Chart of the Day



This chart is by far the most interesting thing about the New York Times article it accompanies. It not only makes the obvious point that Rudy Giuliani was considerably better-liked by white New Yorkers than by black ones, but also the less obvious point that opinion trendlines among these two groups actually diverged quite a bit.

Throughout Giuliani’s first term, his popularity with white New Yorkers tended to decline slightly — the results, one supposes, of inevitable disillusionment. Giuliani’s African-American constituents, by contrast, were warming toward him considerably. He was never a popular figure among black New Yorkers, but did go way, way up in the opinion ratings as crime went down. Which leads to under-considered subject of the period between Giuliani’s second inauguration and 9/11 — during his first term, he turned around a lot of skeptics and cruised to re-election in 1997, but by 9/11 he’d managed to re-alienate a huge number of people. Notably, it sort of seemed as if he couldn’t handle the idea of liberals and blacks warming to him and was actually casting about for stupid controversies to wade into in order to get back in touch with his combative persona.