By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—The Montgomery mayoral race, until recently, looked to be an exciting contest between incumbent Todd Strange and his most notable challenger, former US Congressman Artur Davis.
Recent polling data obtained by the Alabama Political Reporter shows Strange with a commanding advantage over the one-time rising star of the National Republican and Democratic Parties.
What is, perhaps, the most troubling trend in this survey is that Strange has an almost 50 point advantage over Davis among whites, and well over 20 with blacks. In a city where blacks represent the majority of voters, this comes as bad news for the city’s son, who is also black.
Campaign strategists believe that Davis’ break with President Obama has hurt his chances, as well as his long absence from the city.
Strange has his critics, too, but the polling numbers still show a clear advantage for the incumbent, who has served since winning a special election in 2009.
The poll surprisingly finds that Davis has a low-name recognition among likely voters, given he was a congressman, ran for Governor of the State, was a keynote speaker at the Democratic Convention in 2008, and at the Republican Convention in 2012.
The 2015 Montgomery mayoral election will take place on August 25, 2015.
In the poll, likely voters were asked,
“Would you say the City of Montgomery is going in the right or the wrong direction?”
Over 56. 3 percent said the city was headed in the right direction, as opposed to 30.0 percent stating wrong.
Strange received an overall job performance of around 50 percent with 22.3 percent saying excellent, 38.1 percent good, 25.2 percent fair and only 11.2 percent rating his performance as poor.
Likely voters were asked “Are you familiar with Davis and what is your opinion of him?”
23.2 percent were not familiar, with his favorables coming in at 22.6 percent and unfavorables 19.9 percent. Almost a third were neutral toward the former congressman.
As for cash-on-hand, Strange has an almost $200,000 advantage with Strange having $285,788 to Davis’ $97,446. In the month of April, Davis only raised $225.
With less than 90 days until the election, the poll numbers show a compelling advantage for incumbent Strange.
Alabama State Board of Education member, Ella Bell and Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Harris will also appear on the ballot.