San Francisco Standard Poll Reveals DA Jenkins is Only City Hall Leader With Positive Approval Rating, Voters Move Further Toward the Center

Job approval for other leaders in City Hall—particularly Mayor Breed—declined from spring 2022 levels. Crime caught up with homelessness as the top problem the city needs to fix, according to voters. Support for tough-on-crime policies is high, and half of voters surveyed say they have become less progressive because of homelessness and crime.

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The San Francisco Standard Voter Poll focusing on the November election and other city issues found that appointed District Attorney Brooke Jenkins is the only leader in City Hall with a positive approval rating. Jenkins also leads the district attorney race with 28% of likely voters saying they plan to cast their ballot for her; however, a whopping 58% remain undecided.

Mayor London Breed's approval rating slipped precipitously to just 36%—the majority of voters, 64%, disapprove of her performance. Dissatisfaction with local government also extends to the Board of Supervisors (77% disapprove), the police department (59% disapprove) and the public school system (69% disapprove). A majority of voters say they feel they can trust the local government "only some of the time."

"Our poll shows clearly that voters are fed up with what they perceive to be city leaders' inability to address fundamental problems like crime, homelessness and high housing costs," said Jonathan Weber, Editor in Chief of The San Francisco Standard. "San Franciscans still love their city, but they're sad and angry about what they see as its decline, and they want their leaders to stop playing political games and start solving problems."

Safety concerns appear to be driving much of this dissatisfaction—64% of voters feel less safe than they did a year ago and have pinpointed homelessness and crime as their primary concerns. Seventy-one percent of those voters say that seeing homeless people makes them feel unsafe, and 46% of respondents feel less safe on Muni and BART now than they did last year.

Broad support for law-and-order policies points to a shift away from progressive political views amid concerns about homelessness and crime. Half of respondents say they've become less progressive as a result of the homelessness, crime and drug crises.

Sixty-nine percent of voters say the city should charge drug dealers selling fentanyl with murder if the user dies. Respondents are nevertheless supportive of some rehabilitative efforts: Our poll shows broad favorability for intervention/neighborhood watch teams and forced treatment programs. 

Despite wide concerns over criminal justice issues, satisfaction with the city is only slightly lower than The Standard's last poll in May 2022.

The Standard commissioned Embold Research, a nonpartisan, nonpolitical arm of Change Research, to conduct this poll, which surveyed 944 of San Francisco's registered voters online between October 1 - 7, 2022. The findings are representative of the city's voter population within a margin of error of +/- 3.9%. 

For more extensive results and demographic breakdowns, please refer to The San Francisco Standard's poll dashboard.

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Tommy DePaoli
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Related Files

SF Standard_Fall Poll Press Release.pdf

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