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NEW YORK – It’s no secret Mayor Bill de Blasio’s approval ratings are not something to brag about.

At the core of their disapproval, most New Yorkers seem to point at the Mayor’s handling of the city’s homeless population and overall quality of life concerns and issues.

But can recent remarks by the Mayor – who is already gearing up for a 2017 election – shift his numbers?

“They can threaten to take away money but they cannot tell us how to police our streets, and we are not going back to a broke policy of stop-and-frisk,” de Blasio said during a news conference on Monday. “That will never happen on my watch.”

Dorie Clark, a former communications director for Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential run, says at the very core de Blasio is striking at what New Yorker voters appear to be most sensitive about at the moment. And that is the election of president-elect Donald Trump and policies he has supported over the course of his campaign, namely stop-and-frisk and mass deportations of undocumented immigrants.

“If the wind is at his back with messaging and context I think he stands a good chance,” Clark said. “We’re at a time now when sensitivities are heightened about income inequality about the one percent verses the 99 percent and that’s a place where de Blasio excels and he can press that advantage.”

Phil Walzak, communications advisor, voiced a similar sentiment about de Blasio’s chances.
“A lot of the issues raised by the Trump campaign and the Trump presidency to be are really at odds with NYC values …,” Walzak said. “What they want is a mayor who stands up and fights for those values.”

De Blasio’s campaign says its example of the mayor standing up for the most vulnerable in New York. And this year of lobby votes will result in this incumbent attempting to redirect and turn the focus.

“When you’re an incumbent you’re running on your record,” Walzak said. “That’s a conversation the Mayor welcomes 101 percent. Record lows in crime, record highs in jobs. We’ve had to two straight years of rent freezes, universal pre-K, expanded minimum wage and paid sick leave.”