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Poll Predicts Runoff in Montgomery Mayoral Contest

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Confidential poling results acquired by the Alabama Political Reporter show that the Montgomery mayoral race is tightening.

According to a survey conducted on August 12-13, 2015 by Alan Secrest and Associates, incumbent Mayor Todd Strange, and former US Congressman Artur Davis, appear to be headed for a run-off. The poll was commissioned by the Davis campaign.

artur-davisWith approximately one week to go before the election, a tracking poll of 502 registered voters, who classified themselves as almost certain, or likely to vote in the August 25 Montgomery mayoral election, found Davis continues to show notable gains with black voters, and currently holds his strongest favorable to unfavorable share with blacks, since this campaign began surveying the Montgomery electorate in January 2014. 

Overall, 50 percent of black voters hold a favorable opinion of Davis, compared to 26 percent who hold an unfavorable opinion. Davis has shown particular gains with black men, who now view Davis favorably by a ratio of 54-22. 

According to the survey, 27 percent remain undecided, with fewer than 40 percent of the undecided believing Montgomery is on the right track. The survey notes say, “Strange’s job approval rating with undecideds is a tepid 46 percent, with 38 percent of them having a negative opinion of Strange’s record in office. In contrast, Davis’ favorable/unfavorable ratio with undecideds is an impressive 44-14.” 

The survey also found, that neither Dan Harris, nor Ella Bell had significant voter support at this point in the race, with both remaining in single digits with voters overall.

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The poll predicts a runoff between Strange and Davis. The final question is the size of the margin between them. The pollsters believe: 

“A younger, more African American electorate will benefit Davis, while an older, less diverse electorate will benefit Mayor Strange. Also, given Strange’s relative weakness with undecideds on the job approval, and right track elements, and Davis’ high favorable to unfavorable split with this group, there is potential for major continued movement in the lead challenger’s direction.”

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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