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With poll numbers way down, Mayor Eric Adams strikes out in Washington, D.C. in quest for more help with asylum seeker crisis

Mayor Adams struggles to get asylum seeker crisis help in Washington
Mayor Adams struggles to get asylum seeker crisis help in Washington 03:00

NEW YORK -- Mayor Eric Adams was dialing for dollars in Washington on Thursday to bail the city out of the asylum seeker crisis.

This as a new poll shows his approval rating has dropped to records lows.

Adams is apparently no longer the apple of New Yorkers' eyes, and his trip to D.C., a make-up visit after abruptly leaving the capital after an FBI raid of his chief fundraiser's home, did little to convince voters he can bring home the bacon.

Reporters wanted to know Thursday why the man with the purse strings declined to meet with him.

In the annals of power politics, it was an embarrassing moment. Reporters followed the mayor to his car with a question about why he has been unable to get federal aid to deal with the asylum seeker crisis.

When asked if President Joe Biden specifically declining to meet with him is making it more difficult for him politically, Adams said, "This, guys, um, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza."

The mayor ducked into his car as a new poll shows his political future may hang on his ability to prevent the asylum seeker crisis from destroying the city. He needs state and federal aid do that.

Adams' approval rating has fallen to 28% -- the lowest recorded by Quinnipiac University since it started polling 27 years ago.

Voters are unhappy with just about everything:

  • 60% disapprove of his handing of crime
  • 52% don't like his school policies
  • 66% turn thumb's down on his budget skills
  • 66% say no go to his migrant policies

And experts say his ability to get re-elected could hang on dealing with the asylum seeker crisis.

When asked if Adams' political future is dependent on the largess from Washington and Albany, political strategist Basil Smikle said, "It's clear that it's incredibly important for the federal and state government to come to New York City's rescue for the mayor to have a platform to run for re-election."

For voters, it's the fear of budget cuts to police and school safety officers and other quality-of-life issues, and the fear that more cuts are in the pipeline.

"Right now, it looks like you have a mayor of the biggest city in the world that cannot find a way to get the governor and the president of the same party to come in and keep him from making these very significant budget cuts," Smikle said.

And while he didn't find a new pocket of cash in Washington this trip, Adams knows he has to find it.

"It's clear that you could just see of the poll numbers," he said. "Actually, a national government has taken a toll on New York City. New Yorkers are angry. I join that anger. This is not what we foresaw."

Deputy Mayor Fabien Levy dismissed the poll, insisting that crime is down and jobs are up.

"There is no question that this city is in a better place under Mayor Adams' leadership," Levy said.

For the record, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg had a 31% approval rating at about this time in his first term and he got elected two more times.

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