Six takeaways from first poll of the Savannah mayoral race

The Savannah Morning News on Friday published the results of an automated phone survey by Rosetta Stone Communications of 400 likely voters about their preferences in the city’s upcoming mayoral election.

The four candidates are Eddie DeLoach, Edna Jackson (I), Murray Silver, and Louis Wilson. In a previous post here, I’ve pointed out that Jackson will be difficult to beat, but here are some takeaways from the survey:

1) Polling matters, and candidates would make a mistake to ignore polling (especially if they don’t like the results), but this is only one poll, and the election is still over a month away. The margin of error is 4.9 percent, and it’s always possible that any given poll could have flaws that introduce an even larger margin of error.

2) Jackson leads in this survey with a total of 34 percent and has the support of 54 percent of black likely voters. That is terrible news for Jackson. She’s been on the political scene for many years and has been mayor for almost four years. If only slightly over half of black voters currently support her, then she might want to do some soul-searching at this point. Seriously, this is bad, bad news for Jackson.

3) DeLoach stands at 29 percent in this survey — a solid enough number given his rather recent entry into the race. He currently has 47 percent of the white support, and he actually has 14 percent of black support — i.e., he is doing slightly better among black voters than Jackson is among white voters. If that data point holds up in November, we will possibly have a new mayor.

4) This is a disappointing result for Murray Silver (8 percent) and even moreso for Louis Wilson (1 percent), but keep in mind that rather large margin of error, and keep in mind that we’re just now on the verge of the first mayoral forums and debates.

5) I’ve frequently heard Savannahians say that DeLoach’s entry into the race secures a Jackson win. Those people are wrong. The winner must ultimately get 50 percent of the vote in either the general election or in a runoff. I still think Jackson has a chance of getting 50 percent in November but, with four candidates in the race, the odds of a runoff increase dramatically.

6) A whopping 28 percent of voters remain undecided, according to this survey, including 29 percent of black voters. Again, that’s a clear indictment of Jackson’s leadership, but we could still expect a significant portion of those voters to end up voting for Jackson. If she gets just over half of the undecided, she would be at the 50 percent threshold. But the voters are undecided for a reason — they’re waiting to hear more from the other candidates or waiting to learn more about the candidates and issues. Not good news for the incumbent.

Here’s the post from Rosetta Stone Communications:

September 21, 2015For immediate releasePOLL RESULTS INDICATE SAVANNAH RUNOFF LIKELYROSETTA STONE COMMUNICATIONSMAYOR…

Posted by Rosetta Stone Communications on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

2 comments for “Six takeaways from first poll of the Savannah mayoral race

  1. Angi Kennedy
    October 22, 2015 at 1:06 am

    Who in their right mind would vote to keep Edna Jackson on as Mayor? Do you like watching the city turn into the next Detroit? The crime rates, the shootings in the tourist areas, the notable dirty streets and parks? Give me a reason why you would not vote for a change?

    • October 22, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      I think there are compelling reasons for voting for change, but I’ve never understood the “next Detroit” comparison. Detroit was a huge city and still is at the center of a metro area many times larger than Savannah. The city lost both white and black residents in huge numbers for decades. The core of employment was decimated by cuts at auto manufacturers, but the woes of overbuilt Rust Belt cities began far before that. Savannah is adding jobs at a fast rate and is adding population too.

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