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Shock Poll: NYC Voters Want Low Crime Over Stop-And-Frisk Reform 2 To 1

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There were stunning findings in a new poll released Monday on crime in New York City. Keeping crime down is way more important to voters than reforming the NYPD's controversial stop-and-frisk program.

It could be buyers' remorse or just fear setting in about the future safety of the city, but with Election Day two weeks away city voters say safety is more important than certain privacy rights, CBS 2's Marcia Kramer reported.

And they are saying it in every community in the city – men and women, white black and Hispanic.

Upper East Side resident Jeff Laibly told Kramer on Monday he is all for keeping crime low because, "I don't know. It's made the city really nice. I'd rather see that continue."

Added another person, "Well, considering that there is no life without keeping crime low I think I prefer the self-evident answer."

"We live in a city with so many people that there's such an opportunity for crime at every corner and people need to be protected. The public deserves it," added Joseph Macalle of the Upper East Side.

Those three New Yorkers mirror the findings of a new Quinnipiac University poll, which reveals that public safety is uppermost on the minds of voters.

Asked which was more important, keeping crime rates down or reforming stop and frisk, 62 percent said keeping crime rates low and 30 percent said reforming stop and frisk.

Pollsters found the same results among men and women, Democrats and Republicans, and white, black and Hispanic voters

There also seems to be a softening on the public's position on the practice of stop and frisk, itself. Asked if the NYPD's controversial program is excessive and innocent people are being harassed, or if it is an acceptable way to keep the streets safe, 48 percent said excessive and 45 percent said acceptable.

Back on Sept. 19, 55 percent said it was excessive and 39 percent said it was acceptable.

"You could keep crime low by stopping the stop and frisk if you out the two together," said Ronnell Alexander of the Bronx.

Voters also said they think the next police commissioner should come from inside the ranks of the NYPD and that the next mayor should increase the number of charter schools, Kramer reported.

Shock Poll: NYC Voters Want Low Crime Over Stop-And-Frisk Reform 2 To 1

And on the $64,000 question of who they want to be the next mayor, 68 percent picked Democrat Bill de Blasio and 24 percent back Republican Joe Lhota.

"I can't conceive of anything -- any development, any eventuality -- that would win the mayoralty for Joe Lhota," Quinnipiac Maurice Carroll told WCBS 880's Rich Lamb.

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