Sandy Gives Elected Officials Sky High Approval Ratings Despite Rocky Performance

-By Warner Todd Huston

Now that Hurricane Sandy is gone and east coasters have had some time to assess the performance of their elected officials it seems as if it’s high marks all around. So says a new Quinnipiac University poll released on November 20.

Apparently the lionization that the media offered to Chris Christie for his crying jags and his bear hugs for President Obama have turned the trick for east coast residents.

The New Jersey Governor in particular came in for praise from residents hit by the super storm. But even New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and President Obama received high marks for their post Hurricane Sandy efforts.

When asked who did the better job, 36 percent of respondents said that Gov. Chris Christie did the best while 22 percent said Obama did well, and 15 percent said Governor Cuomo was best. Mayor Bloomberg came in at 12 percent on this question.

New York City residents gave Christie even higher marks.

A total of 89 percent of New York City voters say Christie’s response was “excellent” or “good,” with, 85 percent for Cuomo, 84 percent for Obama and 75 percent for Bloomberg.

The storm helped bring Mayor Bloomberg’s sagging approval ratings up to 56-34 percent, the Mayor’s highest ratings in two years.

New York residents appreciated Bloomberg’s “odd-even” gas rationing system, gave the Metropolitan Transportation Agency good marks, praised the city’s first responders, but some residents outside Manhattan felt that sector was given undue precedence for getting power restored.

The utility companies rated in for the worse approval ratings.

But there were also some bad signs in the poll. Respondents also fell heavily for the nonsense that “climate change” caused Sandy and that government should spend billions to bail everyone out from storm damage.

Quinnipiac found the following:

  • We are experiencing large storms such as Sandy and Irene more frequently because of climate change, voters say 78 – 17 percent, and climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels, voters say 62 – 29 percent.
  • The city, state and federal governments should spend billions of dollars to better protect New York City from futures storms, voters say 80 – 14 percent. When voters are asked if they support this spending if it reduces the cost of disruption and restoration, support rises to 88 – 6 percent.

The truth is, however, that global warming had nothing at all to do with the virulence of Hurricane Sandy. In fact, there seems to be no trend concerning hurricanes at all. Some years have seen more, some less, but there has been absolutely no constant upward trend of increased hurricane activity. None. Economic damage, however, Has increased simply because the country and the coasts have gotten wealthier and more developed.

Finally, it shows that conservatives have a lot of work to do to counter the idea that government should be everyone’s free ATM machine, destructive hurricanes or no.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

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Copyright Publius Forum 2001