits so their local City Council members can serve for more years."

And this is also becoming a real bone of contention in the black community-Calling Al Sharpton, "Where Are You?" Tom White, et al, beware: "The mayor's biggest dearth of support is among black voters, who oppose changing term limits 35-62. His strongest supporters are members of the last political party to which he belonged - the GOP. Republicans favor the mayor's term limits extension effort, 54-44."