2010 D.C. mayor's race poll

Key

*--less than 0.5 percent
RV--Registered voters
LV--Likely voters (who say they are "absolutely certain" to vote)
All--All responses

This Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Aug. 19-26, 2010, among a random sample of 1,277 adult residents of the District of Columbia. Interviews were conducted on conventional and cellular phones, and in English and Spanish. The poll included interviews with 780 registered Democrats and adults who said they plan to register as Democrats before the primary election. The results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points; the error margin is four points for registered voters and five points for likely voters. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt SRBI, Inc of New York, NY.

1. Are you registered to vote at your present address, or not?

             Yes     No     No opinion
8/26/10       72     27          *

Are you registered as (a Democrat), (a Republican), an independent or something else? (A significant number of respondents said they were registered with the Statehood Green Party)

             Democrat   Republican   Independent   Statehood Green   Something else   No opinion
8/26/10 RV      74           7           15               *                1               3
1/28/10 RV      76           8           14               *                *               1

2. (If not registered.) Do you plan to register to vote before the upcoming District primary elections on September 14, or not?

          Yes     No     No opinion 
8/26/10    23     74          3

(If respondent plans to register.) Will you register as a Democrat, a Republican, an independent or what?

             Democrat   Republican   Independent   Statehood Green   Something else   No opinion
8/26/10         60           4           28               *                *               8

3. (If respondent is a registered Democrat or plans to register as a Democrat before the Sept. 14 primary.) Generally speaking, how interested are you in the current primary campaign for mayor in D.C.: would you say you are very interested, fairly interested, not too interested or not interested at all?

           ------Interested-----    ------Not interested------    
           NET    Very    Fairly    NET   Not too   Not at all   No opinion
8/26/10     86     55       31       14       8          6            1
7/18/06     82     50       32       17      12          5            1

(In 2006 question was phrased as "in the current campaign for mayor in D.C.")

(If respondent is a registered Democrat.) 4. How would you rate the chances that you will vote in the Democratic primary for mayor -- are you absolutely certain to vote, very likely to vote, probably will vote, are the chances 50-50, or don't you think you will vote in that election?

            Certain to vote   Likely   Probably   50/50   Don't think they will vote   No opinion
8/26/10           65            13         6        9                 6                     *
1/28/10           65            14         7        8                 4                     1
7/18/06           64            17         8        6                 4                     *
8/29/02           66            12         9        8                 4                     1

(If respondent says they're certain or likely to vote.) 5. Do you think you'll (vote in person at your polling place on Election Day), OR (vote before Election Day by early voting or mail-in absentee ballot)?

          Election Day in-person    Early/absentee    No opinion
8/26/10             86                    11               3

(If respondent is a registered Democrat) 6. Suppose the primary election for mayor were held today, and the candidates were (Adrian Fenty), (Vincent Gray), (Leo Alexander), (Ernest Johnson) and (Sulaimon Brown). For whom would you vote? Which one are you leaning toward right now? (Significant numbers of respondents said they'd vote for a different candidate or would not vote.)

Net leaned vote:

                 8/26/10 RV    8/26/10 LV    1/28/10 RV
          Gray       49            53            35
         Fenty       36            36            31
         Brown        1             2             3
       Peebles       NA            NA             2
     Alexander        1             2             2
       Johnson        *             0             1
         Other        *             *             3
Would not vote        2            NA             4
    No opinion       11             6            20

(If respondent named a candidate) Will you definitely vote for (CANDIDATE), or is there a chance you could change your mind and vote for someone else? (If respondent said there was a chance they chould change their mind.) Is there a good chance you'll change your mind, or would you say it's pretty unlikely?

Among registered Democrats, leaned Fenty/Gray supporters

                                    -- Chance change mind --
         Definitely will vote for   NET     Good    Unlikely    No opinion
Fenty               62               34      18        17            4
Gray                68               29      15        14            3

7. Thinking about his candidacy for mayor so far, how enthusiastic are you about (CANDIDATE) -- very enthusiastic, fairly enthusiastic, not too enthusiastic, or not enthusiastic at all?

