The biggest elections in Georgia this year are the municipal elections in Atlanta. Mayor, City Council, and school board members are all up for re-election this year. The public hasn’t heard much about these elections yet, but candidates are starting to announce their intent to run. Incumbents and challengers alike would serve themselves well to keep reading.
The pillar of any good campaign is polling and research. Most people think of polling as testing to see which candidate is winning the race. That’s important, but early in a campaign it is far more important to know voter’s feelings about the issues and testing campaign messages around those issues. The problem is most local campaigns can’t afford a poll. Blogging While Blue is here to help.
Our friends at 20/20 Insight conducted an automated survey of 683 registered City of Atlanta voters from February 17 – February 19. Among other things, we asked voters to rate their current elected officials and top issues facing the city. Some of the results shocked us. Some didn’t.
The first two pages give a quick tutorial on how to read crosstabs for you newbies. The pink line at the top of each page shows the overall results for each question.
Here are some insights from the of the poll:
• Mayor Reed is a popular fellow, while the city council is not so popular
• The Centers of Hope are exceedingly popular, while raising taxes for the Beltline is not
• The city council’s decision to raise their pay is very, very unpopular, but a majority of voters wouldn’t vote them out for that one issue alone
However, the best part of the poll is the crosstabs. The crosstabs can tell what different demographics of voters think about different officials and issues. Here are some insights from the crosstabs:
• A majority of African Americans voters rate the city council favorably, while 48% of White voters give the city council a poor or very poor rating
• Voters on the Southside believe bringing more jobs and economic activity is the most important issue facing the city, while voters on the Northside believe cleaning up corruption and ethics in City Hall is the most important issue.
Election Day is eight months away. The crosstabs should give candidates an idea of what voters are thinking. Next week we will touch on how this poll shows three different and distinct Atlantas.