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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 02/03/2010

D.C. favors elected A.G.

In passing a bill to make the District's Attorney General an elected office, the D.C. Council yesterday was acting in line with the views of a majority of District residents. In a new Washington Post poll, 55 percent of Washingtonians say the city's attorney general ought to be elected, while a third say it should remain an appointed position.

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Q. As you may know, under District law, the mayor appoints the city's attorney general. Would you prefer that this position remain an appointed one or do you think it should be an elected office, with the person selected by District-wide vote?

SOURCE: Washington Post poll conducted Jan. 24-28 among a sample of 1,135 residents of Washington, D.C. The results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

The change draws majority support across partisan and ideological lines, though African American residents are more apt than whites to favor making the office an elected one (62 percent compared with 46 percent of whites).

Support for the change does not appear related to the recent kerfuffle between current Attorney General Peter Nickles and the city council. There is majority support for making it an elected office whether residents have a positive or negative take on Nickles or the city council.

Nickles himself does not register for a majority of the city's residents, nearly seven in 10 expressed no opinion about the Attorney General. Overall, 19 percent view him favorably, 13 percent unfavorably.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  06:00 AM ET, 02/03/2010

Categories:  D.C.

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