Bowser's approval ratings down for the first time in nearly a decade

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is responding after a new poll shows her approval rating has dropped below a majority for the first time in her nine-year tenure.

The Washington Post-Schar School poll sampled 655 D.C. residents and found that Mayor Bowser’s approval rating dropped across most demographic groups in the city, the Washington Post reported Monday. 

The poll found fewer than half of D.C. residents, or 46 percent, approved of Bowser’s overall job performance.

This is a decrease from 58 percent in a 2022 Washington Post poll and 67 percent in 2019 and 2017, according to the Washington Post.

READ MORE: ‘Enough is enough:’ Bowser reacts to ‘tragic’ fatal shooting of 3-year-old girl in DC

At a ribbon cutting for D.C.’s second Safe Commercial Corridor Hub in Anacostia on Monday, Mayor Bowser addressed the poll. 

The hubs are meant to connect residents to a range of city services, staffed by outreach teams from areas like behavioral health agencies and public safety.

"This is what I’ll say. I’ve always looked at polls for what they are, a snapshot. A report card of such in any point in time. We always work hard regardless of what polls say to deliver for the people of the District of Columbia," Mayor Bowser said. "That’s why we’re here [hub] talking about a service that we know we need. That’s why we made the investments along this corridor over the last ten years. That’s why we work very hard."

The Washington Post reported the poll shows residents gave the mayor negative ratings on her handling of crime, education, and street safety.

"This is what I say to my team every day. People feel better about crime, when crime is better," Bowser said. "Last year is better than this year. Later this year, we’re going to work to continue to work hard to hope that improves. But us all working together to improve our eco-system, the government doing its part, the community doing its part, that is what will continue to drive crime down."

Rhonda Hamilton lives in Ward 6. Hamilton threw her name in the hat for the D.C. Mayoral race in 2022 and now serves as the executive director of the healthy D.C. & Me Leadership Coalition.

Hamilton said she was not surprised at the poll results.

"This is a three-term mayor. She earned it, rightfully so. But the reality is we have 500,000 registered approximately. When you have 300,000 not showing up, it’s not really anything to celebrate. This is public office, and public office always is supposed to be about the people," she said.

READ MORE: Mayor Bowser defends trip to the Masters

Hamilton is hosting a town hall on May 16 at 6 p.m. at the Friendship Baptist Church in SW D.C. to address ongoing community issues.

"The crime we feel is not going to properly go away or properly be addressed until we offer root cause solutions," she said. "12-year-olds who are committing crimes in the middle of the day or carjackings, they lay their heads somewhere. There are housing issues in this town, so the reality of there being fractured foundations in the housing, it definitely is going to lead to behaviors that are not so becoming."

According to the Washington Post, residents gave positive remarks on the mayor’s efforts in downtown revitalization. Namely, the $500 million brokered to improve the Capitol One Arena.

The next election for D.C. mayor will be in 2026.