Mayor Chuck Reed’s Approval Rating Slips in Recent Opinion Poll

Rising crime rates and controversy surrounding San Jose’s Measure B pension reform efforts may have cut into Mayor Chuck Reed’s approval rating, which according to the latest opinion poll is listed at 55 percent.

SurveyUSA found a steep drop from the 67 percent job approval rating Reed garnered leading up to his 2010 re-election. Still, it’s a far cry from the dismal 23 percent approval rating survey participants gave Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who’s had to grapple with public distrust kicked up from the Occupy Oakland movement and some of the worst crime rates in the nation. San Francisco mayor Ed Lee held a 61 percent approval rating.

Reed’s a favorite among conservatives, apparently. Three-quarters of those surveyed gave him thumbs up.

As for the overall direction of the city: 54 percent of San Jose residents surveyed reported confidence in the city’s future compared to only 11 percent of those in Oakland with that view. Crime worried 34 percent of San Jose survey-takers. Another 17 percent said they’re bummed out about the ridiculously steep cost of owning a home here.

The SurveyUSA phone survey, commissioned by KPIX-TV in San Francisco, asked 500 San Jose adults their thoughts about Reed and their outlook of the city. There was a 4.5 percent margin of error.

Reed doesn’t pay much attention to opinion polls, says David Low, a policy analyst in the mayor’s office.

“Mayor Reed does not typically comment on approval rating polls, particularly since we don’t have all of the details on how the poll was conducted,” Low says. “And, regardless, his top concern is overcoming our city’s fiscal challenges, so we can restore core services to the community.”

Reed’s endorsement will be highly sought in next year’s mayoral election, most likely by Councilmembers Sam Liccardo and Madison Nguyen, or even an outsider like Pat Waite. But the value of the mayor’s backing could correspond to his ratings.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. He gave no thought to downtown.  He has no passion for downtown once so ever!  He focused all the growth in the outlying area like Northern and Southern part of San Jose, not downtown.  Downtown can use all the growth it can get to be a real deal and remain that way.

  2. That survey is way skewed in the Mayors Favor . The questions are posed in such a way , to favor his position . In an Unbiased survey His ratings would be alot Lower than they present now .

  3. If a mayor’s assessment of his own popularity can be discerned from his public behavior, and I think it can, Mayor Reed’s favor with the public has dropped precipitously in the past half year. What happened to the confident leader who was eager to publicly dismiss a homicide as “an anomaly,” who could be counted on to deride the warnings of dedicated police professionals as “scare tactics,” and quick to assure the public that his policies were skimming the “gravy” from bloated salaries, not cutting into their own public safety?

    Where, I ask you, is mayor big mouth now? What, I ask you, benefit have we received from his high-paid public safety consultant (could it be that Salcido is Spanish for gravy?)?

    If you’ve seen the latest crime stats, you know the facts on the ground… and Chuck’s up in his office, seemingly without a word to say. What a putz.

  4. Another Mayor Reed number…….6 month totals…..SJPD applicants 900….SFPD applicants +4000……WHY? Great job Mayor Reed, I wish you could be mayor forever

  5. What happened Davey Low? Was Reed’s regular paid shill Vossbrink busy taking another survey at the empty ANA airport lounge?
    Humminah humminah.

  6. The most salient point to make about the mayor’s slippage in public favor is that he is now a lame duck mayor. 

    March-April in 2013 is the time when council members (and others) have to decide about running for mayor who will be elected in either the June 2014 primary or the November 2014 election.  If only two candidates run, then the decision to replace the mayor could be made as soon as 14 months from now.

    As candidates announce for mayor, they will begin to distance themselves from the cloddish aspects of Mayor Reed’s administration and policies.  Then you’ll see more negativity in his public ratings as distinctions emerge from candidates who will rush to avoid his endorsement.

    Plus, remember that he will leave no legacy behind in terms of structures or policies, other than what not to do to police and firefighters.  There will be nothing to name for him except his divisive style…the Reed Way Of Divisiveness.

    • Like it or not, those potential mayorial candidates, Liccardo, Nguyen and Constant, hitched their wagons to Reed, and will forever be connected to him.  Kinda like the way Measure B is stuck to all employees. 

      The only thing that any non-Council mayorial hopeful needs to ask of voters is, “Were the last 8 years good for you?”. 

      I’ll add this:  Was San Jose a good place to be that last 6 years?  How about crime? Graffiti?  Gangs?  Did you get the level of services that you had come to expect before Reed? 

      Notice how really nothing has improved under Reed at all, not even the fiscal health of the City, with yet another %5.5M general fund shortfall this next fiscal year, and this despite the layoff and attrition of at least 1500 employees. 

      Ahhh, but he is opening up the purse strings enough now to even propose forgiving a $600,000 loan (SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS) to Downtown College Prep, a charter school. Whaaa?!  (see Mayor’s 2013-14 Budget Targets Public Safety Wages, Restoring City Services for $600k gift proposal)

  7. “Reed doesn’t pay much attention to opinion polls, says David Low, a policy analyst in the mayor’s office.” Really???? He is constantly bringing up polls during city council meetings. That is a bunch of garbage, David Low.

    • Exactly!  Why would KPIX conduct such a poll if not commissioned to do one?  This had to originate from either the Mayor’s Office, or from a group that handles the mayor, such as his consultants or the Chamber of Commerce.

      This was to gauge public opinion in order to shape policy.  Uh-oh…People are raving mad about the rise in crime, better address this in the next budget message.  Presto… millions available for salary bonuses to retain police, restore the gang prevention unit, more crime prevention, open the (useless) substation, hire more officers, address homeless encampments with over $27M of additional added services restored. 

      Just how did this happen, and now all of the sudden?  Because the public is only now questioning why. 

      The public needs to continue to press this more of their councilmembers, because someone needs to answer why this is improving now, when nothing of Measure B has been implimented on current employees. 

      Retirement costs will consume 1/4 of the budget in 2017??  Citizens should demand to see the numbers and calculations, because this is not making sense.