From Susan Milligan, Globe Staff
New Yorkers love their mayor, Michael Bloomberg, giving him astronomically high marks for his job in City Hall.
And that's just where they want him to stay.
Bloomberg -- a former Democrat who became a Republican to run for mayor and recently left the GOP to become an Independent -- has convinced 66 percent of New Yorkers that he is doing a ``good'' or an ``excellent'' job, according to a poll released yesterday by WNBC and the Poughkeepsie-based Marist Institute of Public Opinion. A paltry eight percent of those polled said Bloomberg was doing a ``poor'' job.
While Bloomberg's job approval rating has been consistently high since he was re-elected in 2005, the combined ``good'' and ``excellent'' ratings are the highest he has earned since he took office, according to the poll.
But those numbers don't translate -- yet -- into support for a rumored presidential run by the billionaire mayor. A full 54 percent of New York voters don't want him to run for president in 2008, and 64 percent don't think he could win as an independent candidate.
Put head-to-head-to-head against two fellow New York pols -- former Republican New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton -- Bloomberg fares poorly, according to the poll. Clinton drew 49 percent of the vote in a hypothetical three-way contest, while Giuliani took 22 percent and Bloomberg 21 percent of the vote.
That's in spite of the fact that more New Yorkers rank Bloomberg a better mayor than those who rank Giuliani superior: 52 percent think Bloomberg has been a better mayor, and 39 percent believe Giuliani did a better job.
Bloomberg ``is still in the tease phase,'' said Marist Institute pollster Lee Miringoff, explaining why New Yorkers arent yet urging their popular mayor to run for president. ``Sometimes, you need to be more clear about your intentions'' to attract support for a national run, he said.
Bloomberg set off wide speculation of a presidential run last month, when he announced in California that he was ditching the GOP and becoming an independent. Bloomberg has insisted he intends to stay mayor, but has not categorically ruled out a run.
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