KING 5 Poll: Seattle not sold on Mayor McGinn

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on February 21, 2012 at 7:28 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 21 at 6:37 PM

SEATTLE -- Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn gave his third state of the city address on Tuesday, attended mostly by enthusiastic city workers and department heads.

More than two years since he took office, McGinn enjoys the approval of just one-third of Seattle citizens, according to a new KING 5 News poll.

Fifty percent of respondents said they disapprove of the job the mayor is doing, compared with 33 percent who approved and 18 percent who said they were not sure.

Male respondents were more likely to have a definite opinion about McGinn: Just 10 percent said they were unsure about the mayor's job performance, with 51 percent saying they disapproved and 38 percent saying they approved.

Among women, 27 percent said they approved of the mayor's performance, while 48 percent disapproved. A quarter of women said they were unsure how to rate McGinn's performance.

McGinn's strongest approval rating came from voters in the 18 to 34 range, with 39 percent of this group saying they approved of the mayor's job performance. Voters between 18 and 49 gave McGinn a 35 percent approval rating, while voters 50 and over only gave him a 27 percent approval rating.

McGinn's approval rating trailed that of the Seattle City Council (42 percent) and public schools superintendent Susan Enfield (47 percent).

But the mayor had a higher approval rating than Seattle Police Chief John Diaz (30 percent) and the city's school board (30 percent).

McGinn is scheduled to deliver his annual state of the city address on Tuesday at 2 p.m.

An attorney and environmental campaigner, McGinn survived a three-way primary in August 2009 that saw incumbent mayor Greg Nickels fail to make it through to the runoff election. In the November general election, he came from behind to beat businessman Joe Mallahan, winning 51 percent of the vote.

As mayor, McGinn has championed public transit and bicycling initiatives, as well an effort to extend late-night hours for bars and nightclubs. His handling of the downtown viaduct replacement project angered some supporters who thought McGinn's championing of a public referendum conflicted with a campaign commitment not to oppose plans to replace the aging structure with a deep bore tunnel.

Problems with the Seattle Police Department have plagued McGinn's tenure as well, with the Justice Department releasing a highly critical report in December citing SPD's excessive use of force and poor treatment of minority communities.

A new basketball and hockey arena proposal unveiled last week by McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine could be a boon to the mayor. The same KING 5 poll found that more than half of Seattleites are very or somewhat enthusiastic about the prospect of pro-basketball returning to the city.

CORRECTION: An earlier version misreported Mayor McGinn's approval among young voters. The version above has been corrected (5th paragraph).

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