Citing Crime Bill, Cropp Rebuffs Poll
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Linda W. Cropp dismissed yesterday a Washington Post poll that found she trails Adrian M. Fenty in the race for D.C. mayor and said the results would have been different had the survey been conducted after the D.C. Council approved a crime bill last week.
Cropp (D), the council chairman, said Fenty (D-Ward 4) was out of touch with residents because he was the only council member to oppose the crime legislation. The bill, which came after a city crime emergency declaration, imposes a 10 p.m. youth curfew, gives police immediate access to some confidential juvenile records and installs surveillance cameras in neighborhoods.
"Mr. Fenty does not even recognize that there is a neighborhood crime problem," Cropp said. "Obviously, he's not talking to the community.
"When the real poll is taken September 12" -- the date of the Democratic primary -- Cropp said, "we will be victorious. If you took [the poll] last week . . . it would have had a different read."
The poll was conducted between July 13 and 18, a day before the council's crime bill vote. It showed Fenty leading Cropp 39 to 31 percent among Democratic voters, and his lead is 10 percentage points among those considered most likely to vote.
The telephone poll of 1,350 randomly sampled D.C. adults included 1,030 registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for questions asked of all voters, and of 4.5 percentage points for those who are considered most likely to vote in the Democratic primary.
Cropp, 58, made her first public comment about the poll during a morning news conference in Northwest Washington to highlight her plan to revamp the city's job training and employment programs.
Fenty, 35, said yesterday that he voted against the crime bill because he thought it would not have a significant impact. He characterized the council as having a "knee-jerk" reaction and said he would have preferred his colleagues, who reconvened from summer recess for the vote, to have worked harder to craft a better bill.
"People know that with the pressure to act, the council moved quickly to adopt feel-good measures," Fenty said, "instead of acknowledging that the government has not done the work it should have done and committed to do so in the future."
But Cropp said Fenty did not offer a countermeasure. "Instead of just saying, 'No,' you have to come up with a solution to solve the problem," she said.
Meanwhile, council member Vincent C. Gray (D-Ward 7) said he expected poll, which showed him slightly ahead of Kathy Patterson (D-Ward 3) in the race to replace Cropp as chairman, would give him a boost among undecided voters.
Among likely voters, Gray is leading Patterson 43 to 38 percent, with 19 percent undecided, according to the poll.
Several former city officials endorsed Gray yesterday, including Sterling Tucker, the city's first elected council chairman; one-time chairman Arrington Dixon; and former council members Frank Smith, H.R. Crawford and Sandy Allen.
Patterson would not comment, said campaign manager Eric Marshall. He said Patterson has endorsements from council member Sharon Ambrose (D-Ward 6) and former council members Bill Lightfoot, Betty Ann Kane and John Ray.