          ----Enthusiastic----   ---Not enthusiastic---    
          NET    Very   Fairly   NET    Not too  At all  No opinion
Fenty      78     27      51      21       16       4         1
Gray       90     48      43       9        7       1         1

8. (If respondent is a registered Democrat.) Thinking about the race for mayor, which is more important to you in choosing a candidate for Mayor, (their personal qualities such as leadership style) or (their positions on specific issues)? (Though not provided as an option, many respondents said both were important.)

           Personal qualities   Positions on issues   Both   No opinion
8/26/10            25                    61            13         2

9. (If respondent is a registered Democrat.) Please tell me how important each of the following issues are in deciding how you'll vote for mayor next month. Is the issue of (READ ITEM) extremely important in determining your vote; very important; fairly important, or not too important?

                          ----- Important ------   --- Not important ----    
                          NET   Extremely   Very   NET   Fairly   Not too   No opinion
District public schools    89      48        41     11      7         3          1 
Crime                      86      41        45     14     13         1          *
The economy and jobs       85      42        43     15     13         2          *
The District budget        80      31        49     19     15         5          1
Growth and development     71      27        43     28     22         6          1
HIV and AIDS policy        70      31        39     29     20        10          1
Transportation policy      70      29        42     28     20         8          1

(If respondent named at least one issue "extremely important.") Which of these would you say is the most important issue in deciding how you'll vote for mayor? (Though not provided as an option, a significant number of respondents said all of the issues were equally important.)

                            8/26/10
District public schools       32
The economy and jobs          24
Crime                         13
The District budget            6
Growth and development         5
Transportation policy          4
H.I.V. and AIDS policy         4
All equally important         12
No opinion                     1

10. (If respondent is a registered Democrat.) Please tell me whether the following statement applies to Mayor Fenty or not:

                                                        Yes   No   No opinion
He has brought needed change to the District             67   28        5
He understands the problems of people like you           45   45       10
He is honest and trustworthy                             39   46       14
He is willing to listen to different points of view      44   47        9

Trends among registered Democrats

He has brought needed change to the District

          Yes   No   No opinion 
8/26/10    67   28        5
1/28/10    52   42        6

He understands the problems of people like you

          Yes   No   No opinion 
8/26/10    45   45       10
1/28/10    44   48        8

He is honest and trustworthy

          Yes   No   No opinion 
8/26/10    39   46       14
1/28/10    41   46       13

He is willing to listen to different points of view

          Yes   No   No opinion 
8/26/10    44   47        9
1/28/10    47   44       10

11. (If respondent is a registered Democrat.) Please tell me whether the following statement applies to Chairman Gray or not:

                                                        Yes   No   No opinion
He understands the problems of people like you           61   16       23
He is honest and trustworthy                             61   13       26
He is willing to listen to different points of view      71    9       19

12. (If respondent is a registered Democrat.) Regardless of how you may vote, do you think (Fenty) or (Gray): (Though not provided as options, some respondents said "both" or "neither")

                                                Fenty   Gray   Both   Neither   No opinion
              would be a more effective leader    37     48      2        2         11
has a clearer vision for the District's future    39     42      5        4         11
    has campaigned harder in your neighborhood    44     27      8       14          7

13. (If respondent is a registered Democrat.) Have you personally been contacted by a representative of the [CANDIDATE] campaign, asking you for your support, or not? This includes contacts in person, by phone, or by e-mail or text message.

        Yes   No   No opinion 
Fenty    50   49        1
Gray     30   69        1

(If respondent has been contacted by a campaign.) Was the contact from the (Fenty/Gray) campaign more (helpful) or more (annoying)? (Though not provided as options, some respondents said "both" or "neither")

         Helpful   Annoying    Both   Neither   No opinion 
Fenty      34         43         2      18           4
Gray       67         16         1      14           3

(If respondent is a registered Democrat.) So far in this campaign, do you think the [CANDIDATE] campaign has been mainly (attacking the other side) or mainly (addressing the issues)?

