Washington (CNN) - A new poll suggests that controversies surrounding the District of Columbia's new mayor are taking a toll in the eyes of voters.
Only 31 percent of registered voters in the nation's capital say they approve of the job new Mayor Vincent Gray is doing in office, with four in ten saying they disapprove and 29 percent unsure.
"Mayor Gray is off to a rocky start in the eyes of many voters. Recent controversies have clearly taken a toll on the new mayor's public standing," says Ron Faucheux, president of Clarus Research Group, a nonpartisan survey firm based in Washington, D.C. "Perceptions of the mayor's ethical standards and his handling of city job appointments are dragging him down."
Gray defeated Mayor Adrian Fenty in last summer's Democratic primary, and then easily won the November election in a city where Democrats dominate political contests. Gray beat Fenty by highlighting the mayor's negatives and calling for change.
"The problem Gray now faces is that his early months as mayor have defined him more negatively than positively. He needs to turn that around quickly, and he can only do that with action and results," adds Faucheux.
The Clarus poll was conducted March 21-22, with 500 D.C. registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.4 percent.
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