OAKLAND -- Oakland's crime epidemic has helped render Mayor Jean Quan by far the least popular big city mayor in the Bay Area.
Polling data released this week by KPIX found that only 23 percent of Oakland residents approved of Quan's job performance. Sixty percent disapproved.
By contrast San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed's job approval rating stood at 55 percent and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee's was at 61 percent.
The polling was conducted by SurveyUSA from Feb. 28 through March 3 with 500 adults queried in each city. The margins of error in the three cities ranged from 4.3 to 4.5 percentage points.
In a prepared statement, Quan said current crime rates are "totally unacceptable" and reiterated recent steps to fight crime, including the recent hiring of famed police Chief William Bratton as a consultant. The mayor said she otherwise generally refrains from commenting on poll numbers in part because "any poll can be skewed by different methodologies."
Major crime in Oakland has risen sharply in both of Quan's two years as mayor. Burglaries surged by 43 percent last year and robberies jumped by 24 percent.
Seventy-one percent of Oakland residents listed crime as the city's top problem, compared to 34 percent in San Jose and 13 percent in San Francisco.
The poll also found that 65 percent of Oakland residents thought the city was on the wrong track and only 11 percent said that quality of life in the city was improving. In San Jose, 54 percent of residents said their city was on the right track.
For Quan, the polling results wasn't as bad as the 78 percent negative rating she had shortly after the Occupy Oakland fiasco in late 2011. But it does show an overall deterioration of support since last spring when a poll conducted by Oakland-based political consultant Larry Tramutola found that 41 percent of voters viewed the mayor favorably and 51 percent viewed her unfavorably.
"I don't know if it's that she's not well liked or it's just overall frustration," Tramutola said of the mayor's poor polling figures.
If there's a bright side for Quan, it's that Oakland has few big name political figures, and no prominent public figure has stepped forward to challenge her in 2014. Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who has won two citywide elections, said last year that she won't challenge Quan for mayor.
"I don't think she is really vulnerable," Tramutola said. "Vulnerability is going to come from someone credible being willing to step up and do it, and I don't see anybody like that."
Contact Matthew Artz at 510-208-6435.