                     Attacking the other side   Addressing the issues   No opinion      
The Fenty campaign              38                        41                21
The Gray campaign               33                        47                21

14. (If respondent is a registered voter.) What is the biggest problem facing the District today, the one you want the next mayor to work the hardest to solve?

                                                               8/26/10 RV  7/18/06 RV  5/19/02 RV   2/7/00 RV
                                   Improving schools/education     34          24          19          19

                                                ECONOMIC (NET)     29           5          14          14
                   Creating more jobs/employment opportunities     21           3           9           8
                Economic development/improving quality of life      8           2           3           4
                                         Improve tax structure      *           1           2           2

                                                Crime/violence     14          38          22          19
   Housing costs/Low income housing/more or affordable housing      4          16          15           2

                                               SERVICES (NET):      4           5          11          18
                                       Improving city services      4           4           8          14
                                       Improve social services     NA           1           3           4

      Improve city government/increase efficiency/less corrupt      2           1           3           4
                              Balanced budget/improve finances      2           1           1           2
                                          Poverty/homelessness      1           2           1           3
Want D.C. to be self-governing/have representation in Congress      1           1           3           2
                                      Traffic/parking problems      1           1           2           2
      Terrorism/Homeland Security/Protecting city from attacks      *           1           2          NA
                  Improving race relations/equal opportunities      *           *           2           4
                      Attracting/keeping residents in the city     NA           0           *           1
                         Cooperating/working with D.C. council     NA           0           *           1
                    Improving the image of the city nationally     NA           0           *           1
                                                 Miscellaneous      4           2           2           3
                                                       Nothing     NA           0           *           5
                                                    No opinion      2           3           4           3

15. Do you think things in the District of Columbia are generally going in the right direction, or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?

            Right direction   Wrong track   Neither   No opinion
8/26/10 RV        59              29            8          4
8/26/10           56              29            9          6
1/28/10           52              29           11          8  
1/8/08            56              31            8          5  
7/18/06           42              46            7          5
5/19/02           54              33            8          5
2/7/00            69              22            6          3
8/27/98           47              46           NA          7
5/18/98           31              58            4          6
5/4/97            20              71            6          2
5/19/96           14              78           NA          2
2/29/96           16              80           NA          4
3/02/95           15              80           NA          5
12/21/93          11              83           NA          6
7/86              42              47           NA         12

16. In general, would you say the quality of life in the District of Columbia is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?

                Better    Worse    About the same    No opinion
8/26/10 RV        44        17           37               2
8/26/10 All       42        18           37               4
7/18/06 RV        35        27           37               1
7/18/06 All       32        28           37               2
5/19/02 RV        41        19           38               2  
5/19/02 All       41        19           39               2  
2/7/00            52         7           38               2  
5/4/97            11        47           41               1
2/29/96            8        56           33               3
9/94              10        45           44               2
12/93              5        55           38               2
1/92               5        66           28               1
12/84             49        17           28               6

17. (If respondent is a registered voter.) Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Adrian Fenty is handling his job as Mayor? Is that approve/disapprove strongly or just somewhat?

              --------Approve--------    -------Disapprove-------    
              NET  Strongly  Somewhat    NET   Somewhat  Strongly    No opinion
8/26/10 RV     47     15        32        46      19        27            8
1/28/10 RV     40     13        27        53      20        33            7
1/28/10        42     13        29        49      20        29            9
1/8/08 RV      72     31        41        22      11        11            6
1/8/08         72     32        40        21      11        10            7

Compare to Anthony Williams:

              --------Approve--------    -------Disapprove-------    
              NET  Strongly  Somewhat    NET   Somewhat  Strongly    No opinion
7/18/06 RV     54     20        34        40      16        24            6
5/19/02 RV     64     24        40        29      11        18            7
5/19/02 All    64     22        42        28      11        17            8
2/7/00         77     36        40        17       9         7            7

Compare to Marion Barry:

