Survey finds NOLA Mayor has 30 percent approval rating; Cantrell questions accuracy

Published: Jun. 15, 2023 at 10:29 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 16, 2023 at 11:15 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Mayor LaToya Cantrell says she doesn’t embrace a recent crime coalition survey that puts her approval rating at just 30 percent. Meanwhile, the head of the New Orleans Crime Coalition says the numbers don’t lie.

“We did not set out to have a battle with the mayor on this but we knew she would be unhappy with it,” Michael Cowan said.

Cowan is the chairman of the New Orleans Crime Coalition. He says the coalition’s recent survey of 800 residents, finds 72 percent of people are displeased with the direction the city is heading.

“It’s a terrible number and it’s hard to generate a hopeful future out of so many people feeling that way,” Cowan stated.

The survey finds Mayor Cantrell has a 24 percent approval rating for her handling of crime and just a 30 percent approval rating overall.

MORE: Mayor Cantrell’s approval rating down 18 points since last year, most residents say city is on the wrong track

“I will speak to the approval rating of this group that I don’t embrace at all, it’s not accurate at all and not only that it’s a disservice, it’s a disservice to the men and women that show up despite the negativity, the 800 people who responded to that out of 340 thousand people in this city, in addition to the visitor population, so I do not embrace that at all,” Cantrell said Thursday.

Cowan says Cantrell could learn something from the report.

“Ignoring facts is never a good basis for leadership,” Cowan said.

While the mayor questioned the validity of the survey, Dillard political analyst Robert Collins says it was conducted by a nationally respected pollster.

Plus, Collins says, “This poll is simply in line with every other poll that’s come out over the last few years so are all the polls wrong? All the polls can’t be wrong.”

Cantrell questions why only 800 residents were polled.

Cowan responds, “It suggests the person who is asking it doesn’t understand what a sample is, a random sample, that’s why you poll because you can tell things from smaller numbers if you actually do a random sample.”

The survey also found that respondents have a 50 percent approval of the job city council members are doing. District Attorney Jason Williams has a 37 percent approval rating. Interim Police Chief Michelle Woodfork is at 43 percent and Sheriff Susan Hutson is at 29 percent. But the lowest numbers are reserved for juvenile court judges. Their approval rating sits at just 17 percent.

Collins comments, “I think it does show that there’s a general dissatisfaction with this administration.”

The mayor wouldn’t comment on that number, except to say accountability breeds accountability.

The crime coalition conducted the survey by calling people on the phone. The coalition is made up of groups that include, Crimestoppers, The Metropolitan Crime Commission, The Police and Justice Foundation and The Business Council of New Orleans.

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