Mayoral Race Poll Brings High Number of Candidates, Undecided Voters into Focus

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HWCityHall500x334You’ve probably heard by now that the first publicly-released poll for next year’s mayor’s race says Sheila Dixon is the early front-runner in the race. But several other data points in the Baltimore Sun/University of Baltimore poll of nearly 400 voters tell a story about how far the race has to go before April 26. Here are three:

‘Undecided’ Leads On a related noteTwenty-six percent of the Democrats polled said they were undecided. By contrast, 24 percent said they would vote for Sheila Dixon. A lot of people still have to make up their minds. And for candidates who have yet to fundraise or pay for advertising, that’s good news.

Baker’s Dozen The race has 13 candidates, which is a lot. David Warnock is the last named candidate in the listed results with five percent. The “Other” line which follows represents seven other candidates. To win this race, standing out in a crowded field is going to be key, and Dixon’s name recognition alone is likely what fuels her early advantage.

Crisis Leadership In a hypothetical, the poll asked if voters would pull the trigger for current mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (She is not running). Seventy percent said no. Pollster Steve Raabe told the Baltimore Sun that Dixon is benefitting from SRB’s negatives, especially in the African-American community. But Raabe also said SRB is being judged solely for her actions during April’s unrest. With the trials of the officers in Freddie Gray’s death set to play out during election season, SRB’s ratings serve as a reminder that voters could be looking at candidates as potential leaders during a crisis in this election.


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