Latest mayoral poll suggests three-man race - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson, MS 04/13/09

Latest mayoral poll suggests three-man race

By WLBT staff - email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Democratic pollster Mark Chism has released his latest voter survey in the Jackson mayoral race. It points to three leaders in the pack of 10 Democratic candidates. 

Jackson's incumbent mayor, Frank Melton, and Ward 6 Councilman Marshand Crisler each drew 25% of respondents' support in the poll. Former mayor Harvey Johnson took third place with 20%.

Chism told reporters the poll was conducted Friday evening, with more than 500 Jackson households contacted by phone. 

This is the third such poll that Chism's Zata|3 consulting firm has conducted in this race. He faces some criticism for not naming every one of the 10 candidates.

The information below comes directly from a communique sent by Chism to reporters Sunday night. We present it here for viewers' reference; WLBT has not independently confirmed this data or conducted our own polling:

Friends,

Friday evening we repeated the survey. (We had 558 completes.)  The summary is provided below.  Email me if you want the pivot tables (for breakdowns by ward, age, race, gender).    In short,  not much has changed in a week.  Crisler is the favorite among white voters and  Melton and Johnson lead among Black voters.  Once the candidates go up on TV and radio we could see significant movement.

We've said from the outset that Frank Melton and Harvey Johnson have the highest floors and lowest ceilings of all the candidates----they begin with a larger base but their upside is limited.   People know Melton, and when reminded about Harvey Johnson, can easily form an opinion on his strengths and weaknesses based on his tenure as Mayor. Low ceilings, but with 11 people in the race, you don't need much--- 20% of the vote could get  you in the runoff.  The challenge for the next tier of candidates is to fund a media effort to nudge ahead of either of these and make the runoff. Crisler appears to be best positioned at this point.  

City of Jackson Dem Primary

  

1-Apr

3-Apr

10-Apr

  

1-Apr

3-Apr

10-Apr

  

1-Apr

3-Apr

10-Apr

Candidate

  

All

All

All

  

Blacks

Blacks

Blacks

  

Whites

Whites

Whites

Crisler

18%

27%

25%

11%

16%

12%

28%

46%

43%

H Johnson

20%

18%

20%

30%

25%

29%

6%

9%

10%

Horhn

6%

10%

7%

5%

13%

8%

7%

6%

7%

Melton

27%

19%

25%

34%

22%

29%

19%

12%

19%

Fair

5%

7%

5%

3%

7%

7%

7%

5%

2%

Other Candidates

11%

9%

8%

5%

7%

6%

18%

12%

11%

Undecided

12%

10%

11%

10%

10%

10%

15%

9%

9%

Notes: Whites were 39% of 4/1 sample, 40% of 4/3 sample, and 40% of 4/10 Sample. Actual voter turnout will be lower % among whites

Note that all three of  these surveys oversample whites.  Estimates vary over what percentage white vote we will see in the Democratic primary-a lot depends on the media and GOTV budgets among the top candidates. ( In a low dollar race, white voters represent a higher percentage of the electorate.)

We'll be weighting survey results as we track the race in the weeks ahead.

More disclaimers:

Why we are doing this: We have several friends in the Jackson Mayor's race but no candidates who are clients.  We are intrigued by the dynamics of this race and have decided to do some survey work for public dissemination.  

About the survey.    This sample of 500+ voter phone households  is a rough approximation of historical voter registration and turnout. While we do track the respondents self-identification by age, race, and gender  we have not weighted the survey by  these demographics or by voter frequency.   The pivot tables are available that allow you to drill down by demographics and ward. Just email brad@zata3.com and ask  for the spreadsheets.  We caution you not to draw too many conclusions by ward as these sample sizes  are small.

Methodology   We used an interactive, automated call with keypad responses to record results. The numbers are scrambled and randomly dialed with a quota of respondents by ward.  As the name  suggests, our  ZATAPULSE takes the pulse of the electorate.  It is not an "MRI".  It is a useful tool for short surveys of this nature and  we have used it for more than 200 races across the country. We employ a similar  methodology as Survey USA or Rasmussen.  Still, the tool has limits.  We caution you that this race is  fluid and that each candidate is likely to have a more robust, internal poll.  Nonetheless, we are confident that this is the most accurate, timely information that is publicly available.

About Zata3   Zata|3 is a political consulting firm for Democratic candidates and progressive causes. Company President Brad Chism splits time between his Washington, DC and Jackson, MS offices. For each of the last three years, Zata|3 had won more awards by the AAPC for its telephone voter contact programs than any other firm in America.  For more information, go to www.zata3.com

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