Nearly a year after his electoral victory over a field of challengers that seemed to include every man, woman and child in the city, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee isn't quite as beloved as he once was.
A poll of 850 San Francisco voters commissioned by the San Francisco Police Officers Association and conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates found that Lee's job approval rating has slipped to 49 percent.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that nine percent of respondents said Lee was doing an "excellent" job, while 40 percent rated him "pretty good," 32 percent said "only fair," 12 percent rated him as "poor," and the remaining seven percent had no opinion.
Lee was polling above 60 percent last year as interim mayor and had yet to renege on his pledge not to run for a full term. However, he was still ultimately able to capture 61 percent of the vote in last November's ranked choice election--indicating that attacks on Lee's decision to go back on his word by his political opponents didn’t resonate with a large swath of the voting public.
In the 10 months since the election, much has happened to take some of the bloom off of Lee's rose.
The beginning of his tenure in City Hall' was marked by an effort to bring the oft-feuding arms of local government into one big, harmonious "city family." The strategy seemed to work for a while, especially when compared to the more confrontational style of Lee's predecessors Gavin Newsom and Willie Brown.
But then, as it so often does, the daily grind of city politics happened and Lee's reputation as humble above-the-fray technocrat began to tarnish.
Lee spent months pushing a deeply controversial stop-and-frisk plan that was eventually abandoned. His ambitious America's Cup real estate deal was dramatically scaled back while another waterfront real estate proposal, this time to develop the most expensive condos in the history of San Francisco along the Embarcadero, was met with fierce opposition.
There have been some triumphs, of course: the successful progress on the Golden State Warriors new waterfront arena, the development of a plan to reform the city's tax payroll tax and continuing redevelopment of the blighted mid-Market area. But the controversies have led the San Francisco Examiner to wonder if Lee's political "honeymoon" may finally be over.
This week's poll also looked at November's supervisor races. It found District One incumbent Eric Mar neck-and-neck in a close race with challenger David Lee while, over in District Seven, school board member Norman Yee leads Mike Garcia and F.X. Crowley to replaced the termed-out Sean Elsbernd.
The most interesting results came out of District Five, where Lee-appointed incumbent Christina Olgaue is out in front of a crowded field with 13 percent. However, the poll found that almost 50 percent of respondents couldn't name any candidates in the race. Meaning that if any of the other candidate could get some name recognition, they have a good shot a replacing the sitting supervisor, a feat that hasn't been accomplished since the implementation of ranked-choice voting in 2002.
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