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Most NYC voters welcome 2016 Democratic Convention: poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Most New York City voters want to play host to the 2016 Democratic National Convention, according to a poll released on Tuesday, a week after a city police union raised safety concerns and urged organizers to shop for another venue.

The Quinnipiac University poll shows New York City voters welcome the event to nominate the party's presidential candidate by a ratio of 3-to-1. Republicans voters, however, were against the idea 52 percent to 38 percent.

"YIMBY - yes in my backyard" was the attitude of most Brooklyn voters when asked whether they would prefer it in Brooklyn or Manhattan with 54 percent favoring Brooklyn and 35 percent Manhattan. Brooklyn is perceived by two-thirds of voters citywide as the city's new "hip place," according to the telephone poll of 1,021 voters from Aug. 20-25.

On Aug. 26, the union of New York City police sergeants in full-page newspaper advertisements warned convention organizers against coming to the city under the leadership of Mayor Bill de Blasio, accusing him of returning it to the "bad old days of high crime" under a police force that is "understaffed, overworked and underpaid."

De Blasio, who dismissed the advertisements as an effort "to advance the union's position in contract negotiations," took office in January and is the city's most liberal leader in a generation.

Forty-four percent of those polled thought a New York convention would be a boost for de Blasio while 12 percent said it would hurt him. As far as the convention's effect on the city itself, 30 percent said it would be good for New York, 17 percent said it would be bad, and 46 percent said it makes no difference, the poll showed.

"Many New Yorkers like the idea that their mayor is turning into a national spokesman for liberalism," poll assistant director Maurice Carroll said in a press release. "Good for the city, good for him, they say."

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The Democratic National Committee is expected to decide on a site for the convention in late 2014 or early 2015.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg)

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