              --------Approve--------    -------Disapprove-------    
              NET  Strongly  Somewhat    NET   Somewhat  Strongly    No opinion
5/18/98        35     16        19        52      17        34           14
5/4/97         31     13        19        63      21        41            6
5/19/96        50     25        25        47      21        26            3
2/29/96        48     19        29        45      19        26            7
3/02/95        58     28        30        27      13        14           15
5/89           28     NA        NA        62      NA        NA           10
8/21/87        44     NA        NA        41      NA        NA           15
7/86           50     NA        NA        38      NA        NA           12

Compare to Sharon Pratt Kelly:

              --------Approve--------    -------Disapprove-------    
              NET  Strongly  Somewhat    NET   Somewhat  Strongly    No opinion
12/21/93       30      7        23        67      32        35            3
2/2/92         54     20        34        42      19        23            4

18. (If respondent is a registered voter.) Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the D.C. Council is handling its job?

            ----------Approve----------    --------Disapprove--------     
            NET    Strongly    Somewhat    NET   Somewhat    Strongly    No opinion
8/26/10 RV   53       13          40        35      20          14           12
1/28/10 RV   52       12          40        37      21          16           11
1/28/10      52       12          40        35      20          15           13
1/8/08  RV   56       13          43        30      16          14           14
1/8/08       56       11          45        29      16          13           15
5/19/02 RV   57       10          47        34      23          12            9
5/19/02      56        9          46        34      23          11           10
2/7/00  RV   50       11          39        42      26          15            9
2/7/00       50       11          39        40      24          16           10
5/4/97       38        9          29        51      28          23           11
2/2/92       53       12          41        38      24          14            9
7/86         49       NA          NA        25      NA          NA           26

19. (If respondent is a registered voter.) Compared to four years ago, would you say [ITEM] has gotten (better), gotten (worse) or stayed about the same?

                                       Better   Worse   Same   No opinion
  The quality of life in the District    46      19      31         4
   The quality of D.C. public schools    43      22      23        12
Your own family's financial situation    26      27      45         2

20. (If respondent is a registered voter.) For each of the following people, please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of that person, or perhaps you don't know enough to say.

                        ------- Favorable -------   ------ Unfavorable ------    
                        NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   No opinion
Vincent Gray             60      27         32       16      12          5          24
Adrian Fenty             51      17         34       42      17         24           7
Eleanor Holmes Norton    78      53         26       11       6          5          11

Trends:

Vincent Gray (January 2010 poll asked about "District Council Chairman Vincent Gray")

               ------- Favorable -------   ------ Unfavorable ------     
               NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   No opinion
8/26/10 RV      60      27         32       16      12          5          24
1/28/10 RV      48      17         31       13       8          4          36
1/28/10         43      16         27       13       8          5          44
1/8/08 RV       43      NA         NA       11      NA         NA          46
1/8/08          39      NA         NA        9      NA         NA          52

Adrian Fenty

               ------- Favorable -------   ------ Unfavorable ------     
               NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   No opinion
8/26/10 RV      51      17         34       42      17         24           7
7/18/06 RV      59      NA         NA       16      NA         NA          25

Eleanor Holmes Norton

               ------- Favorable -------   ------ Unfavorable ------     
               NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   No opinion
8/26/10 RV      78      53         26       11       6          5          11
5/19/02 RV      85      NA         NA        9      NA         NA           6
5/19/02         80      NA         NA        8      NA         NA          12
2/7/00  RV      87      NA         NA        8      NA         NA           5
2/7/00          82      NA         NA        7      NA         NA          11
5/18/98         77      NA         NA        7      NA         NA          16
5/4/97          81      NA         NA        8      NA         NA          12
2/29/96         77      NA         NA        8      NA         NA          15
2/95            74      NA         NA        8      NA         NA          18
6/94            78      NA         NA        8      NA         NA          14
1/92            69      NA         NA       12      NA         NA          19

21. (If respondent is a registered voter.) How much would you say Fenty has accomplished in his term as mayor: a great deal, a good amount, not too much or nothing at all?

           --------- Positive ---------    ------- Negative -------    
           NET  Great deal  Good amount    NET    Not much  Nothing   No opinion
8/26/10     64      16          48          32       26        6           4

(If respondent says Fenty has accomplished not much/nothing.) Who would you say deserves most of the blame for that, (Fenty himself) or (the city council)? (Though not provided as options, significant numbers of respondents said "both" or "neither.")

