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NYC Mayoral Race: Recent Poll Shows New Yorker's Biggest Concern Is Crime, More Than Half Of Those Surveyed In Favor Of Increasing NYPD Budget

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- With daily attacks on the subway and a surge in gun violence, a new poll shows public safety is the numebr one concern for New York City voters.

Two commuters fell victim to unprovoked attacks on the subway Monday night as Mayor Bill de Blasio and the MTA engaged in another round of the blame game.

A 23-year-old was stabbed while exiting a C train at the Kingston-Throop station in Brooklyn. Another person was slashed in the face in Harlem.

Is it any wonder that New Yorkers are fed up?

"Who's running the city?" one New Yorker said.

"Clearly our government is dysfunctional. I wish they would get their act together," another person said.

With the city in the midst of a heated mayoral primary, New Yorkers are clearly ready to ditch the old act and raise the curtain on a fresh face to make them feel safe, and it's showing up in recent polls.

As CBS2's Marcia Kramer reports, respondents to a poll commissioned by New Yorkers for a Better Future said crime was the number one issue, and more than 60% of those surveyed said they were in favor of increasing the NYPD budget and hiring more cops.

"I'm the only candidate that's in this race that can actually tell you the experience of blowing steel dust out of your nostrils after the end of your day," said mayoral candidate Eric Adams.

That reference is to Adams once working as a transit cop in the subway. In the post-George Floyd, "defund the cops" world, Adams has made much of the fact he does not support reducing the NYPD budget.

A new PIX11/Emerson College poll shows that strategy seems to be working. He has emerged at the top of the heap by a slim margin

The poll has Adams at 18%, Scott Stringer and Andrew Yang tied at 15%, Kathryn Garcia at 8%, Dianne Morales at 6%, Shaun Donovan at 5%, Ray McGuire at 4%, Maya Wiley at 4% and 23% still undecided with a margin of error plus or minus 3.8%.

Among the top four contenders, three -- Adams, Yang and Garcia -- are against defunding the police.

Stringer's stance is more nuanced, trying to keep his progressive base by calling for cutting the NYPD budget by $1 billion, but it's over four years.

"As comptroller, the waste at the police department is like the waste at every agency," he said. "There are too many outside contracts. Overtime is rampant."

McGuire also doesn't want to defund the cops.

Morales, Wiley and Donovan are demanding cuts of various amounts.

There's just under five weeks until the election -- still plenty of time for any of the candidates to move the needle and still plenty of time for other events to shape the race.

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