NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fifty-two percent of New York City voters say Mayor Michael Bloomberg would make a good president but only 34 percent would vote for him, a poll released on Wednesday said.
By several measures, the Quinnipiac University poll showed less than majority support for a Bloomberg presidential campaign by voters who twice sent him to City Hall and still give him a 73 percent approval rating.
Just sixteen percent would like to see Bloomberg run for the White House, the poll said.
Political analysts see the billionaire mayor of New York as a potential independent candidate for president who could self-finance his campaign, although Bloomberg has repeatedly said he is not a candidate.
Bloomberg was a Democrat for years, became a Republican to run for mayor in 2001, and in June dropped his ties with any party, fueling ideas he was considering a presidential run as an independent.
The poll surveyed 1,162 registered voters in the city January 3-7 amid media coverage of the January 3 Iowa caucuses and the January 8 New Hampshire primaries in which the major parties began selecting their candidates for the November 4 general election.
By 52 percent to 39 percent, New York City voters said Bloomberg would make a good president.
But 58 percent said they would "probably not" or "definitely not" vote for him, while 34 percent told Quinnipiac pollsters they would "definitely" or "probably" vote for him.
Fifty-one percent of New York City voters said it was "very likely" or "somewhat likely" he will run versus 45 percent who said it was "not too likely" or "not likely at all."
Given a choice, 47 percent of New York City voters would like to see Bloomberg run for governor of the state of New York while 16 percent would like him to run for president. Thirty-two percent said "neither."
By a margin of 70 percent to 26 percent, New Yorkers said he would make a good governor.
Speculation that Bloomberg will run for president is good for the city, those surveyed said by a margin of 47 percent to 32 percent.
Reporting by Daniel Trotta, editing by Michelle Nichols and Vicki Allen