Loose Lips

Sneak Preview of City Paper/Kojo Nnamdi Show Poll!

Vincent Gray Leads City Paper Poll

Tomorrow's dead-tree edition of Washington City Paper will be chock full of news about next week's primary elections, especially the mayor's race between Vincent Gray and Adrian Fenty. One highlight: a poll sponsored by City Paper and WAMU-FM's The Kojo Nnamdi Show that looks at what D.C. voters think about the candidates and the city. The robo-call poll was done by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm based in North Carolina that's been getting some buzz this year for predicting results in other states.

Here's a preview of what we found:

  • In the mayor's race, Gray leads Fenty 50-39, with 9 percent undecided. Which means that even if Fenty won over every undecided voter in our survey, he'd still lose. Leo Alexander had 1 percent, as did Ernest Johnson. Sulaimon Brown had less than 1 percent.
  • In the D.C. Council chairman's race, Kwame Brown leads Vincent Orange, 48-27, with 18 percent undecided. Dorothy Douglas got 7 percent.

We also asked a few questions designed to go a little deeper than just who's winning and who's losing. Since Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee has been so polarizing, we asked how important she was to voters' decision about who to support. The answers:

  • 33 percent said Rhee was "crucial" to their decision.
  • 20 percent called her "very important."
  • 18 percent called her "somewhat important."
  • 29 percent said she was "not at all important."

One question looked at yet another polarizing figure in D.C. politics: former Mayor Marion Barry, now a Ward 8 councilmember.

  • 20 percent said Barry "should be respected as 'Mayor for Life' and celebrated as a civil rights hero."
  • 36 percent said Barry "should remain in politics as long as he likes and is re-elected."
  • 32 percent said Barry "should retire gracefully and go away from public life."
  • 7 percent said Barry "should still be in jail."
  • 5 percent weren't sure what they thought of him.

The poll was conducted Aug. 30-Sept. 1, surveying 802 registered Democrats with a margin of error of plus/minus 3.5 percent. (We chose registered voters, not likely voters, because of the low turnout mayoral elections usually bring and the District's population growth over the last two mayoral election cycles.) Respondents were 57 percent female, 43 percent male, and 56 percent black, 36 percent white, 1 percent Latino, 1 percent Asian, 2 percent "other" and 3 percent more than one race.

Pick up the paper tomorrow, and check back here on the website later today, for more from the poll. The Kojo Nnamdi Show's take is here.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Reid

    You're going to have to explain some of those conditions a little better. Why does the low turnout and change in demographics lead you to go with RV instead of LV? Gray probably would do even better with LV, but it's just an odd justification. Also, one percent Latino? What?

  • Tformation

    Please do explain the rv=vs=lv.

    Other than that, I sure happy with the results.

  • http://twitter.com/kcivey KCinDC

    Likely voter models are sometimes based on how often the person has voted recently. If there's lots of turnover in populations (as we have in DC), then such a model can exclude lots of newcomers who haven't been here for previous elections but still intend to vote.

  • CrankyEditorGuy

    It must be Gray is pulling the "Doesn't live in DC anymore" vote. He has sent me more crap and I left DC after 14 years a year ago (somewhere in their mailing system is my Montana address, which I find vaguely amusing).

  • Reid

    Ok, that makes sense. But what about the Latino number?

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  • Tformation

    CrankyEditorGuy your too late. Maybe since you DON'T live here anymore you missed all the articles about BOTH campaigns sending literature to people who now live in other state... New York for one. It's okay though. You can blame it on Gray if it makes you feel better.

    Thanks KCinDC for the help.

  • Samantha

    The Rhee factor is a sad commentary for Fenty . Students at Hardy are eating breakfast around the track schedules are a mess with some kids taking 2 to 3 PE classes . Class size is horiffic; unskilled and untrained replacement teachers being led by an incompotent principal who could not run a primary school . By the way , 1,500 Wilson studenta have NO BOOKS. Lastly, I hear that if you are an in-boundary student at Maury and your hue ia not cloroxed, the principal has to interview you and your parent to determine if a DC native of color is acceptable . Sounds like " Pre - Bolling v Sharpe ".Rheeform is classism and racism Stop this experiment on our children by the mad non educators Fenty and Rhee .

  • LOL

    Interesting and i want to know more. How did the question about Rhee correlate to votes? Does it mean that people said it mattered made them want to vote for Fenty or for Gray.

  • Southeast Resident

    It is funny to see Ms. Rhee campaigning for Fenty in Ward 3. You never see her East of the River campaigning or doing anything else. That is the problem. Ward 3 schools don't have the problem, Ward 8 schools do. She knows better than to bring her fake phony self East of the River. Hopefully after September 14th, her ticket can be punched one way out of town! Hey Vince Gray, an excellent replacement for her is working up in Harlem now, and should be brought to DC. As for Fenty sniffing around Obama, forget it! The Prez already has enough problems with the Republicans and doesn't need any more.

  • Tom

    I disagree with this methodology you can incorporate newly registered voters into a poll that uses likely voters based on past voting trends. The use of registered voters would lend to a higher percentage of newer voters who probably arent going to vote, considering average turnout in the mayoral elections over the past 3 cycles are around 37%

  • downtown rez

    Love the halo.
    It adds a certain bush era Je ne sais pas.

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  • Truth Hurts

    @drez: You're a trooper to have stuck with CP's site and tried to talk sense to those who won't listen.

    I stopped reading/posting about a month ago. I weigh in now only because I heard that CP was endorsing Fenty tonight. Won't make any difference to the outcome. But I wanted to say "I told you" to the CP peeps I used to admire.

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  • downtown rez

    Thanks, TH.
    Maybe we can meet up sometime after the election? I'd suggest we ask current CP employees to mediate, that way we can each preserve our privacy, if we so choose.

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  • DClocal

    I am appalled that this race has become about racism in typical DC fashion. I am sorry but a candidate who is publicly endorsed by the DC teachers union and who has stated that he would reinstate those underperforming dead weight teaches recently is deplorable. Another political cog does not count for reform change but more of the sub-status quo.

  • Truth Hurts

    @drez: Yeah, I think it'd be fun. Former CP employees are fine with me also. I suggest Debonis, Wemple or Cherkis to set it up. I trust them and they all know me. Lemme know.

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