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Municipal elections

Poll shows Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed with commanding lead

The poll, which was released by the Reed campaign, shows the mayor with a 2.5-to-1 lead over his nearest competitor.

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed speaking to the crowd at the beginning of his mayoral re-election bid. JOHN H. GLENN/APR
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A recent poll of likely voters in the 2023 Montgomery mayoral race found that Mayor Steven Reed holds an overwhelming lead against likely competitors and scored high with voters in key areas. 

In the survey viewed by APR, Reed leads the nearest competitor in the polling by 2.5 to 1, according to a synopsis of the poll provided by the Reed campaign.

Montgomery County Probate Judge J.C. Love was the top challenger, followed by former Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange. In head-to-head polling, Reed beat both Love and Strange 60 percent to 40 percent, according to the poll. Reed held his substantial lead over the competitors in 8 of 9 city council districts. 

On specific issues, Reed scored high on “handling of city finances,” with a 53.7 percent approval rating; on “economic development and job creation,” with 61.7 percent; and on “maintaining a strong relationship with Maxwell Air Force Base,” with 50.3 percent. 

Overall, Reed’s approval rating was 61.2 percent and job performance rating was 55.7 percent favorable, according to the poll. He holds a 97.3 percent name identification rating and 61.7 positive personal favorability rating. 

The strong poll results follow what many considered a bumpy start to Reed’s re-election campaign. Audio tapes of questionable origin and editing sparked a controversial couple of weeks earlier this year, as Reed and the city brought legal action against a local activist that Reed claimed was attempting to extort money from the city. The audio recordings featured Reed making a number of candid and inflammatory remarks about Black voters, Maxwell and wealthy white people. 

That controversy seems irrelevant to voters a couple of months later, which might explain why Reed remains the only announced candidate in the race.  

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The poll, conducted by Matrix LLC., and commissioned by the Reed campaign, polled 402 Montgomery likely voters by cellphone and landline. The poll gathered respondents equally from each city council district. Of the respondents who completed the poll, 61 percent were Black and 35 percent were white.

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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