          Fenty himself   City council   Both    Neither   No opinion
8/26/10        72              11         15        1           2

22. (If respondent is a registered voter.) Overall, would you say Fenty cares more about serving poor and lower income people, middle income people, upper income people, or would you say he cares equally about serving all people?

                       8/26/10
Poor and lower income     5
        Middle income    16
         Upper income    44
          All equally    29
           No opinion     7

Compare to Sharon Pratt Kelly, among all adults:

                       12/21/93   2/2/92
Poor and lower income      5         3
        Middle income     14        18
         Upper income     33        25
          All equally     38        50
                 None      5        NA
           No opinion      5         4

23. (If respondent is a registered voter.) And would you say Fenty cares more about (black) residents of the District, (white) residents, or would you say he cares equally about serving all people?

             8/26/10
      Black      2
      White     32
All equally     55
 No opinion     11

Compare to Sharon Pratt Kelly, among all adults:

             8/26/10
      Black      9
      White     12
All equally     74
 No opinion      5

24. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Michelle Rhee is handling her job as Chancellor of the D.C. public schools?

              -------Approve---------    -------Disapprove-------    
              NET  Strongly  Somewhat    NET  Somewhat  Strongly    No opinion
8/26/10        44     23        22        38     13        26           17
1/28/10        43     21        22        44     15        29           13
1/8/08         59     27        32        29     14        15           12

25. (If respondent is a registered Democrat.) In deciding your vote for mayor, how much of a factor will Rhee's performance as chancellor be -- extremely important in determining your vote; very important; fairly important or not too important?

          ----- Important ------   --- Not important ----    
          NET   Extremely   Very   NET   Fairly   Not too   No opinion
8/26/10    55      28        26     42     19        23          3

26. (If respondent is a registered Democrat.) And would you say Rhee's performance as chancellor is more of a reason to vote (for) Fenty in the upcoming election, or more of a reason to vote (against) him? (Though not provided as an option, some voters said "neither.")

          Reason for   Reason against    Neither    No opinion
8/26/10       41            40             12            7

27. In which section of Washington, D.C. do you live: Northwest, Northeast, Southwest or Southeast?

            Northwest     Northeast     Southwest     Southeast     No opinion              
8/26/10        50            22             5            23              1    
1/28/10        51            23             2            23              1    
1/8/08         52            22             4            22              *    
7/18/06        50            21             4            24              *

28. (If respondent is a registered voter.) Do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling...

                        -------- Approve --------   ------- Disapprove -------    
                        NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET    Somewhat   Strongly   No opinion
       National issues   45      13         32       50       21         29           6
Issues related to D.C.   31       8         22       59       23         35          11

29. (If respondent is a registered voter.) If control of the Congress switched from the Democrats to the Republicans after November's election, do you think that would be a good thing for the District, a bad thing for the District, or wouldn't it make any difference?

          Good     Bad     No difference     No opinion
8/26/10    10       52           35               3

(If respondent is a registered voter.) On another subject: as you may know, Washington, D.C. has a delegate in Congress, but that person is not allowed to vote on laws. Would you support or oppose new legislation giving D.C. a full voting member in the U.S. House of Representatives?

            ------- Support -------  ------- Oppose --------    
            NET  Strongly  Somewhat  NET  Somewhat  Strongly  No opinion
8/26/10 RV   89     79        10       8      4         4          3
1/28/10 RV   85     NA        NA       9     NA        NA          6
1/28/10      83      "         "      10      "         "          7

30. Do you favor or oppose the District of Columbia becoming a separate state?

            Favor     Oppose     No opinion
8/26/10 RV   59         33            9
1/28/10 RV   57         33           10
1/28/10      56         34           10
5/19/02      66         27            7
2/7/00       58         36            6  
5/18/98      52         38           10
5/4/97       46         47            7
2/29/96      48         39           13
2/95         45         48            7
12/93        51         41            8

© The Washington Post Company