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Poll: As NYers get to know Walcott more, they like him less

Eight months on the job has done little to boost Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott’s image in the eye of New Yorkers.

A Quinnipiac poll released today shows Walcott’s approval rating as essentially unchanged since he became chancellor in April. But his disapproval rating is way up.

According to the poll, 33 percent of New Yorkers approve of Walcott’s handling of his job. That’s up just 2 points from a similar poll in May, a month after he became chancellor.

During the same period, his disapproval rating swung from from 21 percent to 34 percent. His disapproval rating among public school parents rose from 32 percent to 45 percent.

It appears that many of the people who have made up their minds about Walcott since April have decided they do not approve of his job performance.

When he became chancellor after Cathie Black’s surprise resignation, Walcott was not well known among New Yorkers, even though he had been a deputy mayor for all of Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure. In May, 48 percent of respondents told Quinnipiac that they didn’t know enough about Walcott to assess his performance. That number is down to 33 percent on the most recent poll, signaling that Walcott’s frequent appearances in the press are paying off in public awareness.

Thirty-eight percent of parents now approve of Walcott’s performance, up from 30 percent in May. His overall approval rating is down 6 points since October and 4 points lower than ex-Chancellor Joel Klein’s approval rating in June 2010, the last time Quinnipiac polled about him.

Black, who was chancellor for three months between the two men, scored a 17 percent approval rating just before resigning in April — the lowest of any city official in the history of Quinnipiac polling.

The most recent poll found that 49 percent of New Yorkers approve of Bloomberg’s job performance. More than half of respondents said Bloomberg had mishandled the Occupy Wall Street protests, though.

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