The web is buzzing with the results of a new independent poll of the race for mayor. The poll, conducted independently by Clarus Research Group, has challenger Vincent Gray with a slim 3-point lead over incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty. In a sampling of 501 registered Democrats, Gray comes away with 39%, Fenty with 36%, Leo Alexander with 2%, and a whopping 22% undecided. Among those considered likely voters, Gray opens up a larger lead, 41% to 36%. The margin of error for this poll was +/- 4.4%.
Clarus also polled on the Council Chair race, and the results are roughly what was expected. Kwame Brown leads Vincent Orange 39% to 29%, with 29% undecided.
There are no real surprises in the poll, but if you’re a DC politics junkie it is fascinating stuff. We learn that most people in the city aren’t familiar with District Attorney General Peter Nickles–and those who do know him like him, 27% favorable, 18% unfavorable. MPD Chief Lanier gets 80% favorable, and Rhee is more divisive, as expected, 50% favorable, 35% unfavorable.
What does it all mean? The race is close. Super close. We already knew that. The numbers on Rhee are split down the middle, again not a surprise. The Nickles numbers show what us bloggers and commentators often forget–most people don’t read the same things we read. I bet you’d see similar numbers if you polled about Ron Moten. We’re going to see more ads about Fenty’s “results” and we’ll see more hits by Gray on Fenty’s personality and ‘cronyism.’ I’d venture a guess though that with Nickles’ numbers where they are, most people either don’t care or don’t know about the alleged cronyism. In essence, this poll merely confirmed what we all thought, this is going to be an extremely close election.